Medical Partners

COVID-19 Protocols For Workplace Safety

Workplace Safety & Prevention Services has implemented guidelines with regards to protecting the health and safety of Ontario's workplaces during COVID-19. These are recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthy workplace.

No Wait Medical Partners focuses on the need to follow appropriate guidelines during work shifts and while at home.


General Responsibilities



Assess the hazards to which your staff, workers, and visitors may be exposed; evaluate the risk of exposure and select, implement, and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure. Follow local public health for location specific instructions.


1. Implement Basic Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Measures



-Hand Hygiene


  • Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including providing employees and customers with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, foam alcohol-based hand rubs containing 60-90% alcohol should be provided. Regular hand washing or using of alcohol-based hand rubs are necessary. Hands should be washed when they are visibly soiled and after removing any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).


  • Provide resources and environment that promotes personal hygiene, including tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, disinfectants, and disposable towels to clean surfaces. Post hand washing signs in restrooms. Ensure clean toilet and hand washing facilities. Fill hand sanitizer dispensers regularly. Disinfect frequently touched items, including door pulls and toilet seats often.


-Respiratory Etiquette


  • The importance of covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue should be emphasized. Afterwards, throw the tissue away into the trash and perform hand hygiene.


  • Avoid touching the face, especially with unwashed hands.


-Source Control


  • Staff, patients, and visitors should wear non-medical masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus, though it is not PPE. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2 years old, anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without help, and people who cannot tolerate them based on underlying health and/or behavioral issues. Ontario's universal masking document explains the safe use, limitation, and care of non-medical masks.


-Enhanced Sanitation


  • Maintain regular housekeeping practices, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the environment. When cleaning tools and equipment, staff should consult manufacturer recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, PPE).


  • Develop a disinfection schedule or routine plan, especially for high contact areas like restrooms. Ensure sufficient stocks of cleaning and disinfecting supplies to accommodate ongoing cleaning and disinfection. High touch areas should be cleaned and disinfected (e.g. doorknobs, display cases, equipment handles) more frequently. Plexiglass barriers should be cleaned routinely (e.g. daily) using a cleaning agent that will not compromise the structural integrity or function of the barrier.

Donation

2. Hazard Controls



  • Elimination/Substitution


    • When feasible, replace in person visits with virtual or telephone ones to avoid face-to-face interaction; prevent unnecessary visits.


    • Offer contactless payment options such as e-transfer, tap, credit and debit. If using a debit machine, sanitize after each use or use a replaceable covering.


  • Engineering/System Controls


    • Space out waiting room chairs to facilitate physical distancing.


    • Install partition barriers such as plexiglass when physical distancing is not an option.


  • Administrative Controls


    • Limit sharing of tools and ensure tools are more frequently cleaned and disinfected. If possible, assign each worker their own set of tools.


    • Limit sharing of tools and ensure tools are more frequently cleaned and disinfected. If possible, assign each worker their own set of tools.


    • Stagger shifts and break times to allow for physical distancing and more cleaning time. Minimize the need for waiting by spreading out appointment times, and/or ask the clients to wait in their car.


    • Minimize traffic flow in common spaces (e.g. hallway markers, limit number of people in elevators).


    • Gather outside if appropriate. Improve circulation inside by opening windows and doors.


    • Increase the frequency of commonly touched surfaces. Remove nonessential frequently touched items (i.e., books, service menus, pens).


  • PPE


    • PPE can be used by trained personnel to lower the risk of transmission as a last option if other controls are not sufficient.


3. Screening



  • Everyone regardless of symptoms should wear a cloth face covering at check in until leaving the facility.


  • Post screening information on a website, send an email containing screening requirements, or consider mailing by post if the client does not have access to the other methods.


  • Active Screening


    • Before entering the treatment are, facilities should identify individuals with fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19. This guidance document for screening patients contains symptoms and risk factors.


    • Screeners should be behind an engineering barrier such as a plexiglass screen. If that is not possible, they should maintain a 2 metre distance from the person they are screening and wear droplet/contact precaution PPE such as gloves, gown, surgical mask, and eye protection.


    • For clients, conduct active screening over the telephone when possible. Report to the local public health unit if the client has symptoms or health history compatible with COVID-19.


  • Passive Screening


    • Post signage for passive screening at entry points for people to self-identify if they screen positive.


4. Testing



More instructions can be found at the COVID-19 Provincial Testing Guidance Update.


  • Symptomatic


    • When ever symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are present, a test is recommended.


  • Asymptomatic and Risk Based


    • Should be done when the person is in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, is part of an outbreak investigation.


