COVID-19 Risk Management Policy
Date Enacted: March 18, 2020 / Date Revised: Mar 27, 2020
Senior Management and Safety Coordinator – Longboard Construction Inc.
Longboard Construction Inc. is committed to the safety of our community, employees, clients, and vendors and want to provide assurance that we will strive to maintain business as usual during these uncertain times. With a focus on safety and maintaining our clients’ and project partners’ expectations of continued service delivery, our offices will remain open; however, we are taking steps to address the current and developing COVID-19 situation.
We are actively following the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue to provide regular updates. As previously stated, Longboard is implementing the following precautionary steps to reduce the impact of this situation:
We continue to monitor all national and global health authorities’ websites, and media outlets to stay vigilant of the fast-changing global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The response to the COVID-19 virus continues to change on a regular basis. All parties are required to meet current requirements and be adaptable to new initiatives when required.
Social Distancing is a technique to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by limiting close contact with others. The Public Health Authority recommends keeping a distance of 2 meters (6 ft.) from each other.
All workers shall observe social distancing. Social distancing measures include:
- limiting groups of workers coming together in orientation, lunch and meeting rooms, tool cribs, change rooms, smoking areas, etc.
- preventing workers from congregating at the entrance to the: project, hoist, stair wells, scaffolding, washroom facilities, etc.
- restricting access to occupied work areas like trailer offices, etc.
Contractors are required to:
- communicate and reinforce self-distancing practices with their workers.
- conduct regular inspections of their worker areas to verify that workers are practicing social distancing, to the best of their ability.
- notify us of any concerns they have for social distancing practices or work procedures.
Informational signage, warning workers of the importance of self-distancing will be installed at locations on the project were there is a potential for workers to congregate.
Hand Washing and Hand Sanitization
Hand washing minimizes the risk of infection. Proper hand washing helps prevent the transfer of infectious material from the hands to other parts of the body—particularly the eyes, nose, and mouth—or to other surfaces that are touched. Hands that are visibly soiled or dirty should be washed with soap and water – hand sanitizer is less effective on soiled or dirty hands.
Workers are required to wash or sanitize their hands:
- at the start of their shift and before they start work
- before eating, drinking or smoking
- after using the toilet facilities
- after handling any tools or materials that may be contaminated
- at the end of the shift before they leave work.
We will provide or make available hand washing and/or hand sanitization facilities to meet the needs of the volume of workers at the project as site conditions and availability of sanitation products dictate.
Informational signage, describing proper hand washing and hand sanitization techniques will be posted at hand washing and hand sanitization facilities.
Cough / Sneeze Etiquette
Workers are expected to follow cough/sneeze etiquette, which is a combination of measures that minimizes the transmission of diseases via droplet or airborne routes. Cough/sneeze etiquette includes the following:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a sleeve or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Use tissues to contain secretions and dispose of them promptly in a waste container.
- Turn your head away from others when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands regularly.
If you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms such as fever, coughing or congestion: Do not come to work;
- Contact your supervisor to let them know that you are exhibiting the symptoms; and
- Consult the Alberta Health Services (AHS) online Assessment and follow up with AHS ‘811’/ a healthcare professional on the next steps before returning to work as directed. https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Journey/COVID-19/Pages/COVID-Self-Assessment.aspx
- Report results to your supervisor and/or company owners in writing. A screen shot of the assessment results will be required.
PANDEMIC PLANNING FOR WORKSITES:
At each appropriate worksite, the site superintendent shall be responsible for COVID prevention procedures and be the designated COVID Safety Coordinator (CSC) for their respective worksite. The Site Superintendent will:
- Begin each day by completing a FLHA and include the review of current precautionary measures, regulatory guidelines as specified by the Alberta Government and the Health Questionnaire.
- Review and assess Contractor COVID Prevention Procedures.
- Conduct regular inspections of the worksite to monitor adherence to COVID Prevention Procedures and record inspection findings.
- Review and store Health Questionnaires in accordance with privacy considerations.
- Document Contractor attendance issues.
- Monitor cleaning to verify that approved products and procedures are being followed.
- Inspect wash stations and hand sanitization stations to verify that they are adequately stocked and posters explaining hand washing and hand sanitization are posted.
- Post and inspect other signage to verify that it is located in correct location and in good order.
- Verify that First Aid Attendants have the necessary safety equipment and are using it correctly.
- Investigate any reports of workers that are not complying with procedures or concerns for workers health. Coordinate with Contractors Supervisor.
- Refer any issues or concerns to Project Management and HSE Manager.
