Occ-COVID-Science, Solutions & Success Stories

Fri, 05 Mar 2021

Occ-COVID Webinar Series

Occ-COVID Webinar Series - A Year in Review

Recognizing a full year of the pandemic, and important lessons we continue to learn, our Occ-COVID series continues every Friday in March.


March 5: (Updated start time) 1:00-3:00- Face Coverings & Respirators - Filling the Gaps

Register on Eventbrite

Addressing the confusion around face coverings, masks, and respirators. Join our interdisciplinary team who will provide guidance on some of the many questions being asked by workplace parties and the public. 

During the pandemic, information about face coverings has become confusing and a point of contention. Most people want to find the best way to protect themselves and others.  There is a lot of  confusion between “masks”, “respirators” and various other types of face coverings.


Lisa Brosseau, Industrial Hygienist, Speaker, Award-winning professor, researcher, writer, educator.

Amanda Jones, Senior Scientific Evaluator, Health Canada

Maria Negulescu, P.Eng.  Industrial Technology Advisor, National Research Council Canada

Stacy Richardson,  Senior Health & Safety Application Professional, 3M


Dr. Simon Smith, recently retired from career in respiratory protection research but continuing dedication to ISO, CSA and AIHA Respiratory Protection Committees and Working Groups

  • In this session, an interdisciplinary team will provide guidance on some of the many questions that are being asked by workplace parties and the public:
  • Face Coverings, masks and respirators- how are they different?
  • What works as “source control”, to protect others from us?
  • What is needed to protect us from virus coming from others?
  • How do you know if your face covering really works?  Can you combine?
  • What standards (if any) apply to face coverings, masks (surgical), and respirators? How does a manufacturer get a product certified as meeting a standard?
  • What types face coverings, masks (surgical), and respirators are tested?  What has the testing shown us?
  • Are N95s (or more protective) respirators,  being manufactured in Canada?  Are there any barriers?
  • How do you know if your respirator might be a counterfeit?  
  • How do you assure a good face fit?
  • Do we still need to preserve stocks of N95 (or more protective) respirators for health care and other frontline workers?  
  • What do we know about re-using and cleaning respirators?

Register on Eventbrite


March 12: (Updated start time) 1:00-3:00- Airing it out: Ventilation Solutions and Tools at a Critical Time

Register on Eventbrite.  

Building on our “Air” on the Side of Caution session, this sequel offers further guidance around ventilation solutions and tools to help control the COVID-19 virus in workplaces. 

During the pandemic, information about ventilation and air cleaning has become confusing and a point of contention. Most people want to find the best way to protect themselves and others, especially given the rising threat of more transmissable "variants of concern".

Join this interdisciplinary team of scientists and occupational health experts who will provide practical advice and guidance on some of the many questions that are being asked by workplace parties and the public:

1) Dr. Liangzhu (Leon) Wang, Concordia University

  • Evaluation, Monitoring and Mitigation of SARS-CoV-2 Airborne Transmission Risks in Cities and Buildings
  • Evaluation – a new “macro” tool for COVID-19 airborne risks and interventions across Canada
  • Monitoring – using CO2 as a surrogate for ventilation conditions and airborne infectious risks
  • Mitigation – strategies for specific building types, e.g., large office

2) Thomas Smith, 3 Flow

Strategic Safety Measures to Mitigate Indoor Risk of Viral Transmission

  • Use of a simple risk assessment tool to identify areas of concern
  • Methods to investigate the capability of ventilation systems to reduce transmission
  • How airflow patterns affect potential for occupant exposure
  • Balancing safety and resources with a multi-faceted risk-based program
  • Collecting ventilation information to support lifecycle management and future resilience

3) Dr. Jeffrey Siegel, University of Toronto.