No Wait Medical Partners enables safe and timely triage, antibody testing, monitoring, contact tracking and containment of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive employees. No Wait Medical Partners contributes to limiting exposure and risk management and enables contact tracing for suspected COVID-19 positive employees.

5. Support for Employees



  • Mental health support should be provided to all employees, including access to an employee (and family) assistance program (EAP/EFAP) if available. Additional comping resources include the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Canadian Mental Health Association. Emergency communications plans should be developed, including a forum for answering employees' concerns and internet-based communications, if feasible. Other support factors to consider include parenting, meals, and non-punitive sick policies.


No Wait Medical could help retail business find a third-party mental health provider upon request.


6. Education



-General Education

  • Post signs covering social distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette.


-Staff Training

  • Training should be conducted in languages spoken by workers.


  • Staff should be trained on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 with an explanation of how the disease is potentially spread, including the fact that infected people can spread the


  • Provide staff with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective behaviors (e.g., cough etiquette, proper hygiene practices, and care of PPE).


  • Train staff who need to use protecting clothing and equipment, and on how to examine it, put it on, use/wear it, and take it off correctly, within the context of their current and potential duties. Content should emphasize having clean hands before facial contact. Training should be conducted virtually or maintain social distancing.


  • Emphasis should be placed on the need for staff to report any safety and health concerns.


7. Absenteeism



  • Flexible sick leave policies should allow staff to stay at home in the event of sickness, possible exposure, or caring for someone who is sick. Evaluate whether the work duties can be done through telework.


  • Administration should inform and encourage staff to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure.


  • Staff who have symptoms should notify their supervisor and be encouraged to stay home, and a note from their healthcare provider does not need to be provided in order to validate illness, or their ability to return to work. Sick leave policies should be flexible and consistent with public health guidance and with No Wait Medical Partners, and employees should be made aware of these policies. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with No Wait Medical Partners. Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting employees and customers.


  • Staff who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and consult with No Wait Medical Partners regarding the mandatory precautions. Policies should permit employees to stay home to care for sick family members, including sick children or children who are in schools or day care centers that have been closed, or who have immunocompromised family members, and are afraid to come to work because of fear of possible exposure. Staff concerns about pay, leave, safety, health, and other issues that may arise during infectious disease outbreaks should be addressed, and employers are encouraged to work with insurance companies (e.g., those providing employee health benefits) and state and local health agencies to provide information to staff and families about medical care in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.


No Wait Medical Partners will provide daily follow up on employees who are self-isolating at home, and on what their expected return to work dates will be.


General Settings



A. Office and Administration



  • Create a written workplace safety plan. Update the business' external communications (social media, website, email, voicemail) to reflect changes in operations.


  • Minimize the number of people in the office by allowing people to work from home if job duties permit. Reschedule unessential visits to the workplace. Manage customers by using virtual booking methods and limiting walk ins.


  • Sanitize frequently touched surfaces and have supplies and waste receptacles readily available for sanitizing workstations. Emphasize hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette for workers.


  • Physical distancing should be maintained by repositioning workstations and chairs in waiting areas; install barriers and partitions. Close off areas so large gatherings may not be held.


  • Screen workers, customers, and staff for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Implement a procedure if someone screens positive. The person who develops symptoms should be kept away from others.


  • Communicate through signage the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, as well as the duty to self-isolate if one has them. Remind workers that mental health support is available.


B. Home Cleaning and Maintenance Services



  • Customers/Clients should be asked to wear non-medical masks to protect others around them.


  • Physical distance 2 meters away from clients during interactions and reduce the number of interactions necessary. Avoid doing tasks in the same room if working with others.


  • Equipment or tools should be assigned to one employee if feasible. If not, clean and disinfect equipment before taking to the next site. If using a client's equipment, clean before and after use. Minimize contamination by emptying vacuum canisters, changing filters, etc.


  • Disturbance to dust and particulates should be reduced by vacuuming instead of sweeping and using wet wipes instead of dry wipes. Avoid shaking soiled linens and launder items using warmest appropriate water.


  • Clean visibly dirty items with soap and water before disinfection with appropriate materials.


  • Circulation can be improved with open doors and windows and maintaining the home air handling system.


C. Manufacturing



Manufacturing

COVID-19 Guidlines

Click here


Watch Video: Food Processing


D. Warehouse Workers, Forklift Operators & Material Handlers



  • OHSA: Ensure workers know their rights as outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and report their concerns to their supervisor, joint health and safety committee, or health and safety representative.


  • Hazard controls: Assess risks and recognize hazards to minimize avenues of exposure for workers will lead to a safter work environment. Create a written COVID-19 safety plan. Implement hazard controls such as staggering schedules, increasing frequency of cleaning, restricting entry to employees, screening, physical distancing, limiting entry points, improving circulation.


