COVID-19 Code of Practice & Policies
Attending the Workplace During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A personnel guide to help support workers.
Attending the Workplace During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A personnel guide to help support workers.
Pandemic preparedness is an essential risk management practice. This is especially true for essential workplaces. While Supportive Living operators are accustomed to seasonal influenza outbreak operations management, the COVID-19 Pandemic has proven to present new challenges as we continue to navigate unchartered territories.
Module 1 of the Organizational Enhancement Toolkit - Pandemic Management Edition includes the following key elements and tools:
These foundational tools are intended to supplement your organization's existing Pandemic Plan and are based on fundamental risk management principles.
Risk Management: Written Instructional Guidance
Encapsulating and communicating evolving operational requirements is of critical importance. These tools are designed to help management with providing ongoing written instructional guidance to workers.
Written instructional guidance is also intended to help reduce stress for workers as such tools demonstrate management's commitment to clearly and concisely articulating requirements. Written instructions provide clarity at a time of uncertainty. It is highly advisable to accompany the roll-out of each tool with a personnel orientation/training session to ensure understanding of requirements. Maintain an up-to-date 'COVID-19 Worker Training and Skill Development Matrix' as per OH&S legal requirements and best practices.
Risk Management: Maintaining a Record of Your Pandemic Response
In addition to utilizing these types of tools, it is highly advised to also maintain a written record of your facility's ongoing pandemic response detailing key decisions. Saving each version of these types of documents issued to personnel or residents is also important. Maintaining a current/historical account of the actions taken will provide pertinent information to support a number of risk management activities related to:
Risk Management: Appoint an Information & Communications Coordinator/Officer
Appointing someone within your facility to serve as a Pandemic Information & Communications Coordinator/Officer is highly advisable. Assigning accountability to have someone from within your facility/organization to monitor and compile relevant ongoing federal and provincial government announcements and Public Health Authority Orders/Directives will prove to be highly advantageous. The individual fulfilling this role would be accountable For:
The individual serving as your facility's Information & Communications Coordinator/Officer role ought to be deemed a 'critical worker' within your business continuity plan. In keeping with emergency management principles, sequestering of this type of critical worker would be deemed appropriate. As such, this person could work off-site and follow self-isolation protocols. Adoption and utilization of video-conferencing tools, etc. will largely facilitate positional requirements.
As the Coronavirus Global Pandemic continues to evolve, so does our understanding of symptoms associated with COVID-19. It is important to stay abreast of changes to how COVID-19 is defined, along with the symptoms published by the World Health Organization as well as those defined by Public Health Authorities within your jurisdiction.
It is imperative that symptoms be communicated to workers and residents within your supportive living facility. Up-to-date information regarding symptoms are likely integrated within your Public Health Authority's current 'Fitness-for-Work' Health Screening Assessment tools for workers and residents. Also note that it has been identified that there may be differences in how symptoms present or are experienced within our vulnerable elder populations (e.g. temperature).
COVID-19 - The World Health Organization
The World Health Organization’s defines COVID-19 as follows:
“Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
The best way to prevent and slowdown transmission is to be well informed about the COVID-19 virus, the disease it causes and how it spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by washing your hands or using an alcohol-based rub frequently and not touching your face.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it’s important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow).”
– World Health Organization (WHO); March 29,2020
The World Health Organization’s describes COVID-19 symptoms as follows:
“The COVID-19 virus affects different people in different ways. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment. People who have underlying medical conditions and those over 60 years old have a higher risk of developing severe disease and death.
Common symptoms include:
Other less common symptoms include:
Some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms.
People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should self-isolate and contact their medical provider or a COVID-19 information line for advice on testing and referral.
People with fever, cough or difficulty breathing/shortness of breath, chest pain/pressure, or loss of speech of movement should seek medical attention immediately. If possible, it is recommended to call the health care provider or facility first, so the patient can be directed to the right clinic.”
– World Health Organization (WHO); May 5, 2020
Each one of us has a responsibility (the employer, supervisors, and workers) to do our part to create and foster a supportive safety culture. The following Code of Practice is intended to positively reinforce required Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
To Protect Yourself, Your Co-Workers, and Our Residents:
* Report exposure to individuals with suspected, probable or confirmed cases; or to close contacts or household member(s) who are self-isolating while waiting to be tested.
COVID-19 – Worker Code of Practice ©INTERACTIONS HR Solutions Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The COVID-19 Safe Work Protocols - Personnel Handbook is a key risk management tool contained within the Organizational Enhancement Toolkit™ as it helps provide workers with:
The COVID-19 Safe Work Protocols - Personnel Handbook can be obtained as a stand-alone tool, or it can be accessed via our Members Portal as part of the complete Organizational Enhancement Toolkit - Pandemic Management Edition product. Either way, you can further customize the content to meet the unique needs of your organization.
As per Public Health Orders/Directives, an essential risk management requirement is to ensure diligent implementation and adherence to worker and resident COVID-19 health assessment screening occurs.
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Very early into the declaration of the global Coronavirus Pandemic, it became clear that workplaces needed to review and instantaneously update their existing Facility Pandemic Plans, if they had one in place. As organizations enacted their Emergency Response Operations, in accordance with their existing Pandemic Plans, it also became evident that changes were required to both personnel and operational policies to align with the fluidity of the Pandemic.
The Pandemic has demanded that workplaces, especially those providing essential services, stay in-step with the rapidly evolving developments related to operationalizing federal and provincial Public Health Authority Orders/Directives.
Pandemic Policy Directives - Operationalizing Public Health Orders/Directives
The following 'COVID-19 Pandemic - Operational and Personnel Policy Directives' are based on the types of Orders/Directives declared at a global, federal and provincial level. In keeping with 'emergency management' principles, each policy directive is written in a clear and concise manner intended to provide immediate instruction/direction. Once the Pandemic comes to end, policy directives ought to be reviewed and formalized as part of your facility's Pandemic Operational Policy.
Pandemic Management Toolkit - Tips