As we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to ensure that our employees, our clients and all others who enter our premises feel safe and informed with respect to our safety plan and the actions that must be taken to keep each other and our larger community safe and healthy.
Pihl Law Corporation has devised a COVID-19 Safety Plan in accordance with WorkSafeBC and the Provincial Health Officer. We will assess our plan and make changes as required to ensure we are in compliance with current guidelines.
October 27, 2020
- all clients and visitors are required to wear masks during meetings at Pihl Law, as are the lawyers/staff meeting with them.
November 16, 2020
- all employees are required to wear masks when meeting with each other in an office with a closed door and during any discussion in an office/work space longer than 15 minutes. Staff are not required to wear masks in common areas if physical distancing and capacity limits are maintained. Some capacity limits have been reduced.
November 20, 2020
- all clients, visitors and employees are required to don masks before entering the building and keep masks on until they have exited the building. Masks may only be removed by staff when alone in their personal workspace. Masks may be removed to eat/drink in shared spaces, if posted capacity limit and physical distances are maintained.
- all employees are required to conduct a daily health check before entering the workplace and confirm in writing to the firm designate, that they have reviewed the complete list of WorkSafeBC entry requirements as posted at all entries and that none of the prohibited criteria apply to them.
1. RISKS AT OUR WORKPLACE
• The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads in several ways. In can spread in droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. It can also spread if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your face.
• 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.
• The risk of surface transmission increases when many people contact the same surface and when those contacts happen over short periods of time.
• The closer together people are and the longer they are close to each other, the greater the risk.
➢ The areas within our workplace where there may be risk either through close physical proximity or through contaminated surfaces are:
• Places where people gather or pass: reception, meeting rooms, kitchens/lunchrooms, washrooms, printer stations, hallways, stairwells and elevators.
➢ The jobs or tasks where employees are close to one another or members of the public are:
• Receptionist, onsite IT support, onboarding/training, in person meetings with coworkers, colleagues, clients, vendors or other visitors.
➢ The tools and equipment that employees share while working are:
• Printers, stamps and other office tools, coffee maker, water dispenser, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, dishes, cutlery and other kitchen accessories.
➢ The shared surfaces that people touch often are:
Door handles/pulls, printers, counter tops, elevator buttons.
2. PROTOCOLS TO REDUCE THE RISKS
A. Reduce the risk of person to person transmission.
Level 1 – Elimination
Limit the number of people at the workplace and ensure physical distance whenever possible:
➢ We have established and posted occupancy limits for our premises and common areas such as meeting rooms, washrooms, lunchrooms/kitchens and elevators.
➢ 2M physical distancing signage is posted throughout the firm.
➢ Staff are asked not congregate where others may gather or need to pass – printer stations, hallways, stairwells, etc.
➢ All staff work stations meet or exceed the 2M distancing requirement.
➢ Seating capacity has been reduced to meet the 2M physical distancing requirement in meeting rooms in use.
➢ Meeting rooms that do not meet the distancing requirement are not being used.
➢ In order to reduce the number of visitors at our worksite we are utilizing virtual client meetings when possible.
Level 2 – Engineering Controls
If physical distancing can’t always be maintained install barriers such as plexiglass to separate people
➢ Plexi glass has been installed at the reception desk to enhance physical distancing
Level 3 – Administrative Controls
Establish rules and guidelines to reduce the risks.
➢ A designated area for deliveries separate from the reception desk is being utilized and has been clearly identified with signage.
➢ Visitors are not permitted access into the restricted area of the office. If necessary, sanitizing must take place before and after entry and masks are recommended. Coffee, paper and other such deliveries/pick ups should be taken into the restricted area by firm staff whenever possible.
Level 4 – PPE
Optional measures in addition to other control measures
➢ All staff have been provided with reusable masks and informed to utilize their mask whenever the 6’ physical distancing requirement cannot be met. Signage has also been posted as a reminder to do so.
➢ Disposable masks and gloves are available for clients and other visitors upon request. Signage has been posted at reception regarding their availability and the requirement to wear a mask within the 2M distancing requirement.
B. Reduce the Risk of Surface Transmission Through Effective Cleaning and Hygiene Practices
➢ Signage is posted at all entry points asking that staff, clients and visitors sanitize upon arrival and departure from the office.
➢ Beverage service is not being offered to clients
➢ Meeting room surfaces are cleaned with sanitizing spray by staff after every use.
➢ Personal hygiene reminders have been posted in washrooms, kitchens, lunchrooms and throughout the firm.
➢ Shared equipment should be sanitized after each use and hands should be sanitized/washed after using shared equipment.
➢ Sanitizer and/or wipes are available at reception, all meeting rooms, printing stations and other areas throughout the firm.
➢ The cleaning company is cleaning all areas of the offices nightly with a focus on high touch surfaces including but not limited to: entry/exit doors and push bars, door handles/pulls, light switches and hand railings in stairwells with a Health Canada approved broad spectrum viricidal.
3. POLICIES TO MANAGE THE WORKPLACE
Our workplace policies ensure that staff and others showing symptoms of Covid-19 are prohibited from the workplace:
➢ Signage is posted at all entry points directing staff and visitors not to enter the workplace if they:
• are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19. Symptoms include fever, chills, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and new muscle aches or headache
• have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days
• have been directed to self isolate by a governing body
• have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 14 days
➢ Workers who start to feel ill at work should:
a. Put on their mask, sanitize their hands, advise their supervisor, go straight home and isolate. The BC Covid-19 self assessment tool should be consulted or they should call 811 for assistance. If severely ill, the supervisor should call 911.
b. The supervisor should ensure that a senior admin team member is advised so that any surfaces the ill worker may have come into contact with can be properly cleaned/disinfected.
c. Staff will be informed if Covid-19 exposure has taken place and advised of any isolation instructions if necessary.
d. If a worker is experiencing symptoms but is well enough to work from home, they may utilize the work at home technology.
e. A safe return to work will be determined by medical advice.
➢ Workers who experience Covid-19 symptoms at home or who are not permitted to enter the workplace for any of the reasons listed above should contact their supervisor and a senior admin team member to determine the necessary protocol during their time away from the worksite and requirements for a safe return to work.
4. POLICIES TO MANAGE THE WORKPLACE – DEVELOP COMMUNICATION PLANS AND TRAINING
Everyone entering the workplace, including workers from other employers know how to keep themselves safe while at our workplace.
➢ Safety protocols are clearly communicated via signage- including but not limited to restrictions for entering the premises, effective hygiene practices and physical distancing requirements.
➢ Staff have been provided with the Covid-19 Plan and it is posted on the intranet and at Reception.
➢ Clients and visitors can refer to the plan posted on the website and at Reception.
5. MONITOR WORKPLACE AND UPDATE PLAN AS NECESSARY.
If a new area of concern is identified or something isn’t working we will take steps to update.
➢ Questions or concerns should be forwarded to a senior admin team member or a shareholder.
GET IN TOUCH
We look forward to working with you. To get started, please provide us with your contact information, and a brief message. We will be in touch with you to set an appointment. We do not provide legal advice over the internet.
Our office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 4:30PM
Alternatively, you can call us at 250.762.5434 to set an appointment.
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