Numerous COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported in Canadian workplaces. Small businesses have a small workplace to accommodate employees. As a result, they fail to practice social distancing. As more and more territories and provinces are re-opening businesses to stabilize their economies, we will continue to see the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As authorities are lifting lockdown step-by-step, small workplaces like retirement planners, home insurance, Vancouver dentists, and lawn mowing businesses should consider following COVID-19 safety protocols to mitigate the risk of the spread of the virus.
COVID-19 safety protocols followed by small-scale businesses in Canada are part of Canada’s collective approach to mitigate the spread of novel coronavirus and are mentioned in the community-based document.
Employers should revise business safety plans, prioritize the employees’ safety, and ensure that emergency contact information is not outdated.
How can small businesses mitigate coronavirus risks?
Mitigation factors include separating shared surfaces, implementing physical barriers, and avoiding physical contact. However, this is a basic guideline and one needs to comprehend it for each employer.
Here are the following COVID-19 safety protocols for small businesses in Canada:
Discourage ill people from entering the workplace
- Adjust or change employee sick policies immediately so that employees at the risk of COVID-19 can stay home until further notice.
- Adjusting the policies will enable the employees to quarantine themselves or take care of their children if they have fallen ill.
- The employer needs to strengthen the communication between himself and the employees.
- The employer must strictly advise the employees to stay home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. Any employee showing symptoms must not be allowed to enter the workplace until and unless he has a negative test report or has met the criteria to discontinue isolation.
- Turning casual meetings with clients into appointment-based meetings. In addition to that, an employer must ask clients if they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
Facilitating and promoting personal preventive measures
- The employees should be updated about current preventive measures frequently.
- The practice of social distancing should be compulsory for each employee within the premises of the small business workplace.
- The employer must promote personal hygiene practices such as following respiratory etiquettes, avoiding physical contact, and maintaining hand hygiene.
- The business management should post signage reminding people to practice social distancing and maintaining hand hygiene at all times.
- The business should provide a cleaned and disinfected workplace environment for employees (hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, masks) for increased safety.
- The employer must invest in online activities to check on the employees’ mental health.
Promote physical distancing at the workplace as much as possible
- The business should implement telework (work from home) if possible
- The business should switch to a contact-less business model.
- Multi-person conferences and meetings should be switched online.
- Develop a place within the workplace for clients or employees if they doubt about being infected.
Create physical barriers between employees at the workplace
If possible, the employer should install physical barriers such as a head-height door, cubicle, or Plexiglass window) between the employees.
Even though following all the COVID-19 safety protocols seems difficult for every business in Canada, the government has made it compulsory to stop the spread of coronavirus. Any small workplace (ie. residential painting or commercial painting) with the risk to infect multiple people will be shut down in no time if safety protocols and SOPs are not followed properly.