Operating During Omicron: A Guide for Business
COVID-19 infections are soaring due to the more transmissible Omicron variant. Recently, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry warned that as much as 1/3 of the workplace may be impacted in early 2022 by the virus and be unable to work.
To help local businesses continue to operate during the Omicron surge, the Burnaby Board of Trade is providing this resource page.
COVID-19 Safety Plans
Employers are again required to operate under a COVID-19 Safety Plan that outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures they have put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Employers must involve frontline workers, joint health and safety committees, and supervisors in developing the plan. The plan does not need to be submitted or approved, but it must be posted at your worksite and on your website.
Workplaces should revisit their COVID Safety Plans from 2021 and reintroduce measures which may have lapsed or been removed.
- COVID Safety Plan Template (2022) – You can type directly into this template and create your safety plan
- Industry-Specific Guidance from WorkSafeBC (2022) – Tips and guidance for various sectors
- Checklist for Developing a COVID Safety Plan – This checklist will help guide you through the development of your safety plan (2021)
Daily Worker Health Checks
A critical part of previous COVID-19 Safety Plans was ensuring that every worker performs a daily health check before entering the workplace. Health checks are self-assessments conducted by workers and includes confirming with their employer, in written or verbal format, that they have reviewed the complete list of entry requirements and that none of the prohibited criteria apply to them.
Health checks are not required at this time, but employers are required to not permit workers with symptoms to remain on site. If you wish to implement health checks to support this requirement, please review the following resources:
- Primer on Testing and Isolation – The latest information on who needs a test and what isolation means during Omicron (2022)
- Health Check Template — Use this document to ensure you are asking the right questions. (2021)
- Questions and Answers on Health Checks – Review the fundamental parts of conducting worker health checks (2021)
Rapid Testing in Workplaces
In BC, there are limited options for employers to access rapid tests for use in workplace COVID-19 screening procedures. The Burnaby Board of Trade has been actively engaging and advocating for tools and resources to help businesses access more testing options.
There are three different avenues to get tests for use in workplaces, depending on whether it is for a business, a non-profit, or a long-term care facility. Click here to review the options for accessing rapid tests for setting up screening in your workplace.
WorkSafeBC COVID Inspections
WorkSafeBC officers may call or visit unannounced to evaluate how you are protecting your workers and how you are applying the appropriate safeguards to properly manage the overall risk of COVID-19 exposures. Inspections may be done physically on-site or over the phone, and in both instances employers and workers will be asked questions about their COVID-19 safety plans to determine if the plan has been developed appropriately and implemented by staff. This is why it is critical that employers ensure all staff know about the COVID-19 safety plan and understand their role in fulfilling it.
Throughout the pandemic, the Burnaby Board of Trade has brought subject matter experts to our business community to share valuable information, insights, and guidance. The two below webinars specifically reviewed COVID-19 Safety Plans.
Operating Safely During COVID-19 and Avoiding 10-Day Closures with WorkSafeBC (May 2021)
Re Opening and Operating During COVID 19 (June 2020)