- Immediately report and investigate presumed and confirmed cases of COVID – 19 with the assistance of Project Management and HSE Manger.
- Review and instruct project staff in this procedure and other COVID-19 documentation.
- Monitor this procedure and other documents for updates and assist Project Management in disseminating that information to Contractors and workers.
Trade Contractors are required to appoint someone at each site responsible for monitoring their workers for compliance with their COVID prevention procedures and site COVID Prevention Procedures. The COVID Safety Coordinator (CSC) may be a foreman or senior site management. The Contractors must spend a significant amount of their time monitoring workers by greeting and organizing them when they arrive to work, inspecting their work areas, monitoring their health, informing their workers of any changes to procedures and liaising with us and their companies management responsible for COVID prevention.
Contractors must provide the name and cell phone of their COVID compliance coordinator to the on-site site superintendent.
CONTRACTOR COVID-19 PREVENTION PROCEDURES
Contractors are required to forward copies of their procedures to prevent the transmission of COVID – 19. Contractors must identify which tasks may be impacted by social distancing restrictions and implement mitigation measures. For example:
- site orientations
- tasks that involve two or more workers to work in close proximity. i.e. Carrying pipe or drywall
- restricted work locations where there is insufficient space to maintain social distancing i.e. cab of a vehicle or small room
Contractors must identify tasks where there is a potential for transmission through shared use of PPE, tools and equipment and implement mitigation measures. For example:
- PPE – face shields at cutting stations, fall protection ropes and lanyards, etc.
- tools – hand saws, chop saws, grinders, vacuums, etc.
- equipment – aerial work platforms, forklifts, power trowels, etc.
Contractors are responsible for reviewing the procedures and implementing practices that prevent the transmission of COVID -19 for the subtrades working for them.
Contractors may be required to appoint a CSC at each work location.
If Contractors have not provided COVID – 19 Prevention Procedures, they may not be allowed to work on this project.
HEALTH VERIFICATION OF WORKERS AND VISITORS
The health and well-being of workers and visitors is paramount. To protect workers and visitors and provide a safe and healthy workplace there is an increased responsibility on Site Superintendents and Contractor supervisors to be vigilant and that includes monitoring for symptoms of COVID19.
Workers and visitors who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID 19 or are otherwise recommended to be in self-isolation or self-quarantine in accordance with recommendations of the Public Health Authority are not permitted on projects.
- Any workers or visitors intending to access the site must complete a Health Questionnaire. The purpose of the questionnaire is to verify that workers are free, to the best of their knowledge, of COVID-19 symptoms and related restrictions in accordance with Public Health Authority recommendations.
- Contractors supervisors must provide each day an attendance list of workers by name and phone contact. In the event that there is a COVID issue later this information will be especially helpful in identifying potential exposures. Attendance lists to be stored in accordance with privacy considerations.
- Contractor supervisors are required to verify, at start of shift, that their workers are healthy, fit for work and to the best of their knowledge, free of any symptoms or restrictions associated with COVID-19 in accordance with the Health Questionnaire and recommendations of the Public Health Authority.
- Contractors must provide an update on their workers’ health to Site Superintendent at start of shift. If there are any significant changes in attendance or health concerns notify the Site Superintendent and document.
- Contractor supervisors are required to verify, at end of shift, that their workers healthy, fit for work and to the best of their knowledge, free of any symptoms or restrictions associated with COVID-19 in accordance with the Health Questionnaire and recommendations of the Public Health Authority.
- Contractors must provide an update on their workers’ health to the CSC at end of shift. If there are any significant changes in attendance or health concerns notify Site Superintendent and document.
- Post signs at all site entrances that say, “Site Sign in/out by texting Supervisor at ______________”.
- Site supervisor to update sign-in log regularly throughout the day to know who is at site.
- All site orientations to be done verbally without signature outside the job shack.
- No transfer of papers. Site supervisor to sign on their behalf.
- Job toolbox meetings to be held outside, with appropriate social distancing or have people call in. No signatures or transfer of documents. Site Supervisor signs on their behalf.
- Hazard assessment’s and other paper submission documents boxes to be moved outside with two boxes – Documents can be retrieved 24 hours later.
- When arranging necessary inspections from consultants or authorities having jurisdiction, indicate to them they will not be allowed to visit our site if they are showing any signs of being sick.
- In person meetings must have no more than 10 people in attendance.
- Large job shacks limited to maximum 5 people and small job shacks limited to maximum 3 people. Social distancing required.
