Working Safely on Campus During COVID-19

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.

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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

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Self-assessment requirements

Doing a daily self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before coming to UBC premises is part of the UBC Campus Rules. The provincial health officer issued an order on December 16 that includes a requirement for employers in all regions to ensure that every worker conducts a daily health check before entering the workplace.

For more information, please review the self-assessment requirements web page.

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

For more information about reducing the risk of infection for in-person meetings, please review the UBC Employees COVID-19 Essential In-person Meetings/Trainings Guidance document.

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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 shared-vehicle use whenever 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

For more information about reducing the risk of infection while using shared UBC vehicles, please review the UBC Employees COVID-19 Use of Shared UBC Vehicles guidance document.

For carpooling safety guidelines, please visit the Carpooling Safety web page.

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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.

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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.

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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.

For more information about BERPs and the amendment, as well as relevant templates, please visit the emergency preparedness website ready.ubc.ca.

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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.

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