COVID-19

COVID-19 will be with us for a while longer and as such we are providing you with a collection of resources to assist workers and workplaces in navigating the unique challenges that this disease/infection presents.


OCC-COVID Webinar Series

Over 50 presentations available on a variety of COVID-related topics

NEW!
PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS
for Homes and Workplaces Based on Public Health Fundamentals

IT’S IN THE AIR – What can you do to avoid the virus?

An infographic-style page with tips and suggestions to help you navigate the COVID-19 pandemic safely and smartly.
PDF versions (English and French) are also provided for downloading and posting in your home / workplace.

A snapshot of the COVID-19 Practical Solutions tip sheet
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A snapshot of the French version of OHCOW's COVID-19 Practical Solutions tip sheet
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TRANSMISSION and EXPOSURE CONTROL

Regional Risk Tools and Tips

A colourful and engaging, interactive page that provide tools to determine your local infection risk and corresponding tips for COVID-10 prevention in non-healthcare workplaces.

COVID regional risk graph

COVID-19 Infections Rates in Different Regions of Ontario

An interactive graph available on the page

Mask Efficiency NEW!

The distinct benefit of N95 and higher respirators* is shown in this simple graph generated from peer-reviewed mask efficiency research
* even if not fit-tested

Fit matters, therefore adding a brace greatly improves a surgical mask
if that is all that is available to you. Cloth masks and gaiters provide very poor protection by comparison.

A graph showing the relative efficiencies of different mask types for virus protection

Click on image to magnify

COVID IS AIRBORNE

Is Your Classroom Ventilation Adequate?

Use our Excel-based tool to determine the adequacy of the ventilation in your classroom

*Tool can also be used to evaluate single offices and small meeting rooms.
A more generic version is in development. 

More About / How to Use

View the following resources to learn more about COVID-19 Transmission and Exposure Control:

Ventilation Checklist (COVID-19)

 This Ventilation Checklist (COVID-19) can be used as a guide to assess the suitability of ventilation in the workspace/building that are to be occupied.

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Addressing Airborne Transmission by Doing Something About Ventilation

John Oudyk and Kevin Hedges, Occupational Hygienists,
Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

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[PDF]

Transmission Reduction, Ventilation Optimization & Knowledge Activation for Effective Workplace Prevention

OHCOW has been translating and activating knowledge throughout its history. During COVID-19 this has included gathering evidence and multi-faceted messaging on Airborne Transmission Risk and Control.

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Protecting Workers from COVID-19: Transmission, Ventilation and the Law

Manitoba Federation of Labour Occupational Health Clinic,
including  John Oudyk, Occupational Hygienist, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW).

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Using Infectious Dose to Understand Risk

Lisa M. Brosseau, ScD, CIH
Professor (Retired), Research Consultant, University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Guidance on Indoor Ventilation During the Pandemic

January 2021

Public Health Agency of Canada

SARS-CoV-2 in Droplets and Aerosols

July 2020

Linsey C. Marr, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech

Understanding and Controlling SARS-CoV2 Transmission

Donald Milton, MD, DrPH, Professor,
Institute for Applied Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of Maryland

Time for Government to take Aerosol Transmission of the COVID-19 Seriously

Open letter from hundreds of experts calls on Canadian leaders to change course

January 2021

Evidence Brief on SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol Transmission

December 30, 2020

Public Health Agency of Canada

 The Role of Bioaerosols and Indoor Ventilation in COVID-19 Transmission

September 28, 2020

Government of Canada,

Emerging Evidence on COVID-19

Evidence Brief on Aerodynamic Analysis and Aerosolization of SARS-CoV-2

July 7, 2020

Public Health Agency of Canada

WORKPLACE RISK MANAGEMENT

Working During a Pandemic

As the risk for infection gets higher, for higher risk jobs, such as health care workers (HCW) working in close proximity to COVID19 patients; it is even more important that more emphasis be placed on increased ventilation.

The OHCOW Workplace COVID-19 Risk Management (Control Banding) Matrix infographic has adapted the OSHA Risk Levels into a control banding matrix to help support decisions on risk management.

Snapshot of a Risk Management infographic

This infographic is provided as a “communication and education tool”, to highlight that “higher order controls” are in fact much more effective than personal protective equipment and that the degree of infection protection control (IPC) should be commensurate with the level of risk.
It can be used along with OHCOW Regional Risk Tool and Tips which provides “additional practical advice” which in addition incorporates “community transmission” which should be considered in the occupational health risk assessment.

The US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has simplified the risk management process by assigning risk levels to different jobs and assigning controls based on the risk level which is described in more detail in:

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic

(OSHA, 2009)

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Guidance on Hazard Recognition and Classifying Risk of Worker Exposure to SARS-COV-2

(OSHA, 2020)

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Guidance on Control and Prevention

(OSHA, 2020)

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Guidance on Returning to Work

(OSHA, 2020)

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The guidance provided by OSHA, for each risk level, has been aligned in the infographic with the hierarchy of controls (HOCs) to reinforce that higher order control (such as ventilation) are even more important when managing the risk of infection from an aerosol transmissible disease (SARS-COV-2).

Additional Resources on the topic of Workplace Risk Management include:

Key Workplace Health Factors to Recognize, Assess & Control During COVID-19

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COVID-19 Hub

The British Occupational Hygiene Society, the Chartered Society for Worker Health Protection and a leading scientific voice on the prevention of exposures to health hazards at work, has drawn together academics and industry experts to develop a tool to be used by occupational hygienists and others to look at all the means that can be used to protect key workers from COVID-19.