  • Education: Workers should be educated on signs and symptoms of COVID-19.


  • PPE: Relevant personal protective equipment:


    • Gloves can be used to limit contact with some surfaces or products. Evaluate if gloves present an entanglement hazard in the workplace.


    • Goggles/face shield can be assigned to individuals as a barrier that can be cleaned and reused.


  • Screen: Do not allow people with symptoms to enter the facility. Use screening tools before staff enter the workplace.


E. Vehicle Sales and Service



  • Create a written workplace safety plan. Update the business' external communications (i.e., social media, website, email, voicemail) to reflect changes in operations.


  • Minimize the number of people in the office by allowing people to work from home if job duties permit. Reschedule unessential visits to the workplace. Manage customers by using virtual booking methods and limiting walk ins. Remove restrictions and penalties for cancellations to encourage clients to stay home if they are ill.


  • Sanitize frequently touched surfaces (i.e., workstations, registers, equipment) and have supplies and waste receptacles readily available for sanitizing. Upon entry, have hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for client use. Clean visibly soiled surfaced with soap and water prior to disinfection. Disinfect used surfaces before and after each customer interaction.


  • Vehicles used for work should have limited sharing. If they are being shared, increase the frequency of vehicle interior and exteriors with a focus on frequently touched areas (i.e., door handles, frames, keys, seatbelt buckles, steering wheel, signal levelers, gearshift, radio controls). Tools that have longer reach and attachments can be used for sanitizing the outside of a vehicle for detailing. PPE can be used as a last resort; ensure workers are trained in donning, doffing, and safe use of PPE.


  • Hand hygiene should be facilitated by providing curbside delivery staff with hand sanitizer. Post signage encouraging workers and visitors to wash their hands. Post signage encouraging cough and sneeze etiquette.


  • Physical distancing should be maintained by repositioning and removing chairs in waiting areas; install barriers and partitions. Close off areas so large gatherings may not be held. Restrict waiting areas inside the business to customers only.


  • Screen workers, customers, and staff for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. Implement a procedure if someone screens positive. The person who develops symptoms should be kept away from others. Encourage workers to monitor their own symptoms and direct them to assessment tools.


  • Communicate through signage the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, as well as the duty to self-isolate if one has them. Remind workers that mental health support is available.


Toronto Personal Service Settings



  • Hand hygiene: Provide hand sanitizer with 70% to 90% alcohol concentration. Use alcohol-based hand rub after each cash transaction.


  • Face Coverings and PPE: Educate staff on the use of nonmedical masks or face coverings, which is required under Toronto bylaw unless they are in an enclosed area not accessible by the public.


    • Non-medical masks are not considered PPE. If providing services to a client who is exempt from wearing a mask or having a service provided on the face, staff must use PPE. Services tending to the customer's face (i.e., facials, facial hair grooming, eyebrow grooming, waxing, threading, eyelash grooming and treatments, makeup, microblading, micro needling) are now permitted.


    • Eye protection should be labelled and assigned to a single staff member.


    • Face shields are not a replacement for masks or face coverings.


    • Gloves should be changed between tasks and clients, at a minimum. Use new gloves after taking old ones off and perform hand hygiene before and after taking off gloves.


  • Clients: Schedule appointments over telephone or an online booking service; ensure there is enough time between clients to thoroughly clean and disinfect workstations. Post signage for clients to book instead of walking in. Encourage clients to not bring guests to minimize the amount of people in the facility.


  • Record: Keep a protected record containing voluntary client and contact information for contact tracing. Shred records after 30 days. Encourage clients and staff to download the COVID Alert app.


  • Hazard Controls: Distance workstations 2 meters apart and have alcohol-based hand rubs of a 70% or greater alcohol concentration at each one. Remove unnecessary items such as magazines, brochures, and decor. Use single-use items and discard after when possible. Food and beverages are not permitted in client areas.


  • Cleaning and Disinfection: Clean workstations with soap and water before disinfecting. Dispose of single use covers immediately after use. Clean and disinfect client contact surfaces between clients. Washrooms and high touch surfaces (i.e., phones, computers, registers, door handles) should be cleaned and disinfected twice a day or more.


A. Body Rub Parlours & Holistic Centres



Body rub parlours and holistic centres can open if the following conditions are met.


  • Face coverings must always be worn by patrons when receiving personal care services, unless they are exempt or receiving services to the face. Personnel providing personal care services must wear appropriate PPE.


  • Locker rooms, change rooms, and showers must be closed except for their use in equipment storage, washroom, or first aid.


