COVID-19 safety checklist for workplaces
Employers can use this checklist to make sure they have considered key elements in their COVID‑19 workplace safety plan to help protect workers, customers and the general public.
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Eliminate or reduce contacts
In-person interactions should be reduced as much as possible
- Require work from home for all tasks that can be done remotely.
- Operate virtually, including client services.
- Set up processes for contactless transfer of items where possible, including during curbside pickup and delivery.
Keep people who are infected or exposed out of the workplace
- Put a screening process in place using the tool(s) appropriate for your organization, such as:
- Be prepared for when workers must self-isolate and plan for how you will:
Decrease the risk when contacts are necessary
Wearing masks can help to protect the person wearing the mask as well as those around them.
- Have all workers wear masks that provide source control at all times indoors.
- Ensure workers wear appropriate COVID‑19 personal protective equipment (PPE) for all tasks where the worker is or may be within two metres of an improperly or unmasked person.
- Provide instruction and supervision to ensure all workers wear masks properly and consistently.
- Select appropriate masks for your workers.
- Ensure clients/patrons/public wear masks properly and consistently.
- Consider providing or selling masks to those who don’t have one.
- Instruct supervisors on how to ensure regular and proper masking.
- Provide service in alternative ways to customers who cannot wear a mask.
Ensure physical distancing can be maintained
Maintaining physical distance reduces the chance of being exposed to respiratory droplets of all sizes
- Limit the number of people in the space.
- Schedule tasks, shifts and breaks to reduce the number of people sharing the same spaces and how long they are there.
- Free up more space where needed by using and repurposing all available indoor and outdoor areas at your facility.
- Rearrange or remove furniture and fixtures and assign workstations such that people are at least two metres apart from each other.
- Place floor markings to help people keep a distance of two metres, such as showing where to line up inside and outside.
- Maintain shielding barriers such as plexiglass where direct face-to-face interactions occur. Ensure the barriers don’t impede proper air circulation.
Increase fresh air
- Maintain ventilation systems according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Adjust systems to increase the amount of fresh air and reduce recirculation.
- Keep windows and doors open as much as possible, weather permitting.
- Use HEPA or higher MERV rated filters in HVAC systems where possible and consider using portable air cleaners.
- Use outdoor spaces whenever possible.
Clean and disinfect
- Schedule cleaning/disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and shared items.
- Specify products to be used for cleaning and disinfection and train workers on their safe use and disposal.
- Provide access to soap and water and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Encourage workers to clean their hands frequently.
Have a plan and communicate clearly
- Post signage to remind workers and others about:
- physical distance (including decals, arrows etc.)
- capacity limits
- screening and self-assessment
- wearing masks
- staying safe during breaks
- hand hygiene
- Use multiple ways to provide information to workers and customers, such as intercom announcements, social media and posters.
Maintain your COVID‑19 workplace safety plan
- Have a process for monitoring, keeping up with and sharing new provincial and local public health and workplace safety requirements for COVID‑19.
- Develop a written safety plan (as required under the Reopening Ontario Act).
- Include how to address new risks introduced by new measures.
- Post your safety plan and make it available upon request as required.
- Train workers on the measures and procedures in the plan.
- Supervise and monitor to ensure your instructions are being followed.
- Add COVID‑19 measures and procedures to the joint health and safety committee (JHSC) checklist for required monthly inspections.
Collect information and report as required
- Track information about close interactions at your workplace as may be requested by the local public health unit for contact tracing.
- Know how and when to report to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.