Determining Safety Plan Risk

Last updated: July 8, 2020, 1:29 pm

Risk levels and approvals

The Safety Plans developed for all UBC departments/units will mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 by introducing appropriate measures as recommended by public health and WorkSafeBC. The plans reflect the currently available evidence and expert opinion, and are subject to change as new information on transmissibility, epidemiology, and effectiveness of public health and risk mitigation measures is made available.

Risk levels may vary and approval processes will be adjusted accordingly. The assessed residual risk, following implementation of planned mitigation, will determine the appropriate level of approval (i.e., department/school head/director or managing director/executive director/AVP; dean/VP, or UBC Executive).

The below information is intended to serve as a guide for risk assessment and the planning of mitigation strategies.

Activities are considered high risk if they meet any three risk considerations, and must be advanced for further review to the COVID-19 Safety Planning Steering Committee. All required risk mitigations must be implemented in order for the activity to be considered to have low residual risk.

Identifying high-risk plans

Risk Consideration

Context

Important Risk Mitigation

Risk #1 – Higher proportion of individuals from outside of the UBC community visit the campus/unit; if employees or staff are exposed to more than 10 random people in a day; or if the unit is public facing

(e.g., The Museum of Anthropology, UBC Bookstore, the Belkin Gallery)

The risk of COVID-19 introduction and spread is presumed to be greater as the number of contacts increases

– Enable two metre physical distancing; pinch-points must be addressed and carefully managed.

– Use of plexiglass barriers wherever possible

– Reduction of high touch points or increased cleaning

– Use of cohort groups, where appropriate

– Enable and encourage increased hand hygiene

– Strict non-admittance to anyone with symptoms

Risk #2 – Prolonged close interaction with others not in the usual cohort of colleagues; if contact lasts for more than 15 minutes and transient in nature[1]

(e.g., The Student Recreation Centre)

Person-to-person spread is more likely with prolonged contact

– Enable two metre physical distancing

– Reduction of high touch points or increased cleaning

– Enable and encourage increased hand hygiene

– Strict non-admittance to anyone with symptoms

Risk #3 – The workplace or activity is indoors and windows cannot be opened

(e.g., some classroom and meeting spaces)

A confined indoor space is presumed to have greater risk

– Enable two metre physical distancing

– Reduction of high touch points or increased cleaning

– Enable and encourage increased hand hygiene

– Strict non-admittance to anyone with symptoms

Risk #4 – Employees/students/visitors have frequent contact with high-touch surfaces

(e.g., Student Housing)

A higher frequency of contact with high-touch surfaces (e.g., service counters, card payment machines) is presumed to have greater risk

– Enable two metre physical distancing

– Use of plexiglass barriers wherever possible

– Reduction of high touch points or increased cleaning

– Enable and encourage increased hand hygiene

– Strict non-admittance to anyone with symptoms

Risk #5 –  The activity involves people who are at higher risk of severe illness (i.e., older adults or those with chronic health conditions) (e.g., some alumni events) COVID-19 can cause more severe illness among people who are 65 and over, and those who have compromised immune systems or other underlying medical conditions

– Work with HR for individual accommodations

– Encourage work from home arrangements

– Enable two metre physical distancing

– Reduction of high touch points or increased cleaning

– Enable and encourage increased hand hygiene

– Strict non-admittance to anyone with symptoms

Risk #6 – The activity involves people who are not able or likely to follow hygiene practices such as washing hands frequently, respiratory etiquette, and identifying when they are feeling ill and staying home

(e.g., Childcare Facilities, summer day camps)

COVID-19 spread can occur when personal preventive practices are not consistently followed. For example, young children are less likely to be able to carry out these practices

– Reduction of high touch points or increased cleaning

– Strict non-admittance to anyone with symptoms

– Limiting of non-essential contacts in space

– Strict non-admittance to anyone with symptoms

[1] PHAC. Updated Public Health Management of Cases and Contacts Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019. (10 Apr 2020).


NOTE:

  • Examples of activities and spaces assessed as low risk include parking structures, landscaping work, and activities held in outdoor spaces.
  • Examples of activities and spaces assessed as higher risk include those with sustained contact interaction and intensity (e.g., UBC housing and dining) and those involving minors (e.g., summer camps).

Any questions about whether or not an activity/unit is considered higher risk can be directed to ready.ubc@ubc.ca for clarification.

Prioritization for Safety Plan review and approval

UBC has developed broad guidelines for the review and approval of COVID-19 Safety Plans. Overall, prioritization will be based on the following five categories:

  1. Academic/Research resumption
    Examples: Teaching, labs (instructional and research), research services, research field stations.
  2. Services that directly support the resumption of research, teaching and learning
    Examples: Libraries, classrooms, housing, medical clinics, student counselling, child care.
  3. Revenue generating units
    Examples: Museums, art galleries, gardens, outdoor spaces.
  4. University ancillary services
    Examples: Athletics, recreation
  5. Administrative units
    Examples: Administrative offices

NOTE:

that other factors may be considered as necessary in the timing of the approval of individual plans.