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.
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.
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-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.
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.
View the following resources to learn more about COVID-19 Transmission and Exposure Control:
Addressing Airborne Transmission by Doing Something About Ventilation
John Oudyk and Kevin Hedges, Occupational Hygienists,
Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)
VIEW PRESENTATION SLIDES
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.
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
Public Health Agency of Canada
SARS-CoV-2 in Droplets and Aerosols
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
Evidence Brief on SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol Transmission
December 30, 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.
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:
Additional Resources on the topic of Workplace Risk Management include:
Key Workplace Health Factors to Recognize, Assess & Control During COVID-19
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.
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.
COVID-19 and Ontario Farm Worker Health and Safety
Presented by a team of Ministry and OHCOW experts, including a review of key issues and an exploration of solutions, including a look at a video series we are drafting.
COVID-19 Resource Library for International Agricultural Workers and Employers
Includes and extensive list of COVID-19 safety guidance information for use by employers to inform workplace safety plans, policies and practices as well as an extensive list of resources, guidelines, posters, videos, etc. for international farm workers, in English, Spanish and Thai
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
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
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.
If none of that helps, don’t hesitate to contact the OHCOW Clinic nearest you to set up a phone or virtual consultation.
The following are Workplace Health Without Borders webinars hosted by OHCOW Hygienist, Dr. Kevin Hedges, in his role as International President.
Coronavirus (COVID) Respiratory Protection Resources and Updates
on behalf of
Infectious Disease Control – Infection Control for OSH Professionals
Dr. Thomas Fuller, (US)
Why Should We Get Serious About Airborne COVID-19 Transmission In Schools?
Dr. Lidia Morawska
From Our Partners, et al.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
Respiratory Protection Against Airborne Infectious Agents for Health Care Workers
Respirators – Respirators Versus Surgical Masks Versus Non-medical Masks
Good Hygiene Practices – Reducing the Spread of Infections and Viruses
Government of Ontario
Develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan
Manufacturing health and safety during COVID-19
Agriculture health and safety during COVID-19
Food manufacturing and processing health and safety during COVID-19
Restaurant and food services health and safety during COVID-19
COVID-19: self-isolation and return to work
Meal and break periods at work during COVID-19
Construction site health and safety during COVID-19
ELECTRICAL SAFETY FOUNDATION International (ESFi)
Electrical Safety While Working from Home