Workplace COVID-19 Safety Plan

Our primary concern is everyone’s health and safety. As we continue working hard to safeguard our workplace, we must stay the course, remain diligent in our health and hygiene practices, and continue to follow the advice of our health officials.

BC Health Officers and WorkSafe BC recommendations continue to inform the following COVID-19 Safety Plan and protocols. We ask for your cooperation and adherence to the plan and protocols in order to ensure everyone’s health and safety, in the workplace. This will remain subject to change, be posted in the office, and sent via email with regular updates.

We will constantly monitor for the advice and recommendations of our health officials so that we can continue to implement and communicate changes out to all staff. As new information continues to evolve and as we confirm our understanding and approach for what we have learned, based on health official recommendations, we will be sure to send out an update.  Please understand that ongoing adjustments will be made as necessary or as recommended.

If you have any urgent questions or concerns regarding any of the following information, please direct your inquiry to a member of our Administrative Team (Andi, Pam, Mary, Phaedra, Jesse, Jamie).

Fit for Work

Self-Assessment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·     In the last 10 days, have you, a member of your household, or anyone you have been in close contact with displayed any of the following symptoms.

·        Coughing

·        Shortness of breath or
difficulty breathing

·        Fever

·        Chills

·        Headache

·        Muscle aches

·       Fatigue

·       Sore throat/painful swallowing

·       Sneezing

·       Runny or stuffy nose

·       New loss of taste or smell

·       Loss of Appetite

Travel – Health officials currently recommend keeping plans to essential travel only and out of province travel is not recommended at this time. With a federal 14-day self-quarantine required for all international travellers returning to B.C. gov.bc.ca or, CDC Travel Advice

What is essential travel?

·         Regular travel for work within your region

·         Travel for medical appointments and hospital visits

·     Effective immediately, Woodward & Co. LLP staff are required to observe a 14-day self-quarantine (with remote work set-up) to ensure staff are symptom free if, and when, you travel out of province, or out of the country.

·     Have you, a member of your household, or anyone you have been in close contact with travelled outside of Canada?  If so, a 14-day quarantine plan is now legally required within the province of British Columbia.

Plan to work from home (for 10 to 14 days, until confirmed as symptom free)

·     Are you able to get to and from work safely without exposing yourself to increased risk of transmission (i.e. using public transit)?

·     If you use public transit, whether for work or in your personal life, upon the recommendation of BC Health, wearing a mask is mandatory aboard BC Transit vehicles.

·     Seasonal allergies may present as symptoms. WebMD provides information on Allergy Symptoms vs. Coronavirus (Covid-19) that you may find useful as an initial self-assessment resource.

·     Self-assessment resource: Download the BC COVID-19 App which provides updates, critical alerts, self-assessment tool and resources from Public Health.

·     If you are sick (not just COVID-19 symptoms) STAY HOME!

Building Access

 

·     Elevator use should be limited to one person at a time, mask required.

·     Unless otherwise necessary, visitors and delivery personnel will be restricted to the reception area.

·     Passing one another on stair landings may be unavoidable. In such instances, please refrain from stopping to chat and observe the 2 meters (6 feet) physical distancing as recommended so that you and others may pass by safely.

·     When there are several individuals working in the building, the front stairwell (Government Street Office) between the 2nd and 3rd floors is designated the “up” and the back stairwell between the 2nd and 3rd floor is designated the “down” stairwell.

Controlling the number of employees in the workplace ·     Woodward& Co. LLP will continue to support and encourage employees to work from home except where it is operationally essential or necessary to work in the office.

·     Please check-in regularly and confirm your plans with reception to work in the office so we may secure safe working conditions on-site in the office.

·     The number of employees in the office (at any one-time) is based on the recent advice and recommendations of Government Health Guidelines and WorkSafe BC with consideration for our ability to maintain physical distancing of 2 meters (6 feet) for everyone working

·     We have planned for the minimum and maximum number of employees working from our offices, as follows:

§  Current number of employees is 12 with a maximum of 6 people per floor

·     Our Langley office will maintain a maximum of 8 people, and monitor occupancy and operations to establish remote versus office work schedules based on work demands.

·     A COVID Contingency calendar was implemented to monitor (with a general awareness) the number of staff working in the office which helps staff to determine their level of comfort with coming into the office for work.

·         Please sign up in the COVID calendar on the intranet if you will be attending at the office.

·         All employees are expected to observe the safety controls for the number of staff members in the office and to adjust plans, as necessary.

·         If the number of employees wishing to be in the office increases, a staggered or rotating schedule specifying which day(s) an employee, or group of employees may come in may be implemented.

·         A building access log has also been implemented at each office location to ensure contact tracing and building access information is readily available should there ever be an exposure or WorkSafeBC inspections.

If anyone wishes to continue working remotely, please do so.

