COVID-19 Safety Plan

Practice Point

Purpose of Safety Plan

The purpose of this plan is to protect employees from exposure to COVID-19 in CLEBC’s office. To ensure the health and safety of CLEBC employees in our workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented the following policies, guidelines, and procedures in accordance with WorkSafeBC protocols.

This plan applies to all CLEBC employees and all other persons who enter CLEBC’s offices. The Workers Compensation Act requires employers to establish occupational health and safety policies and programs in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and WorkSafeBC has directed employers to develop a plan to ensure that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at workplaces is minimized.

Under the Provincial Health Officer orders, we have posted copies of this plan on CLEBC’s website, and at our office, so that it is readily available for review by employees, board members, volunteer contributors, customers, and any other visitors.

Upon request, the employer must provide a copy of the COVID-19 Safety Plan to a health officer or WorkSafeBC officer.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Leadership Team must support the development, implementation, review of, and compliance with this safety plan.

To make sure employees are involved in managing safety in the office, we have a “Safe Return to the Office” team consisting of the Leadership Team, the Human Resources Manager, and Employee Safety Representatives who will:

  • assess the risk, and develop and review protocols to support the safe return to the office;
  • recommend improvements and/or changes to the safety plan;
  • communicate with employees and monitor compliance in departments;
  • report concerns, complaints, and non-compliance to the Leadership Team and the Human Resources Manager; and
  • assist with resolving complaints and addressing employee concerns.

This safety plan will be reviewed at least monthly by the Safe Return to the Office team and amended as needed, taking into account the latest available medical guidance, regulations, physical office layout, and operational services.

The Leadership Team must consider if there are any employees who may be at higher risk (e.g., over 60, without childcare for young dependents, or have underlying health conditions (employee or family member in the home) and may require further considerations in planning to return to the office.

The Human Resources Manager is available to assist employees who experience mental health issues related to stress and anxiety due to COVID-19 with information on CLEBC’s Employee Assistance Program.

Program Details

Hierarchy of Controls

CLEBC will use the following hierarchy of controls to reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in the office, and in the following order:

  • Elimination—develop policies and procedures to reduce the number of people in the office
  • Engineering controls—install barriers/shields where physical distancing is not possible
  • Administrative controls—written policies, rules, and guidelines to control person-to-person exposure
  • Personal protective equipment—provide personal protective equipment where elimination and engineering and administrative controls are insufficient to control the risk

Risk Assessment

The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads in several ways. A person is at risk of infection when they inhale droplets or touch a contaminated surface, and then touch their face which increases the risk of the virus entering their body through the mouth, eyes, or broken skin. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, a loss of sense of smell and taste.

The risk of person-to-person transmission increases the closer you come to other people, the more time you spend near them, and the more people you come near. Physical distancing measures help mitigate this risk. The risk of surface transmission increases when many people contact the same surface and when those contacts happen over short periods of time. Effective cleaning and hygiene practices help mitigate this risk.

Seniors and people with underlying health issues (including heart disease, diabetes and lung disease) are at highest risk; but young and healthy people are also at risk.

The Safe Return to the Office team considered the following:

Common Areas/Where do people gather?

  • meeting rooms
  • elevator
  • lobby
  • hallways
  • kitchen
  • washrooms

What job tasks do employees have where they are unable to physically distance by 2 metres?

    • shipping/order fulfillment
    • IT network/server room
    • training a new employee using the computer

What tools, machinery and equipment do workers share while working?

  • copiers/printers
  • postage machine
  • paper cutters; paper shredders
  • shipping equipment
  • supplies: staplers, paper clips, pens, hole punch, keyboards, mice, chairs, desks, flip charts, white boards, marking pens
  • kitchen supplies
  • circulated hardcopy materials (Harvard Business Review, Spotlight, mail)
  • contributor gifts
  • shared file folders
  • storage room

What surfaces are touched often?

