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DEVAN GREENHOUSES LTD. COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN

 

Statement of Purpose

Devan Greenhouses is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all of our staff members and customers. A combination of measures are being used to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our workplace as we resume the “new normal” level of operations.  Our Safety Plan will protect not only our own staff, but also others who enter our premises. All staff must follow the procedures outlined in this plan to prevent or reduce exposure to COVID-19.

Development of the Safety Plan

Devan Greenhouses’ Safety Plan is based on guidance published by the Provincial Health Officer (“PHO”), the BC Centre for Disease Control (“BCCDC”) and WorkSafeBC’s “Protocols for returning to operation”. 

This is a living document and will be reviewed and revised as needed. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our processes, please provide your suggestions to management.

Health Hazards of Covid-19

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The disease caused by the new coronavirus has been named COVID-19. While many of the characteristics of COVID-19 can be mild, incidents of severe illness have been reported in confirmed cases.

Symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 are like other respiratory illnesses and include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Other symptoms have also been reported, such as skin rash and gastrointestinal symptoms.

 

Transmission

There are three primary ways in which the virus that causes Covid-19 can be transmitted, all of which need to be controlled. These include direct contact, droplet, and droplet transmission in the air after a cough or sneeze.

 

Contact transmission, both direct and indirect

Direct contact involves skin-to-skin contact, for example: shaking hands. 

Indirect contact involves an individual touching a contaminated intermediate object such as a table, doorknob, telephone, or computer keyboard, and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth. Contact transmission is important to consider because COVID-19 viruses may persist for minutes on hands and potentially hours on surfaces.

Droplet transmission

Large droplets may be generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  Droplets travel a short distance (one to two metres) through the air and can be deposited on inanimate surfaces or in the eyes, nose, or mouth of other persons in close proximity.

Airborne transmission

Airborne (inhalable) particles can be generated from coughs and sneezes.

Coughs and sneezes produce both large droplets and smaller airborne particles. The smaller particles remain suspended in air for longer periods than the large droplets, and can be inhaled. The large droplets can also evaporate quickly to form additional inhalable particles. As the distance from the person coughing or sneezing increases, the risk of infection from airborne exposure is reduced; but it can still be a concern in smaller, enclosed areas, especially where there is limited ventilation. As the number of infected people in a room increases, the risk of infection also increases.

Reducing the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission: Hierarchy of Controls

To reduce the risk of the COVID-19 virus spreading through droplets in the air, it is necessary to implement protocols to protect against the identified risks. Different protocols offer different levels of protection. Wherever possible, the protocol that offers the highest level of protection should be used. Second, third, or fourth level protocols may be considered if the first level is not practicable.  In some cases, more than one level of protection may be needed to deal with a risk — for example, physical distancing and mask wearing.  WorkSafeBC has described the following examples of the “hierarchy of controls”:

First level protection (elimination)

Elimination involves removing the risk of exposure entirely from the workplace.  For example, policies and procedures can be implemented to limit the number of people in the workplace at any one time and to keep workers at least 2 metres (6 feet) from co-workers, clients, and others.

Second level protection (engineering controls)

Engineering controls involve making physical changes in the workplace.  For example, if you cannot always maintain physical distancing, barriers such as plexiglass can be installed to separate people.

Third level protection (administrative controls)

Administrative controls involve altering work practices to minimize the risk of exposure.  For example, rules and guidelines may be established, such as cleaning protocols, instructing workers to not share tools, or changing the traffic flow by implementing one-way doors or walkways.

Fourth level protection (PPE)

If the first three levels of protection aren’t enough to control the risks, workers and clients may use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks. PPE should not be used as the only control measure. It should only be used in combination with other measures.

1st level protection: limit number of people at the workplace and ensure physical distance whenever possible.

Measures in Place:

            Occupancy limits

1.       Occupancy limits have been implemented in specific work areas where social distancing can be maintained.

2.       Retail capacity has been limited to 50 people maximum in the store at any one time.

3.       2-meter physical distancing & hygiene reminders have been posted around common work areas.

Work Schedules/Breaks

 

1.       Lunchroom has been limited to a 12-person occupancy limit, with staggered seating to facilitate social distancing.

