At Arbutus Ridge Farms we have developed a COVID-19 Safety Plan, outlining the control measures, policies, procedures, protocols, communication plans, training, and monitoring processes necessary to reduce the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at our workplace. One of a family of coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 is the biological hazard that causes the illness COVID-19 (BCCDC).
Our plan follows the six-step process as outlined by WorkSafeBC, supported by the industry-specific information and resources provided by our health and safety association, the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC. By Order of the Provincial Health Officer dated May 14 2020, employers are required to post a copy of their COVID-19 Safety Plan on their website and at the workplace. This plan must be readily available for review by workers, as well as visitors, contractors, suppliers, and any other person who could be providing services at our workplace.
A copy of our COVID-19 Safety Plan and other associated documentation must be provided if requested by a WorkSafeBC officer. This COVID-19 Safety Plan is posted on our website here:
STEP 1 Assess the risks at the workplace
To assess the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, we have consulted:
☐ Information about COVID-19 as offered by the Public Health Authorities
☐ Our frontline workers and supervisors
☐ Our Joint Health and Safety Committee or Worker Health and Safety Representative, if applicable
We have identified the areas/jobs/tasks that may present a risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. We also determined who could be at risk of exposure, including workers, contractors, suppliers, and the public. With this in mind, we took at least one of these three steps:
☐ Conducted a documented risk assessment focused on SARS-CoV-2. A risk assessment is a critical thinking process designed to ask, “What are the hazards? What can go wrong? How could it affect others? What should we do about it?”
☐ Updated our existing, documented risk assessments to include SARS-CoV-2.
☐ Developed an Exposure Control Plan (ECP) for SARS-CoV-2, which includes a risk assessment. An ECP is a document created by a workplace in response to an identified risk, documenting specific and appropriate control that will minimize or eliminate that risk. (www.phsa.ca)
STEPS 2 & 3 Implement control measures, including policies, procedures and protocols to reduce the risks
To determine what control measures are required, we have consulted the following:
☐ The Hierarchy of Controls
☐ Our frontline workers and supervisors
☐ Our Joint Health and Safety Committee or Worker Health or Safety Representative, if applicable
☐ The online COVID-19 Safety Assessment from the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC
☐ WorkSafeBC industry-specific protocols for manufacturing
☐ Guidance and industry-specific information from provincial health authorities
The control measures we have identified as necessary for our facility are listed in our documented risk assessment as indicated in Step 1. Based on that assessment, with reference to the above resources,
we have implemented necessary controls and developed/updated the following policies, procedures and protocols:
☐ Workplace inspections policy/program, with added checklist items for inspections
☐ Working alone procedures (if applicable)
☐ Remote work policy (if applicable), with added checklist for working from home
☐ Policy for returning travelers (if applicable)
☐ Ergonomics policy/program (if applicable)
☐ Personal protective equipment policy/program (if applicable)
☐ Respiratory protection program (if applicable)
☐ Return-to-work or disability management policy/program (if applicable)
☐ Visitors policy (if applicable)
☐ Occupational first aid attendant protocols
Supervisors have been made aware of these policies/procedures/protocols and have signed an acknowledgement of their awareness.
STEP 4 Develop communication plans and training
To ensure workers, contractors and visitors know how to stay safe at our workplace, we have:
☐ Developed plans to communicate new and updated policies to all of our employees.
☐ Conducted a training needs assessment and updated our training matrix (or added a COVID-19 training matrix) to include training on procedures and protocols as well as COVID-19 awareness training.
☐ Posted occupancy limit signage throughout our workplace(s).
☐ Conducted an updated orientation with our contractors to address COVID-19.
☐ Chosen the use of virtual meeting tools and/or phone calls in lieu of in-person meetings or training sessions, whenever possible. However, all required control measures, such as physical distancing, must be in place if communication or training must take place in person.
☐ Chosen the use of alternate method(s) of recordkeeping for training
☐ Trained supervisors on monitoring workers and enforcing policies/procedures/protocols.
☐ Trained workers on the proper use, care, maintenance and disposal of personal protective equipment they now require.
STEP 5 Monitor our workplace and update our plans as needed
As the pandemic situation changes, we are doing the following to monitor changes in our operations and workplace(s) to ensure that control measures are effectively providing the expected level of protection and prevention.
☐ Workers are aware of how to report workplace hazards.
☐ Workers are aware of how to report symptoms of COVID-19.
☐ We review all workplace inspections to check for new areas/jobs/tasks of concern.
☐ We audit our cleaning and hygiene practices and protocols.
☐ We have established a corrective action process (i.e. corrective action log or other method
to monitor the completion of corrective actions).
☐ We consult with our Joint Health and Safety Committee or Worker Health and Safety Representative.
☐ We update our policies/procedures/protocols accordingly.
☐ We re-assess communication and training needs accordingly.
STEP 6 Assess and address risks from resuming operations or getting back to normal
For areas within our operations or workplace that have not been operating normally during this pandemic and would now be re-started or re-occupied, we have completed the following:
☐ Reviewed our existing risk assessments for the jobs and areas affected. We have considered the effects of the control measures discussed in this Plan on existing safeguards and controls, and revised our risk assessments accordingly.
☐ Consulted with our Joint Health and Safety Committee or Worker Health and Safety Representative.
☐ Ensured all work areas have been inspected before resuming operations, if applicable.
☐ Re-assessed and implemented occupational first aid requirements accordingly.
☐ Updated and communicated emergency response plans.
☐ Re-assessed communication and training needs accordingly.
☐ Communicated plans to workers before they return.
☐ Updated our new and young worker orientation process and conducted orientations as needed.