Coronaviruses- are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.
COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can spread from person to person through close contact.
Occupational exposure- means reasonable anticipated harmful contact with a person that may have been infected with the virus due to coming into contact with a person that has just traveled from abroad or someone that is showing the common symptoms of the virus.
The most common symptoms include:
· Cough (dry)
Less common symptoms include:
· Aches & pains
· Sore throat
· Loss of taste or smell
· Rashes on skin or discoloration of fingers and toes
The most serious symptoms are:
· Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
· Chest pain or pressure
· Loss of speech or movement.
· In severe cases, infection can lead to death.
Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms. Always call before visiting your physician or health provider. It is preferable by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) to contact 811 for review and direction.
Transmission- exposure to COVID-19 can occur by:
· Breathing in droplets in the air that are generated when people cough, sneeze, speak loudly or yelling. It has been determined that the virus can be aerosol also. Meaning it can hang in the air and on surfaces longer than the usual flu virus.
· Close contact with other people (hugging, shaking hands or being shoulder to shoulder.) Maintain 6ft distance as often as possible.
· Touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face, mouth, or food. Good hygiene and cleaning practices need to be continuously maintained.
For now, there is no specific treatment for covid-19. Most people with minor illness will recover on their own. At this time there is no vaccine for covid-19. Your health care provider may recommend steps you can take to relieve symptoms.
Statement of Purpose
· SWC is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff. A combination of measures will be used to minimize worker exposure.
· The purpose of this plan is to build awareness in all workers of the occupational exposure anticipated in the field and the office.
· Reduce the spread of the virus within business operations.
· Continue with site-based construction operations.
· All employees must follow the procedures outlined in this plan to prevent or reduce the spread of covid-19.
Statement of responsibilities
· Southwest Contracting will help assist in keeping supervisors and workers informed on new developments with Covid-19.
· All supervisors/foremen to educate their workers on hand hygiene, workplace cleaning and other precautions to reducing the spread of the virus.
· Before work begins each day, all workers should exercise vigilance and take immediate action to ensure the health and safety of their fellow workers. This includes the MANDATORY Daily COVID screening form on SiteMax.
· If you become ill with symptoms listed above, isolate yourself within the home as quickly as possible and inform your supervisor. You must also directly contact SWC H&S Manager for instruction and direction.
· Contact your health care provider or public health authority. Call ahead or tell them on arrival that you have a respiratory illness. You will be requested to wear a mask while you wait.
· Tell them your symptoms and travel history. Let them know whether you have had direct contact with a sick person, especially if they have the symptoms listed.
· Coronavirus infections are diagnosed by health care providers based on symptoms and are confirmed through laboratory tests.
Risk identification, assessment and control:
While coronaviruses are a respiratory illness, these infections are not the same as those that cause the flu. If you have received a flu shot this season, it will not protect you from coronavirus.
Masks are our best means of protecting not only ourselves but those around us. Masks are now deemed mandatory in many areas; public transit, grocery stores just to name a few.
Promote good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. It is recommended that you wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching your face and use a tissue or your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
Social distancing refers to conducting meetings in open aired spaces, training should be done online and avoiding face to face discussions whenever feasible. Maintain a distance of 6 feet whenever possible. If you are required to be in close proximity to execute a specific task, wear a mask and minimize the time in close proximity. As soon as the task is completed, resume a safe work distance.
Regular cleaning and disinfecting of high touch (frequently touched) surfaces. This includes laptops, keyboards, door hardware, shared tools or equipment. This can be done with Lysol wipes or the like. You can also use a chlorine/bleach solution of 1part bleach to 9parts water in a spray bottle.
Wear gloves while working in the field at all times.
Hand sanitizer is an alternative option to hand washing. Hand washing is the preferred method of control.
Do not share foods, drinks, utensils etc.
As in most countries in the Northern Hemisphere, the anticipated winter wave of COVID-19 cases has arrived in our region. We must work together with an even higher level of care to keep our families healthy, our colleagues healthy and protect our jobs and our business. We at SWC have done an impressive job thus far, and we feel confident that we have the right attitude, training and resources to succeed. We made it through the first wave of COVID 19.