2.       Breaks are staggered to allow for the occupancy limit in the lunchroom.

3.       The lunchroom is sanitized between breaks and at the end of the day.

4.       Masks are required to worn until seated and may only be taken off while actively eating or drinking.

Washrooms

1.       Limited to a 2-person occupancy limit.

 

Changes to Work Practices

1.       All employees are required to wear a mask.

2.       When picking orders, you must maintain a 6ft distance between yourself and your picking partner.

3.       When picking an order, only one person is to pick up the tray(s) and put it on the cart to minimize multiple people handling trays.

4.       When moving long-chain carts from one zone to another, do not have two people walking side by side down the corridors. Instead, one person is to pull the cart from the front while the other pushes the cart from the back.

2nd Level Protection: Barriers and Partitions

Measures in place:

1.       A plexiglass barrier has been installed around the front desk reception area and offices.

2.       Plexiglass barriers have been installed at every cash register.

3rd Level protection: Rules and Guidelines

Wholesale

          Staff are screened at the start of their shift for COVID-19 symptoms.

          Staff are required to maintain social distance between themselves and other staff members.

          Employees will perform daily cleaning as directed by their supervisors.

Retail

          Customers will be greeted by an employee at the front door, where they can access a sanitized cart and hand sanitizer.

          Customers will be required to sanitize their hands before entering the store. 

          Customers and staff will be required to wear a mask.

          Customers will be encouraged to keep a credit or debit card on hand for contactless payments.

          Cashiers will be required to disinfect their workstation after each transaction.

          All employees are required to maintain social distance between themselves, customers, and other staff members.

4th level of protection: Personal Protective Equipment

1.       Staff, clients, and customers are required to wear masks at all times.

2.       Masks are available to staff and customers who do not have their own.

3.       Staff are provided with gloves to use in the workplace.

Devan Greenhouses is dedicated to reducing the risk of surface transmission through effective cleaning and hygiene practices.

Devan Greenhouses Ltd. has reviewed the information and guidelines on effective cleaning and disinfection of surfaces.

Our workplace has enough handwashing facilities on site for all workers. Handwashing locations are visible and easily accessed.

We have policies that specify when workers must wash their hands, and we have communicated good hygiene practices to workers. Frequent handwashing and good hygiene practices are essential to reduce the spread of the virus.

We have implemented cleaning protocols for all common areas and surfaces — for example: washrooms, tools, equipment, vehicle interiors, shared tables, desks, light switches, and door handles.

We have ensured that workers responsible for cleaning and disinfection have adequate training and materials.

We have removed all unnecessary tools and equipment to simplify the cleaning process and reduce the risk of surface transmission – for example: coffee makers, shared utensils, and plates.

The Devan Greenhouses facilities are cleaned on a daily basis by a regular cleaning crew. A deep-clean of all facilities (doors, desks, phones, greenhouse equipment, lunchroom equipment, computers, and keyboards) is completed daily. In high touch areas, sanitizer or a wash station is available.

 

Responsibilities of Workplace Parties

Employer Responsibilities

Devan Greenhouses will:

– Ensure that materials (for example, masks, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and washing facilities) and other resources (for example, worker training materials) required to implement and maintain the plan as outlined above are readily available where and when they are required.

– Ensure that staff are educated and trained in the best ways to reduce the risk of virus transmission to an acceptable level of competency.

– Ensure that staff use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

– Conduct a periodic review of the plan’s effectiveness. This includes a review of the available control technologies to ensure that these are selected and used when practical.

– Ensure that a copy of this Safety Plan is available to staff.

Supervisor/Manager Responsibilities

Our supervisors will:

– Ensure that staff are adequately instructed on the control measures implemented for the hazards at their specific location.

– Ensure that staff use personal protective equipment as required.

– Direct work in a manner that eliminates or minimizes the risk of virus transmission to other staff and customers.

Staff Responsibilities

Our staff will:

– Know the hazards of the workplace.

– Follow established work procedures as directed by the employer or supervisor.

– Use any required PPE as instructed.

– Report any unsafe conditions or acts to their supervisor.

– Know how and when to report exposure incidents.