Alberta Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) incident monitoring shows an increase in COVID-19 exposure with the failure of controls in workplace common areas.
What can you do?
Have your safety representative conduct a hazard assessment and control to consider things like:
When a hazard cannot be eliminated, it needs to be controlled.
Be sure to follow the standardized hierarchy of controls that must be followed:
1. first choice – engineering controls (e.g. plexiglass barriers) 2. second choice – administrative controls (e.g. staggering break times) 3. third choice – personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g. gloves, face shields, respirators).
Don't forget, all employers need to have procedures for rapid response if or when workers show symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
Are you and your business compliant?
Mandatory restriction – Effective Nov. 27
Businesses that are closed for in-person service include:
We can help protect you and your business with simple measures to ensure you are comlying with government regulation and standards. OH&S officers are now doing random checks on compliance, so you need to be prepared to show you are doing your part to combat COVID-19 and adhering to the rules.
Masks becoming mandatory...
Stay up-to-date on what you and your business can do to stay safe, and ensure compliance with the recommended best-practices from the Province of Alberta.
COVID-19 can be spread by infected individuals who have not yet, or who may never develop symptoms. Masks, including homemade cloth masks or non-medical face masks, are another way to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 in areas where physical distancing (2 metres distance between individuals) may be challenging or not possible.
For more information, follow the link:
COVID-19 information:guidance for wearing non-medical masks
Simply put, working alone is defined by CCOHS as, "when they are on their own; when they cannot be seen or heard by another person."
While working alone isn't always a problem, it can be when high risk activities are being completed. This includes:
For more information visit:
6 Important Tips to Stay Safe When Working Alone
Legislation and construction regulations require that almost every business have a ladder policy in place. The policy should cover: inspection; repair, and disposal.
If you choose to use a ladder at work, you should do a risk assessment for ladder safety. There is a lot of information available on ladder safety, and it is a serious issue and cause of workplace accidents, and even deaths.
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has a thorough muli-module review of all facets of ladder safety, which you can access through the link below (click on the CCOHS badge below).
Do | Don't...
Here is a very helpful overview of basic ladder safety. Every employee who uses ladders should be very familiar with ladder safety, and every employer has a duty to review and discuss workplace ladder safety with their employees.
Effective housekeeping is an excellent form of 'control' and/or it can single-handily eliminate workplace hazards.
Effective housekeeping is an ongoing operation: it is not a one-time or hit-and-miss cleanup done occasionally. Periodic "panic" cleanups are costly and ineffective in reducing incidents.
Poor housekeeping practices frequently contribute to incidents. If the sight of paper, debris, clutter and spills is accepted as normal, then other more serious hazards may be taken for granted.
What is the purpose of workplace housekeeping?Effective housekeeping results in:
The COVID-19 Virus has made housekeeping more important than ever. Every employer and safety manager should have a COVID-19 housekeeping checklist, with a risk and hazard assessment done, and proper controls put into place to ensure best practices are followed.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is used as temporary (until more effective hazard control techniques can be used) or last line of protection for workers against hazards (source: CCOHS)
Always remember, the PPE you use will depend on the work environment, the work conditions, and the process being performed.
PPE does not reduce the workplace hazard nor does it guarantee permanent or total protection for the wearer. Simply having Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available is NOT enough. In order to ensure the required level of protection:
PPE Evaluation | 'Hierarchy of Control'
The priority should be to follow the “hierarchy of control” including:
elimination, substitution, or engineering control(s) of hazards at their source or along the path between the source and the worker.
Many methods are available, and those most appropriate to the specific situation should be used.
When the hazard cannot be removed or controlled adequately, personal protective equipment (PPE) may be used.
Remember! PPE is considered as the last level of protection when all other methods are not available or possible. For more information, see the OSH Answers document Hazard Control for information on a hazard control program.
The purpose of this safety meeting is to highlights everyday hazards in an office setting, and to ensure we are all aware of how to control and manage existing hazards in our everyday work space.
How many safety issues can you spot?
Did you know?