Applying Hierachy of Controls for Point of Care RA for Healthcare Workers

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RESPIRATORS and PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

With the wide variety of masks, face shields and respirators available on the market today,
we are providing some resources to help you make an informed selection.

A Consideration of the Rationale Provided to Downgrade PPE Precautions for COVID-19

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Healthcare Workers Lacking PPE
Suffer From More Anxiety and Depression

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Selecting Effective Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) for SARS-CoV-2

Dr. Simon Smith

RESEARCH and SCIENCE

OHCOW has been working with various labour and academic partners using surveys to capture pandemic workers’ experience (in healthcare, essential workers, working from home, and educators).  We have also been involved in demonstrating the science behind aerosol transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the measures need to protect workers and workplaces.  We have also invited various experts and researchers to share their knowledge regarding the pandemic during numerous online and archived webinars.

View the complete post by clicking on the post title

AGRICULTURAL WORK and COVID-19

Working Together to Communicate Important COVID-19 Prevention Information to the Ontario Agricultural Sector

COVID19 introduces serious and complex health and safety challenges for the arrival, isolation and work of temporary foreign workers in Ontario agriculture, particularly in regard to healthcare capacity, public and occupational health, and workplace communication and coordination for this disconnected population, made more vulnerable by high-density housing.

OHCOW Migrant Farm Worker Program (MFWP) staff continue to collaborate with employers, workers, partners and stakeholders and offer experience and support to contribute to frontline planning, preparedness and response.

Visit our Migrant Farm Workers page for more details on this program

PANDEMIC EXPERIENCE and IMPACT 

Pandemic Experience Surveys

OHCOW has conducted two surveys over the course of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Round two of the general workers survey is ongoing.
Share your pandemic work experience, by taking part in the survey using the survey buttons below:

Survey of HEALTHCARE WORKERS’ Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic

OHCOW workplace stress experts, along with several academic and labour partners, have developed a survey to measure The Experiences of a Healthcare Worker During a Pandemic. It is based on a number of scientifically-recognized questions that measure different aspects of job-related psychosocial conditions, along with symptoms related to intense stressful conditions and mood disorders.

Survey of WORKERS’ Experiences
During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Building on the success of the Healthcare Worker Pandemic Experience Survey*, OHCOW and its partners have now created and launched a more “generic” Survey of Workers’ Experiences During a Pandemic to recognize the impact that working during the COVID-19 pandemic is having on all workers in the province (country and world).

*which already has more than 3500 respondents

Survey Results

Watch the presentations that reveal the results of these two highly insightful surveys:

Let’s Walk the Talk

Tools for [Workplace] Mental Health

January 28, 2021

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PSHSA Pandemic Surveys Presentation

November 17, 2020

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Pandemic Experience of Workers

Lancaster House presentation by John Oudyk, and IWH research partner Dr. Peter Smith

September 2020

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COVID-19 Survey Results: What’s It Like to Work in Healthcare in Canada?

May 21, 2020

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The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health of Nurses in British Columbia…

From the Annals of Epidemiology

May 28, 2021

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WORKING FROM HOME

Given the new normal of businesses and government striving to maintain services while reinforcing critical physical distancing,
more and more Ontarians are working from home.

OHCOW ergonomists offer a few tips in the following documents on taking the time to set up a proper workstation
to improve health, safety, and even productivity, which is better for everyone.

Setting up Your Home Workstation

Home workstations warrant as much care and attention as in an office, particularly if used more than occasionally ( 1 day/week).

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Ergonomic Tips for Working From Home in Ontario
During COVID 19

Recent webinar, in partnership with the Workers Health and Safety Centre (WHSC)

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ErgoTools

Provide an abundance of information and guidance, including videos, on fitting your workstation to you, instead of contorting yourself to fit it, or alternatively, roaming around with a laptop.

ERGONOMIC RESOURCES

Our Office Ergonomics page as well as our Office Ergonomics Reference Guide also provide an abundance of information and guidance that will assist your when you are working from home.

If none of that helps, don’t hesitate to contact the OHCOW Clinic nearest you to set up a phone or virtual consultation.

Additional Resources

The following are Workplace Health Without Borders webinars hosted by OHCOW Hygienist, Dr. Kevin Hedges, in his role as International President.

COVID-19 Trajectory of a Pandemic

March 2020

 Laurence Svirchev

Coronavirus (COVID) Respiratory Protection Resources and Updates

on behalf of

Respiratory Protection

May 11, 2020

Tony Havics

Infectious Disease Control – Infection Control for OSH Professionals

Dr. Thomas Fuller, (US)

Control Banding and COVID-19 Simplifying Risk Communication

Dr. Dave Zalk

Infectious Dose – Can It Inform COVID-19 Decisions

June 2020

Dr. Lisa Brosseau, (US)

Why Should We Get Serious About Airborne COVID-19 Transmission In Schools?

Dr. Lidia Morawska

Risk Reduction Strategies for Re-opening Schools

Dr. Joseph Allen, (US)

SARS CoV-2 Transmission and Respiratory Protection

December 16, 2020

Dr. Raina McIntyre

Making the MN Mask, A Team Building Event

December 16, 2020

Dr. Susan Arnold