According to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, we aren’t approaching the second wave of COVID-19; it’s already begun.
The Second Wave
Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, experts have been warning of a second wave. COVID-19 cases are being diagnosed in numbers not seen since March and April 2020, and the second wave of COVID-19 is in full swing.
The second wave will mean changes to workplace policies and procedures, safety protocols, and the way the Joint Health and Safety Committee identifies and assesses hazards. As well, workplaces will need to prepare to adapt very quickly to evolving government regulations, including the potential for another lockdown period.
Employers learned a lot during the first wave, of which much is still applicable.
The primary objective is infection prevention for staff and clients, with as little interruption to operations as possible. To do this, employers will need to prepare for what we already know is coming: the second wave of COVID-19 illness.
The JHSC is Vital
Getting a preparedness plan in place is vital. Consult the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) during the development and implementation phase. The JHSC has already adjusted the way they approach workplace inspections to identify, assess, and recommend controls for hazards associated with COVID-19. They’re a go-to resource for what’s working, what needs adjusting, and what might be missing.
Check It Off
To ensure your organization is second wave-ready, check out the list of must-haves below:
- Workplace safety policy that includes COVID-19-specific procedures
- JHA has been completed to identify potential COVID-19 hazards
- Plan for a reversal to earlier lockdown stages, including total lockdown
- Contingency plan to quickly switch to remote work
- The necessary physical barriers and/or space for physical distancing
- Enough PPE, cleaning chemicals, and sanitizer for continued operation
- Updated attendance policy that considers illness related to COVID, and absence to care for a family member
- Process that employees will follow if they test positive for COVID-19
- Access to an online learning catalogue to ensure that there is no interruption to health and safety training
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) available and communicated to all employees to help mitigate the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression
- A communication method that is effective, efficient, and accessible anywhere (for example, a cell phone number, not a work extension)
- Updated contact list of all current employees and how to best reach them with important information
If you’re missing anything, you don’t have to do it alone. BEST Safety Training offers JHSC training, as well as consulting services.
COVID-19 is a global pandemic. Sharing information is a vital component to reducing the spread. Below is a list of helpful information sources. When it comes to the fight against COVID-19, we’re in this together.
- World Health Organization
- Health Canada
- Ontario Newsroom Updates
- Ontario Public Health Units
- Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
- Government of Canada Travel Advisories
- Government of Canada Statistics Tracker
BEST Safety Training Can Help
BEST Safety Training is a Chief Prevention Officer (CPO)-approved provider of JHSC training through distance learning for your safety and convenience. Employees can also continue to safely participate in other important health and safety training while maintaining a safe and healthy physical distance by taking advantage of our extensive online catalogue.
We also offer consulting services, and we can help you prepare for the second wave of COVID-19. Let the BEST Safety Training company take care of your training needs.