  • Baths, hot tubs, floating pods, or sensory deprivation pods must be closed unless prescribed by or administered by a regulated health professional for therapeutic use.


  • Steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools, and bathhouses must be closed. Oxygen bars must be closed.


B. Hair Salons & Barber Shops



  • Masks and Face Coverings


    • Should always be worn by both staff and clients. Hair dryers may only be used when both staff and clients are wearing masks or face coverings.


    • Use PPE such as a surgical/medical mask and eye protection when providing services to a clientunable to wear a mask or when providing services to a client's face.


  • Laundering


    • Launder protective covers used over clothing after each shift.


    • Place used towels in laundry bin.


    • Launder used caps/gowns with detergent and dry completely after each use.


    • Store clean items in covered containers or closed cabinets.


  • Clean and Disinfect


    • Use disinfectant products according to manufacturer instructions.


    • Use clean towels to remove cut hair instead of brushes, which are not permitted. Seep floors gently throughout the day and use a wet mop at the end of the day.


    • Basins, hoses, spray nozzles, facet handles, shampoo chairs, shampoo bottles, arm rests between clients. Cover basin areas where client rests their neck with a clean towel or disposable plastic


Personal Grooming Services in Long-Term Care & Retirement Homes


  • Screen before entering the facility.


  • Before the arrival of each client, pour the required amount of shampoo and/or conditioner in a small disposable container (i.e., medication cup). Discard unused portions. Clients are not allowed to bring their own products onto premises.


  • Suspend services during outbreak; do not enter premises.


C. Nails & Aesthetic Services



  • Manicures: Have clients wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub before a manicure. Clients should not touch retail supplies (i.e., nail polish). Hand and foot massages are not recommended. Clean and allow nail dryers time to be disinfected according to manufacturer instructions.


  • Masks: Clients should wear masks during their service.


  • Launder: Launder protective covers used over clothing after each shift. Launder towels after each client.


D. Tattooing & Body Piercing



  • Clients should refrain from bringing guests unless the guests also have appointments.


  • Clients should not be permitted to handle retail items (i.e., stencils, ink, jewelry).


Employee Guidelines



  • Workplace Safety & Prevention Services has implemented guidelines on how individuals can protect themselves and their co-workers from COVID-19. Employees are encouraged to forward any questions or concerns that they may have to No Wait Medical Partners.


Protecting Yourself and Others



  • -Hand Hygiene


  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or if soap and water are not immediately available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% to 90% alcohol and rubbing hands until they are dry. Avoid touching your face.
    COVID-19 Guidlines

    Click here


-Respirator Etiquette


  • Follow the proper guidelines for covering coughs and sneezing (i.e., sneezing or coughing into a tissue or into the upper sleeve). Always wear a face mask while in the workplace, and the mask should cover your nose and mouth. Learn how to properly put on, use/wear, and take off protective clothing and equipment.


  • If possible, wear cloth face coverings protect others in case the wearer is unknowingly infected. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on babies and children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, or anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without help. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for N95 respirators or facemasks for HCWs.


-Social Distancing


  • Maintain 2 metres of social distancing as work duties permit, and avoid physical contact with others, including other staff and patients.


  • Use alternatives ways to shake hands upon entry, and it is important to not touch your face (i.e., mouth, nose, eyes).


  • Drive to facilities or parking areas individually; when possible, an avoid having passengers.


What should I do if I become ill?



  • Notify your supervisor and No Wait Medical Partners immediately.


Resources:

Below are some resources on government approved guidelines around proper hygiene and cleaning practices, and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for COVID-19.


Environmental Cleaning


Infection Prevention and Control


Self-Isolation


Mental Health Support


Non-medical Masks


COVID-19 Guidance: Personal Service Settings (City of Toronto guidelines)


COVID-19 pandemic guidance for the health care sector (Government of Canada guidelines)


Manufacturing: Guidance for Health and Safety (MLTSD guidelines)


Workplace Safety & Prevention Services Guidance on Health and Safety for Equipment Operators and General Labourers during COVID-19 (WSPS guidelines)


COVID-19 Workplace Safety & Prevention Services Guidance on Health and Safety for Office Sector during COVID-19. (WSPS guidelines)


Workplace Safety & Prevention Services Guidance Health and Safety for Office Administration and Secretarial Staff during COVID-19 (WSPS guidelines)


Workplace Safety & Prevention Services Guidance Health and Safety for Vehicle Sales and Service Sector during COVID-19 (WSPS guidelines)


Workplace Safety & Prevention Services Guidance Health and Safety for Service Managers, Service Technicians and other Vehicle Sales and Service Employees during COVID-19 (WSPS guidelines)