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OPL COVID-19 Safety Plan

Company Details

Business name: Oakville Public Library
Date completed: November 17, 2020
Branch: System
Date distributed: November 17, 2020
Revision date: February 16, 2021
Others consulted:  Town of Oakville

1. How we’re ensuring workers know how to keep themselves safe from exposure to COVID-19

Oakville Public Library (OPL) participates as a member of the Town of Oakville’s Emergency Operation Command (EOC) team. The EOC meets on a daily basis to inform and update on current COVID-19 impacts within the province and Halton Region. The CEO or designate sits on the EOC team.

OPL provides regular updates to CUPE 5348 regarding any changes to the workplace as a result of COVID-19. In addition, Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) review any procedural changes related to COVID-19 and encouraged to bring forward staff concerns related to COVID-19.

Employees are provided up-to-date information about COVID-19 and workplace impacts through email, updates on SharePoint, and team meetings. Documentation related to COVID-19 is regularly reviewed and updated and shared via SharePoint.

2. Screening for COVID-19

Stay Home if Sick
In order to protect others, the Library continues to message both to staff and to the public to stay home if they are ill. Pertinent signage has been posted at OPL’s facilities (both externally and internally), and communications have been shared via OPL’s social media streams and through internal staff communications.

Daily Health Screening
In an effort to ensure the safety and well-being of all staff and visitors to library facilities, a daily health screening protocol has been implemented, consistent with that of Halton Region. Before entry into a library facility, all visitors (including vendors and contractors) and OPL employees will undergo active screening. Signage is posted outside library facilities to mandate that anyone entering the facility agrees, prior to entry into the facility, that they do not have COVID-19, that they have not been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and that they are not exhibiting symptoms of the virus nor any flu-like symptoms.

All customers will be permitted to enter a library facility only once they have confirmed, by reading OPL’s COVID-19 signage posted outside the branch, that they do not have COVID-19, have not been near anyone with the virus, and that they are not exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19. Any customer entering in the branch is required to complete a contact tracing form.

While at Work
Employees who appear to have symptoms upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day, should immediately be separated from other employees and public, and sent home. If employee is unable to leave immediately, the employee will be isolated to designated room as determined at each branch location. Employees will follow the guidelines set out by Public Health regarding COVID-19 testing and isolation. Employees can refer to the Employee COVID-19 Testing Scenario and Protocols.

The room will not be used until it is cleaned after the exiting of the symptomic employee. The cleaning will be coordinated with Facilities & Construction Management.

3. Control Risk of Transmission

The following are control measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 within the Oakville Public Library:

Physical Distancing

Access to the Library for customers will be controlled according to the maximum capacity each branch has determined. A staff member will regulate this flow of traffic. Should a lineup be required, customers will practice physical distancing outside the Library (indicators have been placed on the ground outside the entrance to mark 2m/6ft distances).

Greeting staff ensure customers are wearing a mask, aside from those customers who are exempt as per the provincial requirement and Halton Region By-Law. No proof of exemption is required.

Customers are instructed to maintain 2m/6ft of physical distance from others (customers and staff). Customers are encouraged to sanitize their hands upon entering the branch.

Clear visuals, instructions and signage (2m/6ft indicators and directional signage) will direct customers to practice physical distancing.

Directional signage will guide customers towards the exit.

Staff working at the branch are required to practice physical distancing of 2m/6ft while conducting any work activities and are required to wear a mask while working in the Library as per provincial requirement and The Regional Municipality of Halton By-law No. 47-20.

Staff members shall practice physical distancing while at work:
  • Each staff member will be assigned a different work zone to adhere to physical distancing requirements.
  • Staff supporting the computer access service area practice physical distancing when providing assistance to customers with the PACs/laptops. Staff make use of a laser pointer to indicate something on the computer screen for the customer.
  • Staff at the desk are required to maintain physical distancing or work behind a plexi-glass barrier when answering customer questions.
  • Staff members shall adhere to the schedule of breaks and meal breaks, take them separately (where possible), and in different locations (if possible) in order to allow for appropriate physical distancing. Furthermore, staff shall ensure that small appliance and surfaces, which they have used/touched, are disinfected afterwards.
Service Area – Cleaning/Disinfecting Protocol

In order to mitigate the risk of the COVID-19 virus being present in service areas:
  • Staff shall sanitize their own workstations at the beginning and end of each shift.
  • Staff shall maintain a basket with office supplies for their use only (e.g. staplers, pens, pencils, markers, laser pointer), and these items must be sanitized at the beginning and end of their shifts.
  • At the beginning of their shifts, staff shall clean all public access computers (PACs) (including keyboards, mice, monitors, tables and chairs) and laptops, which will be in use during that day. They will also clean the cash register, Moneris terminal, catalogue computers and tablets, checkout kiosks, printer/scanner/photocopier and the print release station.
  • Throughout the day staff will regularly clean the checkout kiosks, catalogue computers and tablets, study table, public seating and all other high touch areas.
  • The public washrooms will receive cleaning regularly throughout the day.
  • At the end of each 45-minute computer access session, staff will clean all equipment that has been used by the public, including keyboards, mice and laptops, prior to the next session.
Hand Hygiene Practices
Staff shall practice good hand hygiene while conducting work activities. Halton Region Public Health advises that one of the best ways to control the spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19 is to wash hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Staff shall wash/sanitize their hands regularly as well as at the completion of one task, and before moving on to another.

