This is an update on COVID-19 related health and safety matters that Union representatives and Workplace Health and Safety committees are currently addressing.
Use of N95s
The Policy Health and Safety Committee is expecting guidance from Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada surrounding N95 re-use, cleaning and storage. Currently, each workplace is doing the best they can without any expert guidance, a situation that we hope to see rectified imminently.
‘Sani Clean’ lockers
The Southern Ontario Region has obtained sanitation equipment that you may want to have your Workplace Health and Safety Committees/Representatives explore. Here is a link to the type purchased there.
We are having significant success applying the following four health and safety principles to modified schedules across the country. Remember that Part 122.2 of the Canada Labour Code mandates the hierarchy of preventative measures. Proper scheduling allows for the reduction of exposure to this hazard.
- Have the least number of people possible on shift.
- Where possible, have days off work be scheduled consecutively to allow for greater self isolation.
- Try to limit overlapping shifts, so that members come in contact with the least number of coworkers possible.
- Where possible, have members consistently work with the same coworkers. This will help should any member test positive, and will assist the Public Health Agency in identifying close contact.
While EAP and mental health professionals are who members should turn to for help, CIU can play a positive role in addressing the loneliness and sense of disconnection that our members’ self isolation has created. Many Branches have already organized events and activities, and we encourage different locations to share ideas with one another on how to help members stay active, healthy and engaged.
As of April 20, we had 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 13 of whom have fully recovered. As we settle into the new ‘normal’ that this pandemic has created, unforeseeable challenges will continue to come up. Please reach out to your Branch President should you have any question or concern.