This week we want to discuss a few pro tips on how to remain safe on a worksite! A typical worksite already has so many existing safety precautions in place, but it is important to have a set list of COVID-19 safety protocols as well.
Although health and safety should always be at the forefront of everyone’s mind, it is especially important now with the increased risk in contracting an illness through interaction. Any labour position on an active site involves a lot of, well, labour!
By using your hands and collaborating with your team throughout the day, it is crucial you follow safety protocols and procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect both yourself and your colleagues.
Wear your mask
Plain and simple, make sure to bring your mask everywhere you go and wear it in all public environments (not just work). This will effectively limit the germs you spread, as well as protect yourself from others. Invest in one or two reusable masks that you are comfortable wearing for long durations and use them for work only. By doing so, you will be limiting work exposures to your home life, as well as remaining prepared for work and never without protection.
Clean on-site practices
- Wash your hands before entering work, throughout work, and before you leave
- an extra precaution would be to carry a virus killing hand sanitizer to use as well
- Avoid high touch areas such as door handles, shared tools, and kitchen equipment
- now is a good time to splurge and invest in personal tools or reusable coffee mugs and lunch containers to avoid cross contamination
- Do not touch your face, as the virus can be easily transmitted though your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Do your research and determine how you can support a clean site
As outlined by health officials and vocalized frequently, physical distancing is one of the most effective ways to ensure your safety! Be sure to apply this to work practices when possible and wear your mask while doing so. To ensure physical distancing on site, you should:
- Remain 6 metres away from others where possible
- Avoid common areas such site offices, bathrooms, and smoking areas while others are using them
- Avoid confined common areas such as elevators, stairways, and trailers while others are using them
- Follow all signs and safety protocols in place to support your company in creating a safe environment
Monitor and report all illnesses
COVID-19 portrays similar symptoms to our common flu. No matter how small your symptom, be kind to yourself and others and report it to your supervisors and follow medical instructions to self isolate and recover before re-entering your work environment. Symptoms can include (but are not limited to):
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Chest pain/pressure
- Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing
Report all concerns to your employers
Whether you are feeling slightly under the weather, are concerned about site safety protocols, or uncomfortable with other individuals’ actions that may be contributing to unsafe work practices, we encourage you to inform your management team as soon as possible.
A few places to go are:
- Site supervisors
- The joint health and safety committee
- The health and safety representative
- The human resources department
As an employee you have the right to refuse unsafe work and should never engage in work duties you know are a danger to yourself as well as others around you. Please reference the link below if you would like to familiarize yourself with this code of conduct.
We also want to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients and employees who have not stopped since March and continue to go to work, keep both themselves and their colleagues safe, and are working hard (often as essential workers) through this pandemic.
We truly appreciate all the work that goes into showing up onsite on time, in good health and ready to take on the added safety measures in place.
The entire Career Contacts team appreciate each and every one of our clients and employees.
At Career Contacts, we often write blogs based on the conversations we are having with hiring managers and candidates.
Top of mind for candidates going back into the office lately is around how to ensure they are keeping safe (and leadership is looking to ensure they are doing their part too).
This week, we wanted to share our top 5 most rewarding ways to stay safe in your office environment during the pandemic. Although they may seem like easy things to do, they hold a much deeper value than people may assume.
Remember to PLEASE stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how small!
This is by far the most important step when practicing safe living during this time. This will effectively flatten the curve as well as not only protect you, your loved ones and your bubble, but it also protects all those you may encounter! Think of it as you actively protecting so many people by simply being cautious. No matter how small or insignificant your symptoms may be, it is safer for us all if you stay home. Be sure to express your concern to your employer and bubble, and proceed to dedicate a few days to your health! In BC, we are fortunate to have easy access to testing should your medical advisor suggest it, we recommend taking their recommendations seriously. Get your necessary essentials delivered or dropped off by a member of your bubble and take your few days of quarantine with a peace of mind. After the lockdown, most roles are finding ways to function from home. If this isn’t possible, this is what sick days are for.
Splurge on a mask you LOVE!
It’s true, masks really do prevent the spread of COVID-19! While masks may not have been a common essential in our past, they most certainly are now. They are now required in most, if not all stores and businesses, and without wearing one you are putting yourself and your bubble at risk of exposure. You are more likely to remember, use and enjoy your facemask if you dedicate 20 minutes to surfing the web to find a design, fabric, or function of mask that suits your personal needs. A handpicked mask is also a great opportunity to support brands you love and show a bit of personality in a way we haven’t utilized before. Kick the disposable masks to the curb and spend a little extra on one you are happy wearing regularly! Whether it be in the elevators, to the coffee shop, or even to a team meeting, be sure to bring your reusable mask to all personal and work efforts outside your home (this will also actively prevent more single use waste entering our oceans and landfills!).
PRO TIP: Don’t forget to handle your masks appropriately and wash them as needed.
(spotted: A few of our HR Consultants, Pam and Reena, staying safe while on site)
Remain tidy and distanced while in office
When entering your office environment, be sure to check for symptoms prior to arriving and don’t forget your mask! As COVID-19 protocols are in full swing, this is a time to develop new personal habits and reminders in efforts to reduce the spread. Once entering the office, you must remember to sanitize and be aware of your surroundings. For example, if a coworker is in the common spaces, you should not be. Be sure to communicate to your co-workers that the friendliest thing they can do when communicating with you is ensuring their distance and practicing safe living at (and outside of) work. When communicating, be sure to emphasize your gratitude and be kind – these are hard times for everyone. In regard to your workspace, have your belongings close to you and away from others to avoid cross contaminating as well as have disinfectant wipes available nearby for all your equipment and materials for end of day sanitization.
PRO TIP: Minimize the materials and things you have surrounding you is a great way to eliminate potential contamination; it can reduce clutter which fosters organization and ultimately leaves you with more space and less stress!
Keep your bubble small and well connected
Your bubble; your people! These are your cheerleaders, loved ones and best friends. They are your chosen support system, and you are theirs. As this is an uncertain time for everyone in the world right now, it’s important that we each do our part to support one another the best way we can; through distancing. With fall, winter, and flu season in view, it is especially important to be practicing safe living. When organizing your bubble, it is important to remember that every individual, family, and household will be under different circumstances. For the people you live with such as immediate family, a partner or roommates, there is no need for any restrictions on physical contact.
When considering who you socialize with outside of your household, it is important to remember that the recommended size is six individuals per bubble. This is being called your “Safe Six” and means a group of six friends or extended family members that is consistently involved with one another. These individuals may breach the 2 meter physical distance however, no physical contact should be practiced to ensure safety to all parties. This is a great way to refocus on some people who hold a special place in your heart, or a guilt free excuse to minimize your surface level relationships and devote time to those you can count on for support throughout the pandemic.
Monitor your mental health
Last but certainly not least, please do not forget to monitor your mental health and advocate for yourself. COVID-19 has had an incredible impact on people worldwide and it is important to know you are not alone and there is support available to you from both your peers and the government. Be sure to indulge in some self-care, physical activity or a virtual happy hour with friends to ensure you are heard and supported in whichever way you may need. A hot bath, long walk and phone calls with loved ones can work wonders on your mindset! When creating your bubble it’s important to compile those you feel comfortable confiding in, so you may support one another when need be. It is okay to feel overwhelmed or anxious by the uncertainty the COVID-19 outbreak has created. It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and to take measures to support mental well-being.
Here are some resources that can assist with maintaining mental health in the workplace during this time.
If you are an employer interested in learning more about how to ensure your office is a safe space for employees, please reach out to us at email@example.com.