COVID-19 Health & Safety

Safety & Risks Services is working to provide UBC with timely advice that is coordinated to the efforts of the BC Ministry of Health, Vancouver Coastal Health, WorkSafeBC, and others. In this section you will find tools and information to help you be safe at work, whether you’re on campus or working remotely.

For information and support on working during COVID-19, including health & wellbeing resources, visit the UBC Human Resources website.

Reducing the risk of infection

Organizations such as the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Public Health Canada, and the World Health Organization, have issued COVID-19 related health guidance which, if followed, helps to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and frequently
  • Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands
  • Minimize your contact with others through physical distancing of 2m
  • Avoid touching your head/face whenever possible
  • Wipe down frequently touched surfaces and objects
  • If you are sick or come into contact with a person who is sick, stay home and follow guidance about self-isolation

Existing health and safety guidance

While working on campus, health and safety guidance must be followed at all times, this is unaffected by the situation caused by COVID-19:

  • Always follow safe working procedures, current processes, and health and safety guidance for your role.
  • To find relevant safe working procedures speak to your manager or the appropriate member of the SRS team.
  • UBC employees will not be asked to carry out activities requiring personal protective equipment (PPE) that is not listed in their safe work procedures.
  • If you encounter a situation that appears to have an elevated risk of contact with COVID-19, leave the area immediately and contact your supervisor for assistance.
  • If your staff member reports an elevated risk to you, please contact ready.ubc@ubc.ca for next steps.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) has a role in preventing exposure to COVID-19, but must be combined with other measures to be effective. PPE should be disposed of correctly and must not, under any circumstances, be flushed down the toilet.

You can find information about UBC’s approach to PPE in the PPE section of this website.

Non-medical masks

Effective Wednesday, September 16, 2020, UBC students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear non-medical masks, when indoors on our campuses.

The requirement to wear non-medical masks indoors recognizes that transmission is reduced when non-medical masks are worn in conjunction with physical distancing and other safety practices.

More information can be found on the “Using non-medical masks” page.

COVID-19 Infections and Reporting

You can find frequently asked questions about COVID-19 infections and contact tracing processes carried out by public health authorities, here.

Safe Working Consultations

Members of the Safety & Risk Services team are available to provide safe working consultations, either in person or online, and help to develop COVID-19 safety plans. Please contact ready.ubc@ubc.ca to request support.

In-person meetings and training

In-person meetings or training sessions pose a higher risk of infection that those conducted online, however some meetings need to be held in person.

The risk of infection during In-person meetings can be reduced by:

  • Practicing physical distancing
  • Greeting people with a wave instead of a handshake
  • Avoiding physical documents and training materials
  • Practicing good personal hygiene and cleaning habits

You can find more information about reducing the risk of infection for in-person meetings in the UBC Employees COVID-19 Essential In-person Meetings/Trainings Guidance document.

Use of UBC vehicles

Many UBC employees use shared vehicles as part of their job role, making them high risk areas for disease transmission.

To reduce the risk of infection in shared vehicles:

  • Avoid their use wherever possible
  • If possible, assign the same vehicle to the same person on consecutive days.
  • If feasible, remove vehicle from rotation for 72 hours between users.
  • Limit vehicle use to one person at a time, unless 2m physical distancing can be maintained
  • Practicing good personal hygiene and cleaning habits

You can find more information about reducing the risk of infection while using shared UBC vehicles in the UBC Employees COVID-19 Use of Shared UBC Vehicles guidance document.

Working outside your building of primary occupancy

Some roles at UBC involve visiting other work sites or buildings on campus. The “Covid-19 Procedure for conducting work outside your building of primary occupancy” outlines how workers conducting this type of work can do so safely and in accordance with local COVID-19 safety plans.

Reviewing Safe Working Procedures (SWPs)

Safe working procedures include step by step details for how to conduct a specific task, and ensure that work can be carried out in a safe manner.

All safe working procedures should be reviewed with the risks posed by COVID-19 in mind using the Safe Working Procedure Review Form.

Building Emergency Response Plan (BERP)

All UBC buildings should have their own Building Emergency Response Plan (BERP) to help ensure the safety of building occupants through emergency evacuation and fire prevention. Due to the situation caused by COVID-19, an amendment has been created to the BERP to outline additional responsibilities for building emergency directors, floor wardens and building occupants during these unique times.

You can find more information about BERPs and the amendment, as well as relevant templates on our dedicated emergency preparedness site ready.ubc.ca.

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