Limiting the number of visitors in the workplace ·     While the door to the Government Street office will be open our offices will remain closed to visitors, clients, and non-Firm related deliveries (e.g., no deliveries from personal on-line shopping)

·     The following is a list of approved delivery service and service providers that will be granted access to the Government Street Office building during normal business hours:

·      Canada Post

·      Courier (pick up and delivery of legal documents only)

·      EMadill/Monk Office

·      Mt. Doug Springs (water for 3rd floor)

·      Best Shredding

·      Mill Creek Coffee

·      Manu (cheese)

·     Unless otherwise necessary, visitors and delivery personnel will be restricted to the reception area.

·     Deliveries to the Langley Street office will be delivered directly with prior notice.

Physical Distancing and minimizing interpersonal interactions ·     Physical distancing of 2 meters/6 feet in all common spaces must be respected.

·     In-person meetings with clients and outside counsel is strongly discouraged.

·     Plexiglass partitions have been installed at reception and surrounding the open area where staff are busy at work on the 2nd floor adjacent to the reception area at the Government Street location.

·     Plexiglass partitions may be installed upon request in all other workspaces.

·     Regardless of the space within your office, or the presence of a plexiglass barrier, continued virtual communications (by email, telephone, or other online platform) rather than meetings in-person, are encouraged (even when working in the office).

·     Administrative controls such as directional arrows, training resources, and a variety of signs have been posted to facilitate safety and due diligence throughout the office.

·     If physical distancing recommendations cannot be maintained for prolonged interactions (more than one staff member is participating in a virtual court hearing, and needs to work in the boardroom, staff members working together to produce hardcopies of materials in doc prep room, etc.), then employees must wear a mask.

Worker and workplace hygiene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

·     Upon arrival at the office, it is recommended that you wash your hands with soap and water.

·     In addition to the bottles of hand sanitizer in the kitchen areas, individual offices, and in any common area. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed at all office entry points (front door, back door, reception areas, near hallway doors, as well as in the washroom hallway holding area, and at every shared photocopier.

·     Please wash or use the hand sanitizer stations when using any common touch surface or common areas throughout the office.

·     Our cleaners provide enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of the high-contact areas such as doors, handles, faucets, counters, etc.

·     Recommended hand and health hygiene protocols continue to be in place:

Wash your hands with soap and water

·   Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

When coughing or sneezing:

·   Cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand

·   Dispose of any tissues you have used immediately and wash your hands

·   Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

Common Workspaces and Common Touch Areas Employers must make every effort to provide work from home options.

·      Workplaces must ensure that all employees and any public accessing the building maintain appropriate physical distancing and wear masks when physical distancing is not possible.

·      Employees are required to wear a mask in all common areas of the office (hallways, breakrooms, kitchens, stairwells, elevators and meeting rooms).

·      Please sanitize any shared business equipment (photocopiers, scanners, fax machine) before and after each use by wiping it down with sanitizer and a single use disposable paper product (Kleenex, paper towel, paper napkin) or a Lysol wipe once available.

·      No more than 2 people in the document prep rooms at one time while continuing to adhere to proper physical distancing requirements. (1 person in the Langley Office document prep room)

·      All communal items that cannot be cleaned such as newspapers, magazines and candy bowls have been removed from the workplace.

Kitchen Supplies and Access ·     We ask that no more than 4 people be in the kitchen at the same time and that physical distancing requirements be adhered to. (1 person in the Langley Office kitchen, 4 people in the staff area)

·     Staff are encouraged to eat at their desks if physical distancing is not possible.

·     Water, coffee and tea will continue to be provided along with access to single person use compostable paper cups. Please ensure that you have properly washed your hands before using these items and that you sanitize any points of contact before and after each use.

·     All other reusable food service items (plates, bowls, coffee cups and glasses) will not be available as they pose a risk of transmission of the virus when retrieving these items from the cupboards and drawers. Please pack in and pack out what you need, or, wash and clean what you make use of.

·     Availability of any shared food items (bread, butter, milk, condiments, etc.) will be suspended until further notice.

·     Please refrain from bringing full bottles and containers of multiple serving items from home (salad dressing, sauces, other condiments) if they must be stored in the refrigerator.  The refrigerator has limited space and it is important that all staff members are able to store their lunch in the fridge without it touching another person’s.

·     Antibacterial spray cleaner and paper towels have been provided to wipe the exterior of the microwave, the countertops and any other surfaces you may contact before and after preparing food.

·     We ask that you use the practice of, “pack it in; pack it out; leave only your footprints”.

Washrooms ·     Occupancy of the washrooms are limited to one person at a time.

·     Please knock prior to entering the washroom facilities to ensure it is vacant.

·     Maintain hygiene and wash/ sanitize your hands when entering and exiting the washroom.

Social events ·     All non-essential in-person social activities that cannot adhere to the social-distancing guidelines (2 meters/6 feet) or the maximum number of people in an area (i.e. Friday drinks, summer retreat, etc.) remain postponed or cancelled until further notice.

Social gatherings and events

As of November 19, 2020, The Provincial Health Officer ordered province-wide restrictions including:

No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble. For example:

·         Do not invite friends or extended family to your household

·         Do not gather outdoors

·         Do not gather in your backyard

·         Do not have playdates for children

All events and social gatherings are suspended until further notice. For example:

·         Musical or theatre performances

·         Seasonal activities

Dogs ·     At this time there is no definitive evidence that pet fur acts as a vehicle for the spread of COVID; however, under the advice of Darcie Jennings at CommuniCanine Training, it is recommended that you refrain from petting a dog that is not yours.

