Facts about the Coronavirus: Keeping yourself and your workplace safe

January 30, 2020

With the coronavirus outbreak heavily in the news, we felt it was important for our members to be empowered with accurate information about the coronavirus but also know what the appropriate actions are to deal with this emerging health concern.

The coronavirus is:

  • A respiratory infection that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses or upper throat.
  • Low-risk in Canada and to Canadians, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The coronavirus is not:

  • As of this writing, a public health emergency.
  • An excuse to treat any person, or group of people, in a disrespectful or discriminatory manner.

Protect yourself

By following best practices around hygiene, you can play your part to reduce the spread of germs. These include:

  • Hand washing
  • Covering your mouth with a tissue, handkerchief, or your sleeve when you sneeze or cough
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Using your sick days when appropriate
  • Following-up with a health care provider as needed

Protect your workplace and those around you

It is important for your workplace to remain a healthy and safe space. Be part of advancing solutions to address concerns around the coronavirus. Some of these steps may include:

  • Asking your Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) committee members or managers to implement precautionary measures, such as providing protective wear or disinfectants;
  • If you notice a co-worker not feeling well, make sure they are aware of their sick leave benefits so they can be at home recovering and not potentially infecting others. This applies for all communicable viruses, not just the coronavirus;
  • Keep track of your workload and make sure it remains manageable if others are absent. We need to avoid overworking ourselves and further stressing our systems which can contribute to a weakened immunity;
  • If you have questions about your collective agreement rights, you can find your collective agreement on our website. Your job stewards are there to answer your questions.

Thank you for helping do your part to make your workplace a safer place. For more information from the BC Centres for Disease Control, click here.

In solidarity,

David Black, President
Lori Mayhew, Secretary-Treasurer
Rysa Kronebusch, Vice-President, Utilities
Christy Slusarenko, Vice-President, Combined Units
Annette Toth, Vice-President, ICBC