This Safety Swap talks about how your committee can support your workplace’s safe return to operations.
Information to kick start your safety and health committee meetings!
1. Is there any general guidance that workplaces should follow for a safe return to operations?
for up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 guidance and recommendations.
2. Where can I find industry-specific information about returning to operations?
Industry guidelines related to preventing the spread of COVID-19 can be found on Manitoba Health's website
(Guidance for Industry Sectors), or your association or industry-based safety program's (IBSP) website. Contact your association or IBSP to find out more. You can also find a link to resources in SAFE Work Manitoba's COVID-19 toolkit
3. Do we need to do a risk assessment when returning to operations?
employer is required by law to provide a safe and healthy workplace. A risk
assessment would tell you whether your workplace is at risk of spreading
COVID-19 and help you decide if you should put prevention measures in place. If
you do a risk assessment, this
tool from Health Canada can help you
. As well, you can consider creating
Disease Prevention Plan
for your workplace.
4. Once we are back at work, what else can our committee do to ensure our workplace is safe during COVID-19?
Your committee or representative should:
ensure they fully understand the Communicable
Disease Prevention Plan, if your employer has one in place, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 — remember that committees and representatives should participate in developing and implementing your workplace's plan
answer questions from workers about the plan
act as a good example by encouraging staff to follow the plan
continue to act as a voice for workers, and bring forward concerns to your employer
gather and provide feedback to your employer about COVID-19 prevention in the workplace
participate in inspections and investigations related to COVID-19 in the workplace
continue to consider workers' mental health, and ensure you can direct workers to appropriate mental health supports
continue to encourage co-workers to prevent infection by:
washing their hands often with soap and water, or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) if their hands are not visibly soiled
coughing or sneezing into their elbow or a tissue
keeping a physical distance of at least two metres (six feet) from other people, except during brief exchanges
staying home when sick
getting vaccinated, if possible.
Stay informed on the latest COVID-19 updates in Manitoba: manitoba.ca/covid19. Always ensure you are sharing up-to-date, credible information about COVID-19.
Ensure your committee or representative is included in the return to operations process.
Practice good hand hygiene and cough etiquette.
Follow your own workplace policies and procedures.