Customers are encouraged to use hand sanitizer regularly, which will be available throughout the branch.

Cough and Sneeze Etiquette
Halton Region Public Health advises that another effective method to control the spread is to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve. Dispose of any tissues used as soon as possible in a lined wastebasket and wash hands afterwards.

Use of Gloves, Masks and Face Shields
During work activities that incorporate gloves, face masks and face shields as an additional measure, staff must combine use of this equipment with proper hand hygiene and other necessary protective measures (e.g. physical distancing). Gloves, masks and face shields are only effective if worn correctly. Please see the OPL Mandatory Use of Non-Medical Masks/Face Coverings Policy for further details.

Employees must wear non-medical masks at all times when working indoors in a public area or in staff only areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained. OPL has provided cloth facemasks to all staff and disposable gloves are available, as needed. Face shields have been made available to all customer service staff. The face shield can be used in addition to a face mask for an additional layer of protection for staff. The face shield does not replace the face mask as per the Halton by-law and the OPL Mandatory Use of Non-

Medical Masks/Face Coverings Policy
Employees who are serving non-masked customers that cannot maintain 6ft/2m of physical distance or not behind a plexi-glass/impermeable barrier must wear their face shield to cover eyes, mouth, and nose.
Customers are also required to wear a mask while in the library. Those with certain medical conditions are exempt from wearing a mask, as per the provincial requirement and The Regional Municipality of Halton By-law No. 47-20.

4. Potential case, or suspected exposure to, COVID-19 at your workplace?

If an employee, visitor(s) or customer(s) has symptoms that may be related to COVID-19 or is diagnosed with COVID-19, the following steps are to occur:

Step 1: Exclude symptomatic people from the workplace
Step 2: Contact Public Health

Contact Halton Region Public Health unit for guidance on what to do if someone develops symptoms at your workplace or you are told one of your workers has COVID-19. Public Health will provide instructions and do contact tracing if needed.

To support contact tracing, OPL will provide the following information:
  • Work schedule of the employee/branch
  • Employee(s) contact information (HR)
  • Daily contact tracing information provided by customers
Step 3: Follow Public Health direction
Halton Region public health unit may require that:
  • other employees who were exposed are notified and sent home to self-isolate, self-monitor and report any possible COVID-19 symptoms
  • the workplace be shut down while the affected workplace or area and equipment are disinfected
  • other Public Health measures are implemented
Step 4: Inform any workers who may have been exposed
OPL will inform employees, along with CUPE 5348 and JHSC, if an exposure has occured in the workplace.
Employees will not be informed of the identity of the individual. Employees will be provided information about the date, time and location of the potential exposure.

OPL will undertake contact tracing activities as advised the Halton Region Public Health unit.

Step 5: Report to Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
If OPL is advised that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 due to exposure at the workplace, or that a claim has been filed with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), OPL must give notice in writing within four days to: Additionally, OPL must report any occupationally acquired illnesses to the WSIB within three days of receiving notification of the illness.

5. Manage any new risks caused by changes to the way you operate your business

Employees are trained on any new or modified procedures/guidelines in the workplace as a result of COVID-19.  Leaders continue to check in with the employees to ensure that the procedures/guidelines are implemented properly and working.

Employees may be feeling anxious or stressed due to the real or perceived threats posed by COVID-19, and it’s important for everyone at the Library to feel safe and healthy. Check in regularly with employees and direct colleagues. Leaders are to watch for signs and symptoms of mental health issues – despite encouragement, employees may not feel comfortable asking for support for their mental health. Every employee has access to an Employee and Family Assistance Program through our provider, Morneau Shepell, at 1-844-880-9142. These programs provide confidential counselling and supports, and deal with a wide variety of personal problems, including stress, anxiety, or any other issues that may affect your well-being. The services of the EFAP continue to be available to you and your immediate family.

6. How we’re making sure our plan is working

Guidelines may be adjusted to re-align with identified service requirements. As such, the controls in place and other preventative measures will be evaluated and modified as needed.

Any changes to the guidelines will be reviewed by the Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC). JHSC can bring forward any recommendations for consideration. In addition, any changes have been communicated to CUPE 5348 will be done during regular meetings with the CEO and Human Resources.