- Site constraints are based on site size using appropriate social distancing. Suggested guidelines are no more than 3 or 4 people working in 1000 sq. ft. of space, or 10 people working in 10,000 sq. ft. Examples and exceptions:
- Tradespeople working in teams to do work (Carpenter and Apprentice) must know each other well enough to be sure of the proximity risk of working together.
- For larger groups working together (concrete placement crews) who cannot manage social distancing to do their work must have a conversation with the Site Superintendent and the Safety Advisor to ensure we can proceed with the work safely. Crews that work together all the time will have a lower risk than hastily assembled crews.
- Workers at sites should avoid working less than six feet from others for prolonged periods unless their role requires prolonged closer proximity. Case specific risks and solutions will be assessed by the workers employer for those individuals required by their roles to work within these close proximities;
- Individuals should utilize technologies available to them such as email, text and teleconferencing to minimize direct contact with others;
- The number of people allowed in the hoist at the same time will be reduced to avoid crowding.
- Project teams should stagger break and lunch schedules to minimize the number of people near one another.
- Project teams may also consider staggering start / finish times aimed at reducing large group wait times at the gates and the hoists.
- Meetings should be held in the area where an individual works, instead of a large gathering point.
- For all remaining in person gatherings, and in work environments in general, participants should exercise recommended practices for reducing the risk of transmission as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Canada and the World Health Organization.
Jobsite Sanitation Measures:
- As hand sanitizer is becoming a scarce commodity Contractors are making immediate arrangements to construct temporary sinks / handwash areas with hand soap, paper towels and garbage cans. The locations will be at various high-traffic locations.
- Each subcontractor is responsible for providing hand sanitizer for their worker’s needs.
- Each subcontractor remains responsible for cleanliness in their lunchrooms.
- Each subcontractor remains responsible to provide PPE, noting that glove use is mandatory.
- Each subcontractor is responsible for disinfecting shared tools, iPads, etc. between uses.
Cleaning and Disinfecting:
Conduct routine daily cleaning of hard non-porous surfaces throughout construction sites including: site office trailers, lunchrooms, orientation and meeting rooms, first aid rooms, stair railings, scaffold stair railings, portable toilets, elevator/hoist and equipment controls.
Potential Virus Contamination:
In the event there is a presumptive case for COVID – 19, present on site, we isolate and clean work areas / surfaces that may have been contaminated.
In the event a confirmed case of COVID-19 was present on site, close the site for a period of 7 (seven) days and/or employ a specialized biohazard remediation, abatement company will professionally disinfect the contaminated areas. All cleaning products and procedures from Contractor and Cleaning Services used on Projects must be vetted by a Industrial Hygienist Consultant to verify that they are sufficient for disinfecting COVID-19. If products or procedures are deemed unreliable, they must be discontinued.
All workers must wear gloves in accordance with their SWP and rules. Wearing gloves, besides being a safety requirement reduces the likelihood of workers touching their eyes, nose or ears reducing the potential of transmission from contaminated surfaces.
Workers should replace their used gloves frequently with new gloves and launder used gloves, if practicable, with their work clothes to prevent them from becoming potential sources of transmission.
The current concerns for COVID -19 makes orientations especially important as a means of communicating with new workers the safety precautions that they must comply with for them to work on this site.
It is also a point for screening workers and asking them questions about their travels and health to verify that they are healthy and not in contravention of any Public Health Authority recommendations.
It is also a moment when we can reassure workers that our project is being managed for their safety, that we are taking COVID – 19 seriously and that the most important thing to us is their health and safety.
The following are changes to the orientation routine:
- Where practical, move orientation outdoors and conduct a verbal orientation – reinforce social distancing.
- If orientations are conducted in a room keep the door secure and post social distancing signage on the door to the orientation room to prevent workers from grouping outside or in the room and waiting. Disinfect used pens, tables, chairs and table after each use.
- Host multiple orientation sessions to avoid violating social distancing.
Before providing an orientation have workers and visitors complete the Health Questionnaire COVID-19 to verify that they are healthy and fit for work. Workers that are not permitted access according to the questionnaire must be turned away.
As part of the verbal orientation, review:
- what is social distancing of 2 M (6 1⁄2 ft.)
- location of hand washing and hand sanitization stations and the frequency that they are expected to clean their hands.
- location of posters and other communications
- site specific procedures for hoists, stairwells, etc.
- what we are doing at the site to promote a safe workplace and remind them that their health is important to us.
- the importance of reporting to their supervisor if they are feeling unwell and leaving the project.
