COVID-19 Safety Plan

Creating Your Restart Plan
Posted on 05/20/2020
Last Edit May 19, 2020

A guide to re-opening and recovery in East KootenayIn this document we attempt to summarize the guidance that has been provided by the Government of BC regarding the reopening of the economy. Please note that this is not a fully comprehensive guide, merely a place to get you started. If you have specific questions please address them to WorkSafe BC or an industry specific association. Remember, this is new for all of us and changes will be made as new scientific evidence is presented and as this pandemic continues to unfold.

Before you begin to plan for re-opening, consider what your financial requirements may be.The Basin Business Advisors are suggesting to look at a pessimistic scenario, 60% reduction in usual sales; a predicted scenario, 30% reduction in usual sales; and an optimistic scenario, 15% reduction in usual sales. If you need help walking through the numbers, they are there to support you.

Re-Opening & Recovery in East Kootenay

As BC continues along the journey to recovery, all businesses will be required to create a COVID-19 Safe plan for re-opening if you have been closed. If you have remained open, you will also need to formalize a COVID-19 safe plan if you have not already. This plan must be posted at the work site.

Remember, the safety of our employees, customers and communities is still top priority. If you are not ready to open yet there is no shame in keeping your doors closed for a few more weeks until you have the resources you need.

Develop your COVID-19 Operational Plan

1.      Assess the risk at your workplace

2.      Implement measures that reduce the risk

3.      Develop Policies

4.      Develop communications plans and training

5.      Monitor your workplace and update you plans as needed

6.      Assess and address risks from resuming operations

Download the PDF Checklist here

1. Assess the risk at your workplace

A COVID-19 Operational Plan should include all the details of how to keep your staff and customers safe. WorkSafe BC has made some guidelines but they are differing to business owners to fill in the specifics. You are the experts in your own business and know where the points of contact can occur.

Your first step should be conducting a risk assessment (# and intensity of contacts, social distancing) within your operation and identify appropriate mitigation measures. WorkSafe BC has provided brief guides by industry, however, these are not prescriptive checklists regarding what specific actions your operation will be required to comply with operational plan requirements. These will depend on individual factors such as the layout of your space, how you normally interact with customers/clients and more.

Your Operation Plan should include, at a minimum: COVID-19 Awareness (signage), Pre-Screening Tool, Physical Distancing, Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures, and Facilitating Personal Hygiene Etiquette.

Consider the following questions:

·        Where do people congregate, such as break rooms, production lines, or meeting rooms?

·        What job tasks or processes require workers to come into close proximity with one another or members of the public?

·        What tools, machinery, and equipment do people come into contact with in the course of their work?

·        What surfaces are touched often, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, equipment, and shared tools?

Remember: You should continue to assess the workplace operations and adjust to make sure risks are identified and managed.

BC Go Forward Strategy can help you understand what and where the risks might be and how to best manage them.

Asking other local businesses may be a great resource as well, ask them about the processes that have worked from them and the things that surprised them.

2. Implement Measures to Reduce the Risk

After you have identified the high risk zones address each one with a control to decrease the risk of contamination.

Types of measure, in order of effectiveness.

1.  The most effective measures involve eliminating the touch point all together. Ie not allowing workers to share tools, curbside pick-up etc

2.  Second most effective are engineered measures, this would include barriers, changes to the store layout etc.

3.  Third are administrative measures, this would be things like posters, hand-sanitizing stations, requests to stay 2 meters apart. Anything that needs people to comply and follow directions.

4. The last resort should be PPE

Kicking Horse Janitorial Cleaning Guidelines can help you identify high touch points and appropriate cleaning methods.

Maintaining physical distance

  • Consider reducing the overall number of workers at the workplace at one time. This may be done by implementing work-from-home schedules or rescheduling some work tasks.

  • Ensure that the appropriate number of people are in each area of a workplace to prevent workers from coming too close to one another or members of the public. This may be done by posting occupancy limits (e.g., on elevators, washrooms, and other small spaces), and limiting the number of workers at one time in break locations.

  • Maintain a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between workers and others wherever possible, by revising work schedules, organizing work tasks, and employing the use of dollies or other aids for work tasks that would typically be done by more than one person.

  • Consider creating pods of workers who work together exclusively to minimize the risk of broad transmission throughout the workplace.

  • Implement measures to ensure workers can maintain a distance of two metres when serving or working with or near members of the public.

Where physical distance cannot be maintained

  • Where distance cannot be maintained, consider separating people with partitions or plexiglass barriers.

  • Where other measures are not sufficient, consider the use of non-medical masks, understanding that these have limitations.

Cleaning and hygiene

  • Provide adequate hand-washing facilities on site for all workers and ensure the location is visible and easily accessed. Develop policies around when workers must wash their hands, including upon arriving for work, before and after breaks, after handling cash or other materials, before and after handling common tools and equipment.

