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COVID 19 Update July 2, 2021

Leslie Hollas

Air Extreme is taking the recommendations from Alberta OH&S – they are as follows:

 

As Alberta enters Stage 3 of reopening and COVID-19 restrictions are reduced, people are returning to the workplace. With changing pandemic-specific conditions, the hazard assessment must be reviewed and updated.

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation requires employers to protect the health and safety of workers at the work site and others at or around the work site. This includes performing a hazard assessment to identify existing and potential workplace hazards. The hazard assessment must include the potential for all types of hazards, including those related to the COVID-19 virus. Employers must involve affected workers when doing a hazard assessment.

Controlling the COVID-19 hazard

Based on the employer’s hazard assessment and consideration of the potential for COVID-19 at the work site, hazards that cannot be eliminated must be controlled using the hierarchy of controls.

First choice: engineering controls. These control a hazard at the source. Depending on the workplace and processes, examples might include ventilation systems or physical barriers, such as plexiglass. Vaccinations are also considered to be an engineering control.

Second choice: administrative controls. These change the way people work. Examples include worker training or hand hygiene, physical distancing, alternate work arrangements or regular workplace cleaning policies.

Third choice: personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE controls the hazard at the worker. PPE examples include gloves, eye protection, facemasks or respirators.

If the hazard cannot be controlled by a single control method, the employer must use a combination of engineering, administrative and personal protective equipment to ensure worker protection.

Essentially, those that have been fully vaccinated meet the engineering control and technically eliminate the hazard from COVID.  We are still practicing physical distancing for the next two weeks, however, as we are not allowed to ask if someone is vaccinated.  It goes without saying that we will continue to clean and practice hand hygiene.  We also strongly recommend mask wearing, but are unable to enforce the same. 



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