Project offices and trailers are off limits to people that do not belong in them. The close quarters in a trailer may be a challenge to maintain social distancing. Hold discussion outside where practicable. Make use of vacant offices / trailers to redistribute staff to limit contact. The following applies:
- Post “Restricted Access” signage on door with contact information (phone #).
- Keep the door locked to prevent access.
- Restrict the number of people who are allowed to enter these offices to social distancing allowances.
- If you are a visitor in an office or trailer – do not touch things – If possible keep your hands in your pockets or to yourself. Disinfect anything touched by the visitor prior to use.
- Do not share keyboard or mouse, pens, clipboards or documents.
- Disinfect commonly touched items like door handles, chairs, tables, stair handrails, etc.
Lunchrooms are places where there is a potential for people to come to contact with each other or contaminated surfaces. The following applies:
- Post social distancing signage to remind workers to keep their distance.
- Post signage to remind workers to wash or disinfect their hands before and after eating.
- Stagger coffee/lunch breaks to reduce the number of workers in the lunchroom at the same time.
- Organize chairs and stagger seating arrangement to maintain social distancing or take lunch and coffee outside
- Remove garbage often.
- Clean and disinfect tables, microwaves and other commonly handled items between worker s/ lunch shifts.
- If air circulation is a concern install negative air units and vent outside lunchroom.
- Separate PPE and clothing that is hung up in the lunchroom to avoid touching.
- Workers intending to take work clothing home should place it in a plastic bag and not remove it until it goes into the laundry to be washed – ideally separately.
First Aid Treatment:
Report workplace injuries to the First Aid Attendant, this is the Site Superintendent (FAA). As a precaution the FAA will wear N95 mask or 1⁄2 mask respirator, face shield and medical gloves when treating workers.
As part of the FAA injury assessment the FAA will reconfirm the status of the workers’ health in accordance with the Health Questionnaire questions. If workers are feeling unwell or exhibiting symptoms of COVID -19 They need to inform their Supervisor ASAP. If they are fit enough to leave the project and arrive home safely, they should go home and follow the Public Health Authorities instructions for reporting self -isolating and treatment.
If workers are travelling on public transit or in close contact with others to get to their homes and if available, we will provide sick workers with N95 masks to be worn by them to help prevent any transmission from the sick worker.
- Use only your own tools or sanitize between operators.
- Eat lunch alone, where possible in your vehicle, respecting social distance.
- Consider adjusting shifts to accommodate reduced density of crews.
- Practice social distancing. If possible, have a work from home strategy, move desks apart, sanitize your office regularly.
- Warning on your door. Do not allow delivery people in your office unless they have confirmed they are in good health.
- Have external workers or visitors complete a statement saying they are in good health before allowing them access to your premises.
Steps if a Case is Suspected:
- If it is suspected that someone is sick in the Workplace: Ensure protection of workplace and provide good solutions for workers.
- “Sick” means coughing or sneezing more than explainable from dust or environmental issues. It could be the common cold or the flu, either way if there is a possibility that someone is sick, they should be sent home.
- If a trade partner is suspected as sick, send them home and notify their manager.
- If an employee who can work from home effectively is identified as sick they will be sent home and use technology to continue to work.
- If an employee who cannot work from home effectively is identified as sick they will be temporarily laid off so they can recover.
- Anyone who goes home as sick or is sent home as sick must follow current AHS guidelines in respect of screening, testing or self-isolation.
- If further testing is not required AND self-isolation is not advised, the worker may return to work after showing no symptoms for 24 hours. Report symptoms and assessment finding to company owners. I screen shoot of results are to be emailed as confirmation.
What to do with a confirmed COVID-19 case:
The projections show that 30-70% of the population may ultimately get this illness. All the measures being implemented are to slow the spread to ensure the medical system has the capacity to treat those who need it when they get it.
In the event of a confirmed case –
- Notify everyone by email as soon as it is confirmed. It is important to communicate well through this so you will be the first to know.
- Follow the guidelines provided by Alberta Health Services
- Research is showing the virus lasts max 72 hours without people so we would shut down the workplace for 72 hours. After we would go in and disinfect the hard surfaces like door handles to be sure, but it would be safe to continue work there.
- If we have a crew or entire worksite that is quarantined, we will quarantine them for 14 days, shut down the site for 72 hours and restart it as above with a substitute crew to keep work proceeding.
- Government of Canada – COVID-19
- Government of Alberta Website – COVID-19 info for Albertans
- Alberta Health Services – Online Screening
- World Health Organization
*The information in this policy does not take precedence over applicable government legislation, with which all workers and sub-contractors should be familiar with. A copy of this legislation will be issued upon request.