  • doorknobs
  • door keypads (washroom and entrance)
  • elevator buttons
  • light switches
  • tables
  • chairs
  • counters
  • printers/copiers
  • paper shredders
  • refrigerator handle
  • cupboard and file drawer handles
  • faucet handles
  • Kitchen: water cooler, fridge, microwave, toaster, hot water kettle, coffee machine)
  • Large Boardroom equipment: tele-conference mics, control pad on wall

Measures to Reduce Risk

The office is closed and all employees must work from home (elimination control). Employees may attend the office if there is a business-critical reason and the employee has obtained approval from their Director at least 24 hours before entering the office. Directors must advise the HR Manager; who will be working in the office to ensure that the limit of 6 employees in the office at the same time is maintained.

Over time as the risk of transmission reduces, there may be some easing of the restriction moving to a maximum of 11 employees (or visitors) in the office with a rotating schedule and possible changes in work spaces for some employees to ensure physical distancing is possible at workstations. The office will remain closed and the elevators to our floor will remain locked. Only visitors who need to provide a business-critical service in our office are permitted to enter the office.

There is no need for engineering controls (installation of barriers, plexiglass or reconfiguring of workstations) at this time.

Prohibition to Entry

No person is to enter our office if they:

  • are ill or have any COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, chills, shortness of breath, new body aches, headaches, new or worsening cough
  • are under the direction of the provincial health officer to self-isolate
  • have travelled outside of Canada within the last two weeks or have recently had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Guidelines, Protocols and Procedures

CLEBC has developed guidelines, protocols and procedures for how employees should conduct themselves in the office.

CLEBC has clearly communicated these guidelines, protocols and procedures (rules) to employees through a combination of training, review of safety policy and signage.

Signage and Notices

Signs and notices will be posted at the entrance to and throughout the office that state:

  • persons displaying signs of fever, cough, headache, or other flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms must not enter CLEBC’s office and must leave immediately.


  • the maximum number of persons permitted in meeting rooms and common areas
  • personal hygiene protocols
  • cleaning and sanitizing procedures
  • one-way doors and pathways to keep people physically separated and avoid walking toward each other in the hallway and coming within 2 metres of another person
  • designated delivery areas
  • the COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Non-medical masks will be provided to employees for rare situations when physically distancing of 2 metres cannot be maintained for tasks (shipping, training, IT server room). Masks will also be required for any individual who has travelled within Canada but outside the Province of B.C. within 14 days before entering the office. Visitors are required to wear masks when in CLEBC office.

Occupancy Limits

Occupancy limits stating the maximum number of people allowed in each area of the office will be posted outside all meeting rooms, kitchen, washrooms and all other common areas as follows:

  • The office: 6
  • Elevator: 2
  • Washroom: 2
  • Kitchen: 1
  • Large Boardroom: 6
  • Small Boardroom: 3
  • Publications Photocopy Room 1
  • Admin Photocopy Room 1
  • Programs Supply Room 1
  • Office Warehouse Rooms 1
  • Program Storage Room 1
  • Studio 1 (if dividing wall is closed; 6 people if dividing wall open)

Work Stations and Work Assignments

The employer will ensure a physical distancing space of at least two metres between employee workstations wherever possible.

Where physical distancing is not possible, the employer will determine which positions may work from home, and determine a regular rotation between employees so that a minimum of two metres exists between every employee while working in their workstation.

Develop Policies

Employees Who Are Sick

Employees who develop flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, and/or muscle aches must immediately report it to their supervisor or Human Resources Manager and go home or remain at home. They should then:

Employees may need to isolate for 14 days at home, depending on the outcomes and advice of their doctor or health professional.

The office will be closed and cleaned should an employee or visitor test positive after being in the office.

Contact Tracing

In the event that an employee or other person, who has been in contact with a CLEBC employee, is diagnosed with COVID-19, CLEBC will:

  • Review attendance and meeting records to determine which employees or other persons may have been in close contact with the infected person
  • Immediately report to and cooperate with the appropriate authority to assist with contact tracing
  • Notify all employees who may have been exposed, and require all people who were in close contact with the infected person to work from home for 14 days

Travelling to CLEBC Office

Employees are encouraged to walk, drive or take a taxi to work (avoid public transit).  Parking will be provided in the building.