  • Implement a cleaning protocol for all common areas and surfaces, including washrooms, equipment, tools, common tables, desks, light switches, and door handles. Ensure those engaged in cleaning have adequate training and materials.

  • Remove any unnecessary tools or equipment that may elevate the risk of transmission, including items like coffee makers and shared utensils and plates.

3.     Develop Policies

Develop the necessary policies to manage your workplace, including policies around who can be at the workplace, how to address illness that arises at the workplace, and how workers can be kept safe in adjusted working conditions.

·        The provincial health officer and the BC CDC have issued the following guidance around self-isolation, which must be reflected in your policies:

o   anyone who has had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days must self-isolate at home; symptoms include fever, chills, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and new muscle aches or headache.

o   anyone under the direction of the provincial health officer to self-isolate must follow those instructions

o   anyone who has arrived from outside of Canada, or who is a contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms

·        Prohibit or limit visitors.

·        Have a plan around workers who may start to feel ill while at work, including who they should notify and how they will travel from the workplace to their home.

·        Will you have workers working alone to reduce the risk of transmission? If so, you need to have procedures for these workers to ensure they are safe.

·        If you will have employees working from home, you need to develop work from home procedures to ensure workers are working safely.

Other things to consider:

Employee travel policy when not at work

It’s a new world and unfortunately, the things your employees do in their time off could affect your business.  


Businesses and organizations should advise that staff and patrons who are either symptomatic and/or have been advised by Public Health to self-isolate, should remain home and not enter the premises. Operators should actively pre-screen staff before the beginning of each shift.

Here’s a great pre-screening checklist or consider making a short survey for your team to fill out before they come to work.

4.     Develop communication plans and Training

You must ensure that everyone entering the workplace, including workers from other employers, knows how to keep themselves safe while at your workplace.

o   Be sure everyone is trained on the measures you have put in place and the policies around staying home when sick.

o   Post signage, including occupancy limits and effective handwashing practices. Signage should also be posted at the main entrance indicating who is restricted from entering the premises (including visitors and workers with symptoms).

o   Ensure supervisors have been trained on monitoring workers and workplace to ensure policies and procedures are being followed.

Remember – your procedures are only going to work if people know what they are!

COVID-19 Awareness and Signage

Simple awareness signage should be placed at the entrances to your establishment or anywhere people may congregate.

Consider putting up signage and communicating proper behaviour to your customers. This can include floor decals to encourage proper spacing, arrows on the floor, announcements about proper behaviour.

·       Hand Washing Poster

·       Coronavirus Prevention

·       Physical Distancing

5.    Monitor your workplace and update your plans as needed

This is new for all of us, keep thinking about your measures and put new ones in place or tweak old ones if something isn’t working! Listen to your employees, they may see things that you miss.

  • Things may change as your business operates. If you identify a new area of concern, or if it seems like something isn’t working, take steps to update your policies and procedures. Involve workers in this process.

  • Ensure that workers can raise safety concerns. This may be through a worker health and safety representative or a joint health and safety committee. Employers with fewer than 9 employees must also have a way for workers to raise health and safety concerns at the workplace. Work with these committees and workers to resolve any identified safety issues.

Keep an eye on what other businesses are doing, our communities will be safer if we all work together.

6.     Assess and address risks from resuming operations

If your workplace has not been operating, there may be risks arising from restarting your business that you need to manage. Consider the following:

o   Have you had any staff turnover, or are workers being required to change or adapt job roles, or to use new equipment? Consider training or new employee orientation.

o   Will workers need time or training to refresh their skills after having been out of the workplace?

o   Have you changed anything about the way you operate, such as the equipment you use or the products you create?

o   Are there any processes required for start-up that might introduce risks? Consider the impact of restarting machinery, tools and equipment, or clearing systems and lines of product that may have been left when your business was closed.

There may be other considerations as well, do you have the staff available to come back to work? Are you able to bring in enough money to make this viable (some pessimistic projections suggest a 60% reduction in revenue).

Communicate your plan!

Customers are still wary and unsure of what is safe in a pandemic stricken world. They actively want to see that you have made changes to help keep them safe. Your business will need to continue to win their trust as the Pandemic redefines our social norms.

Show off the new layout, be proud of your floor decals, make the barriers part of the appeal.

Keep being innovative with all the ways you can serve your customers, even if it’s not business as usual, it doesn’t mean it can’t be good business.

Fill out the Business Operations Form and we will share it for you.

Consider an ad in the Golden Star://" style="text-decoration-line: none;">EZ Rock Radio Station.

Don’t forget to use your social media, your google listing and your own website to communicate all the details.

And remember, Stay Safe, Be Kind and BUY LOCAL!

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