What follows details the steps that Spectrum Resource Group is implementing in response to COVID-19 regarding our timber development projects. The situation is evolving daily, and sometimes hourly, it is important to note that measures, means and conditions will also change and adapt.
COMMUNICATION AND PLANNING
- Spectrum will instruct staff to exercise proper precautions when at work, including frequent hand washing, minimizing contact with large crowds, and avoiding touching one’s own face when in public places.
- Spectrum will keep staff informed of the steps that we are taking to protect them from COVID-19. Staff are encouraged to be part of the solution in ensuring a safe and healthy workplace.
- Staff will be provided with a Coronavirus Fact Sheet, obtained from a government agency or Center for Disease Control.
- Staff with questions will be directed toward recognized information sources, such as government websites.
- Spectrum will provide additional training for replacement staff in key positions who can step into place in the case of a supervisor, crew boss, or other key staff becoming unavailable due to illness.
- First aid attendants and supervisors will receive additional education, about COVID-19, including appropriate support for mild to severe cases.
- Suppliers will be contacted in advance to ensure timely delivery of sufficient hygiene and cleaning supplies, including hand soap and hand sanitizer.
- Workers are encouraged to bring their own sanitizer and hygiene supplies for personal use both on and off the jobsite.
- Contact information for Medical Health Officers in the areas of operation will be included in Emergency Response Plan documents.
The primary focus of illness-prevention protocols should be preventing the introduction of disease. However, healthy conditions at work will only occur if two conditions are met:
- Spectrum will exercise proper pre-screening and education measures.
- Spectrum’s workers must cooperate with the steps designed to protect them through the pandemic period.
All staff must understand that their individual choices can impact a wider group, and they are personally responsible for doing their part in not spreading illness to the workplace.
A system to pre-screen staff prior to them arriving at projects will be developed according to best practises at the time. This will help protect both the health and viability of our operations, and the overall integrity and stability of the industry. Pre-screening may include asking questions, setting self-quarantine thresholds, and conducting tests upon arrival.
- Staff who are returning from areas known to have high infection concentrations should be instructed to stay home for 14 days after leaving those areas. They should monitor themselves daily for symptoms like fever or cough.
- Staff who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last encounter and avoid contact with other people, including other company staff. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms like fever and cough.
- Staff who have travelled to other areas not currently affected by major outbreaks should monitor themselves daily for symptoms like fever or cough for 14 days.
If mandatory employee temperature testing becomes justified in Canada and in our Industry, Spectrum will consider it as a potential course of action. In the course of doing so, the dignity of employees will be ensured throughout the process. Results of employees’ tests should be kept in the strictest of confidence; they should not be shared with other employees, except on a “need to know” basis. Employees with whom the information has been shared because they “need to know” should be reminded that they are prohibited from disclosing it for unauthorized purposes.
Temperature screening must be done by a trained person with a properly calibrated device, with temperature thresholds based on Health Canada guidelines or input from a Medical Health Officer. Common thresholds for COVID-19 screening at this time specify 37.5 degrees as an indicator of potential infection.
- Each one of Spectrum’s worksites shall have an “Outbreak Prevention and Response Plan” that will be developed by Spectrum management, in consultation with authorities and our clients that will be posted with the Emergency Response Plan and followed at all times.
- Spectrum is exploring ways to limit the amount of interactions with the public and suppliers in the community in which we work without unduly impacting worker health and wellness.
- All workers will either wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before entering work vehicles.
- Hand sanitizer is a helpful addition to the workplace but is not as effective as soap and water.
- Staff will not transfer between vehicles and will keep the same seating arrangements when practical.
- Staff will wash hands before entering work trucks using soap and water, or hand sanitizer if available.
- Proper sanitization of crew vehicles will occur on a regular basis, at least once per shift.
- N-95 masks will be provided for use by staff with coughing or sneezing symptoms so that they may reduce their risk of transmitting illness to other people.
- Spectrum will limit worksite visitors, all visitors will be thoroughly oriented with our hygiene and illness-prevention program.
- Regular discussions on illness-prevention steps will take place.
- Spectrum will encourage staff to maintain healthy routines that support positive immune responses to all potential illness. This includes reducing sugar consumption, avoiding excess alcohol consumption, ensuring adequate sleep on a nightly basis, and maintaining good hygiene.
- Instruction will be provided on proper hand-washing techniques, of lathered scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, rinsing and drying.
- Staff will be instructed to wash hands prior to entering trucks at the beginning and end of each day. Workers in the field should be instructed to carry additional water and hand soap for this purpose.
- Workers will be encouraged to limit their contact with crowds and busy public areas on days off. Use of public washrooms should be limited and should always include proper hand-washing habits.
- All workers and company representatives shall seek to eliminate any unnecessary contact with isolated communities, including all First Nations communities. Many First Nations communities have limited medical resources, have vulnerable populations of Elders, and may have a higher level of vulnerability to COVID-19.
- Some communities are specifically off -limits. Staff will confirm with project management which communities that involves and receive updated information whenever available.
POTENTIAL OUTBREAK RESPONSE
In the case of any suspected individual case or suspected exposure of COVID-19 at work, the supervisor must immediately contact a Medical Health Officer for instructions. Given that conditions are changing and access to medical services may vary by area, it is critical that a proper authority is consulted in order to weigh the needs of the affected person(s) with any risk of transmission to other people or populations.
- Spectrum will maintain family and emergency contact information for all staff.
- Spectrum will institute heightened hygiene and social-distancing measures in any case of reported exposure among their staff.
- Workers will be encouraged to take sick days and to self-quarantine if potential symptoms emerge, and no workers shall be pressured to stay at work.
- In the case of a suspected case of COVID-19, Spectrum will inquire with Medical Health Officers about any challenges or risks associated with affected workers working in an outside environment.
- Spectrum will communicate with all staff and with clients with respect to any potential crew quarantine situation. Personnel quarantine could include isolation – away from the work area in separate accommodation
Spectrum Resource Group Management Team