·     If you do, wash your hands thoroughly, or use a hand sanitizer immediately afterwards.

Not Feeling Well?

 

Please let us know!

 

 

·     Employees should report an illness to Human Resources, even with mild symptoms.

·     Sick employees will be asked to wash or sanitize their hands, provided with a mask, and expected to go straight home (unless the severity requires calling 911).

·     Anyone who suspects they have Covid-19 symptoms are expected to self-monitor and call 811 for further guidance related to testing and self-isolation.

·     Common surface areas the employee has touched will be immediately disinfected.

·     The employee’s personal workspace will remain “off-limits” for no less than 24 hours by all other employees.

·     HR has implemented an incident report to document any concerns with possible work-related injuries and incidents.

·     If you are sick (not just COVID-19 symptoms) STAY HOME!

Facial Masks and Coverings ·     Please wear a face mask especially when physical distancing is not possible or where there will be prolonged proximity between people.

·     It is recommended that you use a 3-layer mask; and, your own mask. If you do not have a face mask, one will be provided, subject to availability from anyone in Admin.

·     When using a face mask/covering, please comply with the following directions from WorkSafeBC:

·      Always use a clean mask. If you are using a reusable cloth mask, make sure you clean/sanitize it between uses. For info on how to properly clean your mask, see CDC Mask Information, or Health Canada’s info page for more information on masks.

·      Before putting on a mask, clean hands with hand sanitizer or soap and water

·      Wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose

·      Avoid touching the mask while using it. If you touch the mask, clean your hands with hand sanitizer or soap and water

·      Remove the mask from behind, do not touch the front of the mask

·     For further detailed information, please consult WorkSafe BC’s Covid-19 Health and Safety Selecting and Using Masks and the poster illustrating How to use a mask

Ventilation ·     We have confirmed with our ventilation maintenance company that our building’s HVAC system is functioning  in compliance with the recommended standards set out in the Guidance for Building Operations During the Covid-19 Pandemic.

These measures include, but are not limited to:

·      Increased ventilation rates to external sources reduces or eliminates the recirculation of air.

·      We have ensured ventilation systems are operating properly and providing acceptable indoor air quality for occupancy levels.

·      Our use of air filters meets the highest filtration capacity per industry standards.

·      With extended running time of HVAC systems to 24/7 we enhanced air exchange.

Mental Health ·     This is a challenging time for everyone. We recognize that sometimes it helps to talk to someone who has a personal understanding of your workplace and experience. We encourage you to reach out to your colleagues for support and to stay connected; we are all in this together. If you are in need, of more formal support, the following Mental Health resources/bulletins are available:

·         BC Virtual Mental Health Supports During COVID-19

·         Canadian Mental Health Association: Mental Health Check-in

·         www.bouncebackbc.ca

·         www.anxietycanada.com

·         www.lapbc.com

·         www.lifeworks.com (available to lawyers and articled students only)

·     Self-assessment resource for monitoring & safeguarding mental health

·         Mental Health Continuum Model contains helpful signs and indicators as well as actions to take at each phase of the continuum

Health & Safety While Working ·     WorkSafeBC provides information sheet on Setting up, organizing, and working comfortably in your home workspace as well as How to Make your Computer Workstation Fit You.

·     When working remotely, please check-in regularly with the team, Human Resources and/or any member of the Admin team. Please also ensure:

·         To provide a copy of your household evacuation plan and a list of your emergency contacts to Jamie and Pam (HR).

·         Your work environment is safe and uncluttered (avoid slips, trips and falls)

·         Use proper equipment and tools (e.g., personal protective equipment, proper surge protector power bars for all electronic devices, etc.).

·     We will work with you to make sure your health and safety needs are met.

·         Report all work-related incidents or injuries to the HR Manager

·         Direct workstation and furniture ergonomic requirements to Pam in HR

·         Direct IT related ergonomic needs to Mary

·     If you have questions or concerns about safety or remote work that have not been addressed, please contact Pam, HR Manager at the office (250) 383-2356 ext. 139 on her direct line (250) 940-5401 or, via email: ptoovey@woodwardandcompany.com

 

 

Resources consulted:

BC Government, BC Coviod-19 Go Forward Management Strategy

BC Government, Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Guidance

CBABC, Covid-19 Resource Hub Your People, Your Clients, Your Office

CBABC, Returning to the Office: Considerations for Law Firms

WorkSafe BC, Covid-19 Industry information, and Small business and Covid-19 safety

WorkSafe BC, Covid-19 and returning to safe operations – Phase 2

WorkSafe BC, COVID Safety Plan   

WorkSafe BC: WorkSafe BC’s Covid-19 Health and Safety Selecting and Using Masks

WorkSafe BC: How to use a mask

WorkSafe BC: Handwashing

BC Guidelines for Travel www.bccdc.ca – Prevention Advice for Travel

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC Travel Advice

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC Health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19