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Workplaces and COVID-19: Occupational Health and Safety Considerations for Reopening and Operating During the Pandemic

Introduction

Word writing text Covid 19 Tracking

Is your workplace preparing to reopen to staff? What processes does your organization have to protect employees during COVID-19?

CSA Group has published new research for organizations planning to reopen workplaces for their employees. This paper combines current recommendations and statistics (Part A) with an informative guide (Part B) to better equip managers, Human Resources, and Health, Safety & Environment departments to reopen in a way that helps protect staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Findings

Both Part A and Part B present up-to-date information in three key areas:

  • Domain I: Safer Operation of Building Systems During COVID-19
    Considerations for the physical environment including HVAC systems, water systems, faucet flow rate, and risks from legionnaires’ disease after long periods with no use.
  • Domain II: Workplace Organization During COVID-19
    Recommendations for assessing desk locations, sanitization stations, contact points, communal areas, and PPE.
  • Domain III: Supporting Workers to Increase Adherence to Workplace and Public Health Prevention Practices
    Information to support the psychological health and wellbeing of staff including building best-practices communication, working from home needs, and contact tracing.

Aims of the Study

This report combines the collective knowledge of numerous sectors with contributions and analysis from academia, government, healthcare and industry. Victoria Arrandale, Assistant Professor at Dalla Lana School of Public Health (University of Toronto) and Associate Director and Affiliated Scientist, Occupational Cancer Research Centre, Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) explains:

“This report provides practical, actionable advice for occupational health professionals, workplace and building managers and others with responsibility for addressing COVID-19 in workplaces. I am grateful for the support of CSA Group in helping to create this comprehensive report that will help support safer work environments in the COVID-19 era.” – Victoria Arrandale, PhD ROH

Specifically targeting HR and HSE managers, it is hoped that this research will provide employers with the resources and recommendation to safely close as well as reopen workplaces as their needs arise.

“CSA Group would like to thank the 70 expert volunteers from across Canada who were involved in reviewing and contributing to this report. With such a wide variety of stakeholders, we hope this report will become a key resource for organizations large and small planning to reopen at this time.” – Hélène Vaillancourt, P. Eng., Ph.D., Vice-President of Standards Research, CSA Group

Download the research report

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