More Important than Ever: Air Treatment in the Age of COVID-19

  • Making the case for ventilation and filtration
  • Effective use of filters and air cleaners
  • Challenges and opportunities with humidification and emerging technologies
  • Occupational health implications for occupants and maintenance staff

4) Dr. Sarah Addleman, Aerosol Transmission Coalition

Success Story: Putting knowledge into action to get air-purifiers in school

Moderator: Dr. Kevin Hedges, OHCOW 

Register on Eventbrite


March 19: 1:30-3:00- Updates from the Medical Perspective

Register on Eventbrite.

Bringing you updated information on the ever and fast-changing COVID-19 virus from the medical science perspective including variants, vaccines, rapid testing and more. Speaker will include Dr. Leon Genovese, Dr. Obed T. Adarkwah (ICU Physician), Fatima Tokhmafshan (Geneticist and Researcher).

Speakers include:

Dr Leon Genovese, Occupational Medicine Physician

Dr. Obed T. Adarkwah – ICU Physician

Fatima Tokhmafshan – Geneticist and Researcher

Moderator: Patricia Phillips, ED, Central Region, OHCOW

Register on Eventbrite.



March 26: 1:30-3:00- Respiratory Protection- Beyond the Mask

Continuing from our March 5 Session -Face Coverings & Respirators “Filling the Gap” , this sequel delves into guidance on Elastomeric and Powered Air purifying Respirators and Programs in greater detail. 

Register on Eventbrite


April 9: 1:30-3:00- Looking Back and Moving Forward

Comparing and contrasting SARS and COVID-19 response and applying learnings to our current situation and future pandemic preparedness. 

Registration coming soon!


More information about videos and resources from past sessions below.


Occ-COVID - “Air” on the side of Caution

Videos now available here.

Friday, January 29 1:00 to 3:00 pm

Recognition of workplace and airborne transmission is rising, plus there is a new variant on the horizon. Join professional staff and guests at OHCOW’s 6th Occ-Covid webinar to learn the latest on SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility, aerosol risks and why they matter, and especially to discuss practical solutions for indoor spaces.

Visit our COVID-19 Resources page for a wide variety of information from around the world, including Airborne Transmission and Control.


Occ-COVID- A Medical Perspective: What We Know about the Long Term Health Effects. 

Friday, January 15th, 2021 from 1:30 to 3:00pm

Update: Video now available here, slides linked below.

With more than 73 million documented infections of COVID-19 and 1.6 million deaths worldwide, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues unabated. The clinical spectrum of SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from an asymptomatic infection to a life-threatening and fatal disease. Current estimates are that approximately 41 million people globally have “recovered”; however, clinicians are observing patients with persistent symptoms and others who develop complications after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because COVID-19 is a new disease, much about it remains uncertain—in particular, the possible long-term health consequences. 

Join us on January 15 as Dr. Pravesh Jugnundan, Occupational Medicine Physician provides a medical overview of COVID-19 and describes the long-term effects on physical and mental health as we know them today. 

Slides available here.

Followed by Dave Wilken who will discuss the importance of recognizing COVID-19 as an Occupational Disease, including advice on determining work-relatedness, the value of establishing a WSIB claim and how OHCOW can assist.  

Slides available here.


It is time for effective PPE as a Control: Respiratory Protection During COVID Winter

Friday, December 11th, 2020 from 1:30 to 3:00pm

Update: Video now available here, slides linked below.

The current surge in Covid case numbers in Canada is likely to climb throughout winter, particularly given increased time spent - and interactions - indoors, compounded by the difficulty in maintaining natural ventilation at low temperatures. Therefore, every workplace needs to consider and boost alternate controls, including the proper use of effective respiratory protection. This will be critical to protect all frontline workers, in and out of healthcare. Scientific studies have shown properly fitted (and worn) N95 (or better) respirators provide greater protection than surgical masks. Understand the difference, see the impact of making the wrong choice, and learn how judicious use is making a difference in Covid prevention around the world.