Only visitors who need to provide a business-critical service on CLEBC premises are permitted to enter the office.  Visitors must wear a mask in our office and sanitize hands upon entry.

Visits to CLEBC premises must be prearranged. Safety protocols are to be communicated to visitors by email before entry to CLEBC premises and signage has been posted at entrance door.

The Human Resources Manager and Director of the department that is being served is to be cc’d on the email.  Email to visitors: Email Communication to Visitors.docx

Safe Working Procedures and Protocols in the Office

The following precautions must take place while in the CLEBC office and managers must ensure employees follow safe working procedures and protocols, specifically:

  • Clean their workstations using disinfectant wipes and/or cleaning materials at the beginning and end of each workday
  • Avoid blocking access to workspaces
  • Utilize technology such as Slack, Zoom, telephone or other technology to avoid in-person meetings wherever practical.
  • Maintain a physical distance of two metres between employees and others
  • Wear a mask if an employee has travelled from outside of the province within 14 days of attending the office;
  • Wear a mask if a distance of two metres cannot be maintained for a task

How to use a mask:

Help prevent the spread of COVID-19_ How to use a mask.pdf

  • Follow one-way traffic routes in hallways (to be implemented when there are 11 employees in office increases)
  • Enter through keypad door, exit through front door
  • Do not share supplies such as chairs, pens, staplers, etc.
  • Shared equipment must be cleaned and disinfected after each use
  • Kitchen: Do not use kitchen appliances, plates, glasses, cutlery, dish towels. Cupboards have been taped shut. Bring your own beverage, food, plate and eating utensils)
  • Food and beverages will not be provided
  • Eat lunch outside or at desk

Protocols and processes for courier and mail deliveries

  • train employees and post procedures
  • processes outside of the office

Personal Hygiene

Employees are directed to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Hand washing

Employees must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when entering the office and after touching a surface (elevator button, door handle, light switches, refrigerator handle, common area table, desk or counter, etc.) and always after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their noses. Directions are to wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or, if soap and water are not available, to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Proper hand washing:

Help prevent the spread of COVID-19 Wash your hands.pdf


Cough and Sneeze Etiquette

Employees are expected to follow cough/sneeze etiquette, which is a combination of measures that minimizes the transmission of diseases via droplet or airborne routes. Cough/sneeze etiquette includes:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a sleeve or tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Use tissues to contain secretions, and dispose of them promptly in a waste container
  • Turn your head away from others when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash hands regularly


Cleaning and Disinfecting

Our building managers have ensured that enhanced cleaning occurs each night and throughout the building.

Employees in the office will clean high touch areas daily, at 8:30 a.m. and at 4:30 p.m., including:

  • door handles
  • light switches
  • high touch counters
  • tables
  • kitchen areas (refrigerator handle, counters, faucet, table, other?)

Employees will be supplied with cleaning and disinfectant supplies for self-cleaning during the day.

Employees will regularly sanitize their desks, keyboards, phones, and other items in their work area.

Employees will clean/sanitize any other office equipment after they use it.

Work from Home Guidelines

CLEBC’s Work from Home Policy must be followed.

Employees who work alone must check in with their manager or a buddy at the start and end of their day.

Employees have the support and tools they need to ensure their workstation is set up correctly.

Develop Communication Plans and Training

Next steps in the communication and training include:

  • supervisors being trained on monitoring employees and the workplace to ensure policies and procedures are being followed
  • signage up in the office
  • a training plan for new employees
  • a training plan for employees taking on new roles or responsibilities
  • a training plan around changes to our business, such as new equipment, processes, or products

Monitor Office and Update Plan

We will continue to monitor our workplace and update our safety plan as necessary. We will not be returning to the office over the summer and there is no decision to return to our office, other than some possible easing of the number of employees that may attend the office at one time.  We will review and update the Safety Plan in the fall.

Employees who have a health and safety concern are to notify their manager or the Human Resources Manager.

When resolving safety issues, we will involve employee health and safety representatives