Covid-19 Safety Plan ETHELFOX GROUP
On December 21 2020 it was announced that a provincial wide lockdown will again be in effect beginning on December 26 see ontario-shutdown-details. Businesses permitted to remain open during the lockdown includes property maintenance, construction and landscaping (See O. Reg. 82/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN STAGE 1 – s 15, s 35 and s 43). Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), EthelFox Group has the responsibility to keep workers and work sites safe and free of all hazards including the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The policies outlined below are for all EthelFox Group employees and describes best practices for construction site health and safety during COVID-19. However, if at anytime you feel unsafe, you always have the right to refuse work. Our primary concern is your health and safety. If work is to proceed, it must be conducted in a manner that minimizes possible exposure to COVID-19 and leaves employees feeling safe on all EthelFox Group worksites. If you have any concerns or suggestions on how to make our workplace safer or suggestions on how to reduce risk of exposure to covid-19, please contact Brittany Bruno or Natasha Fergusen.
If health and safety concerns are not resolved internally, a worker can seek enforcement by filing a complaint with the ministry’s Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.
The COVID-19 policies described herein must be made available to anyone upon request.
On-Site Best Practices
All measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be done in compliance with requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 and public health directives issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
To prevent the spread of germs on worksites, all employees will:
- Practise social distancing (maintain 6 ft of space from anyone including other employees, clients and members of the public) or wear a face mask if social distancing is not possible.
- Always wear a mask when while indoors
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if they are sick or display any flu symptoms.
- Avoid high-touch areas with bare hands (like door handles, light switches) where possible, or wash/sanitize hands after.
- Where possible, wear gloves when interacting with high-touch areas. Do not touch your face with gloved hands. Take care when removing gloves. Ensure you wash/sanitize your hands frequently.
- Use tools which are dedicated only to themselves when-ever possible or wear gloves when handling shared tools
- Avoid carpooling and wear a mask or make use of plastic shields if carpooling is unavoidable.
- Avoid handling a client’s personal property. If a work site is populated by a client’s personal items please ask the client to move them out of the way.
Covid-19 Safety Plan ETHELFOX GROUP
- Ask for permission to use a client’s washroom and wash hands upon entry and exit. Clients are under no obligation to let employees use their washrooms. Supervisors will ensure that employees will have access to washrooms.
- Avoid accepting food from clients. Employees must bring sufficient food and water from home.
- Leave jobsite immediately after their shift ends. Do not loiter on jobsites.
- Wash clothing frequently and maintain good personal hygiene
The symptoms of covid-19 are similar to many other illnesses, including the cold and flu. This means it can be difficult to distinguish covid-19 from the common cold. To protect you, your fellow workers and our clients we need to err on the side of caution when any cold or flu symptom presents. If you develop any ONE of the following symptoms, then you are not permitted to come into work: fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or a runny nose.
If any symptoms present while at work, then notify your supervisor and separate yourself from others, pack up your personal items and leave the jobsite as soon as possible. If symptoms present while at home, notify your supervisor by phone or text and stay home even if you get no response.
If you have no symptoms but discover that you have come into close contact (within 6 ft with no mask for a prolonged period of time) with an individual who has tested positive for covid-19, then notify your supervisor and separate yourself from others, pack up your personal items and leave the jobsite as soon as possible. If you discover this while at home, notify your supervisor by phone or text and stay home even if you get no response.
What you do next: The next step after developing a symptom or discovering that you have come into contact with a confirmed covid-19 case is to complete the government of Ontario’s online self-assessment: and follow the recommended course of action. If the self assessment indicates that you need to get a covid-19 test, then please book your appointment at an appropriate location and begin preparing a list of names of all people and pets that you came in close contact with without wearing a mask while you were at work. If you don’t know their names write a brief description of them and the date and location you came in close contact with them. You are not expected to contact any of these people, nor do you need to provide this list to your supervisor at this moment but it is a good idea to write these names down while your memory is fresh. It may take a couple days to get an appointment for a test and as many as 4 days to get your results back. If you are confirmed to have covid-19, then you need to let your supervisor know as soon as possible and provide them with your list of names. They will take care of notifying the people on the list.
What we do next: After you first notify your supervisor that you could have contracted covid-19, all other employees will be relocated away from the areas you have been working in. You supervisor will, herself, don the appropriate PPE and sterilize the worksite and any tools that you used and ensure that the site is clean and safe before work continues. She will inform other employees of potential exposure only if they have been working in the same area as you and will maintain your confidentiality if possible. If you test positive for covid-19, then she will alert all individuals on your list of your status.
Returning to work
Employees who have a flu symptom but test negative for covid-19 may return to work as soon as flu symptoms have resolved. If you have a negative test result but show up to work visibly ill, then your supervisor may ask you to leave. Just because you tested negative, it does not guarantee that you don’t have covid-19. The test does produce some false negatives. False negatives are especially likely in individuals who get tested soon after contracting the virus. If you are coughing profusely, then you may be unwittingly projecting covid-19 virus into the air and onto surfaces.
Employees who came in close contact with an individual confirmed to have covid-19 but have no symptoms may return to work if their test results come back negative.
Employees who have tested positive or who decide not to get tested can return to work 14 days after symptoms present provided that all flu symptoms are gone. If you have quarantined for 14 days but show up to work visibly ill, your supervisor may ask you to leave.
Employees travelling from other countries may return to work after 14 days of quarantine.
Whenever possible, work will be scheduled so that no more employees than necessary will be at a jobsite at the same time. This is to help employees maintain physical distancing. Additionally, we will try to schedule longer project timelines for the smaller jobsites. For example, a bathroom reno which would normally be scheduled as 3 people over 2 weeks will now be scheduled as 2 people over 3 weeks.