  1. International lessons from China and Australia, Kevin Hedges, OHCOW 
  2. Canadian lessons from SARS 1 and now 2, Alec Farquhar (Mario Possamai)
    View slides from Mario Possamai's presentation here.
  3. Elastomeric respirator effectiveness and use, Nicolas Smit  
  4. Respirator Program Considerations for Non-Healthcare Workplaces – Evaluating the Need and Implementation Guidance for COVID-19.  Kevin Hedges (obo Dr. Margaret Sietsema, University of Illinois)
  5. Panel Discussion and Q & A


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

Friday, November 27, 2020 from 1:30 to 3:00pm

UPDATE: Videos now available here, slides below.

OHCOW’s Occ-COVID series will continue on November 27th with more Science & Solutions including our in-house experts and guests sharing: Latest transmission evidence; Ventilation/Control implications; and other practical approaches to workplace prevention.

In less than a year, COVID-19 has become one of the most significant occupational diseases of our time, with thousands of workers exposed, hundreds seriously ill and an unacceptable number killed in Ontario alone.  

With winter arriving and cases surging in the Province, more needs to be done to control this deadly virus.  Much can be learned and applied from recent transmission, infection risk and exposure control science, but it is also valuable to review critical basic tenets of hazard communication and participatory health and safety to find solutions that work in real life situations.

Get the best COVID-19 prevention advice you can find here, plus the opportunity to dialogue with other interested (and committed) workers, supervisors, managers and owners from the workplaces of Ontario, along with Worker Advocates, Joint Health and Safety Committee members, Health and Safety Professionals; Researchers & Prevention System partners and stakeholders. 


Update: Q&A from past sessions (Session 1: Covid-19 Transmission: Taking Stock of the Science + Session 2: Solutions: The Hierarchy of Prevention/Control Banding) available here:


Part 1: Science & Solutions

Session 1: Covid-19 Transmission: Taking Stock of the Science 

UPDATE: Video now available here.

Date: July 7th

Time: 12:30-2:00 PM

Moderated by Dr. Raymond Tellier- https://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/raymond-tellier


Session 2: Solutions: The Hierarchy of Prevention/Control Banding

The Role of Infectious Dose and the Hierarchy of Prevention (Controls) for COVID-19

UPDATE: Video now available here.

July 8th 12:30 -2pm

Moderated by Dr. Kevin Hedges, OHCOW Hygienist.

The role of infectious dose and the hierarchy of prevention (controls) for COVID-19

International experts in infection control, occupational hygiene, and respiratory protection will discuss up to science, controls and methodology related to exposure to coronavirus and prevention of COVID-19. This session will build on the science delivered in session 1, and provide advice on the importance of the hierarchy of controls (HOC) which includes ventilation as a higher order control along with appropriate and effective personal protective equipment (PPE).

  1. Dr. Lisa Brosseau, ScD, CIH – The Role of Infectious Dose in Identifying and Managing COVID-19 Risks (15 mins).
  2. Deborah Gold MPH, CIH - Experience with Cal/OSHA's Aerosol Transmissible Disease Standard (15 mins).
  3. Prof. John Cherrie - Ventilated headboards and the need for novel controls for SARS-CoV-2 (15 mins).
  4. Dr. Simon Smith – Selecting effective respiratory protective equipment (RPE) for SARS-CoV-2 (15 mins).
  5. Q&A (30 mins). 


COVID-19 Applying the Hierarchy of Control to a Point of Care Risk Assessment for the protection of Health Care Workers



Part 2 : Success Stories / Innovations - Date TBD

Call for Submissions 

We are looking for Success Stories / Innovations from you for the following Sectors:

  • Healthcare / Dental
  • Transport
  • Construction
  • Food Chain: Agriculture/ Food Processing /Point of Sale 
  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail 
  • Mining 
  • and any others 

Please email submissions to koconnell@ohcow.on.ca


Talk to us on 1-877-817-0336 toll-free or contact us online