Workplace Safety Guidelines


Protect Yourself from COVID-19 

Avoid large gatherings and stay away from other people who are ill. In addition to physical distancing, the most important thing you can do to prevent infection is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

To help reduce your risk of infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using soap and water is the single most effective and preferred way of reducing the spread of infection.
  • If a sink is not available, alcohol based hand rubs (ABHR) can be used to clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then ABHR to effectively clean them.
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.

If you are sick

  • Stay home and avoid close contact with others in your home if possible.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands.
  • It is the responsibility of healthcare employers to ensure workers are properly informed and equipped to work in settings where there’s a risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • CLAC is working with health authorities and other health employers will provide timely, specific, and clear direction to healthcare workers on the infection control protocols they will follow to avoid exposure to the virus.
  • Health employers are working diligently to have sufficient C (PPE) on hand for health care workers, and provide the training to use it, including fit-testing for respirators where they are required.
  • Workers should always apply a precautionary approach to their work, and consult a supervisor with any questions about protocols or the use of PPE.


What should my employer do if COVID-19 confirmed in my workplace?

  • It is the responsibility of healthcare employers to ensure workers are properly informed and equipped to work in settings where there’s a risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • CLAC is working with health authorities and other health employers will provide timely, specific, and clear direction to healthcare workers on the infection control protocols they will follow to avoid exposure to the virus.
  • Health employers are working diligently to have sufficient C (PPE) on hand for health care workers, and provide the training to use it, including fit-testing for respirators where they are required.
  • Workers should always apply a precautionary approach to their work, and consult a supervisor with any questions about protocols or the use of PPE.


Masks and personal protective equipment

  • Patients under investigation should be managed with contact and droplet precautions 
  • Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs and throat swabs can be performed using contact and droplet precautions, and workers must wear gown, gloves, surgical/procedural mask and eye protection (face shield or goggles) and do not require the use of an N95 respirator.
  • Airborne precautions including N95 respirators with gown, gloves, surgical/procedural mask and eye protection (face shield or goggles) should be used during aerosol-generating medical procedures 

For proper steps to put on and take off this Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), visit the BC CDC’s webpage.


Cleaning and disinfecting clinical spaces

  • Cleaning: This is the physical removal of visible soiling (e.g. dust, soil, blood, mucus). Cleaning removes, rather than kills, viruses and bacteria. It is done with water, detergents, and steady friction from cleaning cloth.
  • Disinfection: This the kills viruses and bacteria. A disinfectant is only applied to objects; never on the human body.
  • All visibly soiled surfaces should be cleaned before disinfection.
  • Cleaning products and disinfectants that are regularly used in hospitals and healthcare settings are strong enough to deactivate coronaviruses and prevent their spread. 
  • For recommendations on when to clean and disinfect healthcare settings and for details on disinfecting products, visit the BC CDC infection control page.

Tips for using disinfectants safely

  • Open a window when disinfecting so the fumes from the products don't aggravate your throat or breathing.
  • Wear gloves when handling disinfecting products especially bleach.
  • Use store-bought disinfectants. If not available, use diluted bleach solution with room temperature water (do not use hot water).
  • Make sure to dilute your bleach. More is not better. If the concentration of bleach on the container is 5.25 percent, you need 1 part bleach to 99 parts water or 10mL bleach to 990mL water. For other concentrations on the bleach container, use the BC CDC Foodsafe bleach calculator to make the right dilution. You can find this link at bccdc.ca.
  • Do not mix bleach with vinegar or other acids, ammonia, or rubbing alcohol. This can create toxic gases or corrosive materials that can cause damage.
  • When using bleach on surfaces, allow the surface to remain wet for one minute.
  • Do not bleach food.
  • To sanitize surfaces used in food preparation such as countertops and cutting boards, use a more diluted bleach solution: mix 1 part of bleach to 499 parts water or 2mL bleach to 998mL water. Make sure to rinse away bleach solution with water before preparing or serving food.
  • Dispose of any leftover mixtures so people don't mistake them for something else or mix them with other products by mistake. If you put them down the drain, run water down the drain to rinse.