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COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols

This page contains resources and protocols for the Health & Safety aspects of TRIUMF's COVID-19 Response. 

TRIUMF is committed to caring for its people, on site or off, whether we are operating or not. As we monitor the situation and adjust our protocols, the health and well-being of our community will remain a top priority.  

If you have specific questions, please contact Occupational Health and Safety (OHS):

Terry Sanghera (tsanghera@triumf.ca, Ext: 6231 or Cell: 778-929-2697)

Ken Waters (kwaters@triumf.ca, Ext: 6686 or Cell: 604-833-7940)

Joe Mildenberger (joseph@triumf.ca), Ext: 7661 or Cell: 236-999-7984)


Screening and Reporting

No staff member, visitor, user, contractor or other guest is allowed on site if they have symptoms or have travelled or been in contact with someone who is presumed or confirmed COVID-19 positive in the last 14 days. For more information, please see the TRIUMF COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire

Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms who is on site or has been on site in the last 14 days needs to report immediately to OHS so that the appropriate mitigating actions can be taken to determine who may have been potentially impacted and safeguard the workplace. This protocol is outlined in the TRIUMF COVID-19 Response Plan (Document-180787), which supports ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of the TRIUMF community. To enable this, all staff must communicate with their supervisor regarding any changes to their health status, and the full process for doing so can be found here

Hygiene and Cleanliness

The health and safety of our community is our utmost priority at this time. As part of TRIUMF's COVID-19 Response, we have increased janitorial support to clean common spaces like meeting rooms and lunchrooms. Bottles of disinfectant have been distributed across the site; there are pick up stations available in the following locations: ISAC I Annex entrance, ISAC II main entrance, Main Office Building reception area, and the Service Annex (outside Room 101 - next to the DRD sign out station). If there is not a supply in your work area, please contact OHS or Janitorial Services (janitor@triumf.ca).

Personal hygiene is essential during this time. Handwashing, using soap and water, is your best tool against germs and infection.  We are also ordering and installing additional sanitizer dispensers on site, to supplement sinks and hand soap. Warm air dryers will work just as well as paper towels once hands have been cleaned with soap and water. There’s no reason to not use them. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

Working Safely

Working On-Site

During reduced operation, TRIUMF has fewer staff onsite; therefore, additional measures need to be taken to ensure worker safety. Safe Work Procedure - Working Alone During a COVID-19 Pandemic (Document-180950) provides guidance for employees and supervisors on setting up a check-in system. Should you have any questions about this protocol, please contact Occupational Health and Safety. 

In the case of any concerns regarding workplace safety on-site, Occupational Health and Safety are available to carry out work area assessments as required. 

PPE

An N95 respirator is a disposable respirator that must be fit-tested to ensure effective respiratory protection, and TRIUMF has developed a Respirator User Guide (Document-180998) that we ask all respirator wearers to review. Supplies of N95 respirators are scarce and authorities are looking to ensure there are sufficient respirators available for health care workers. 

TRIUMF has reviewed the risk and will be issuing N95 masks to operators because the position is essential for machine operation. At this time, and with our limited supply of N95 masks, TRIUMF will not be issuing N95 masks to other work groups for regular wear. The N95 masks are reusable, with guidance available in N95 Maintenance Work Instruction (Document-180969) for how to store and keep the masks clean.

In the cases where the safe work distance of 2 m cannot be maintained, contact OHS to carry out a hazard assessment and review the requirements for respiratory protection. If workers have half-mask respirators, these can be worn as they provide better protection for the wearer against COVID-19 than does an N95 mask.

Face coverings for on-site work

Effective August 4, 2020, masks or face coverings will be mandatory in shared indoor spaces for all staff, visitors, contractors, and other personnel. This new policy serves to complement our existing health and safety protocols, such as physical distancing and hand hygiene.

Masks will be required:

  • In common areas, shared spaces, and anywhere individuals can congregate 
  • In shared offices, even if occupants can maintain a 2-metre distance 
  • Other examples include: hallways, corridors, multi-stall washrooms, photocopier areas, offices/labs with multiple workstations/cubicles, experimental halls 

Masks will not be required: 

  • Outdoors, while maintaining 2 metres distance 
    • Masks will be required outside if unable to observe appropriate physical distance 
  • In individual offices 
  • In the lunch room, with exceptions 
    • Appropriate hygiene and physical distancing must be observed, and lunch breaks should be scheduled to avoid overcrowding 
    • Masks may be removed for short periods of time at one’s desk in order to eat/drink. Please resume wearing your mask once you have finished, and observe proper distance and hygiene during your break 

Please contact Occupational Health and Safety for any questions relating to masks/face coverings. For more details, consult TRIUMF's Mask/Face Covering Practice Guidelines.

Indoor workplace ventilation

TRIUMF is keeping abreast of the guidance and recommendations for indoor workplace ventilation by the federal and BC health authorities as well as Worksafe BC.  Public Health Association of Canada (PHAC) and ASHRAE have provided some basic recommendations regarding ventilation.  The general agreement is to focus on increasing ventilation and increasing fresh air to help reduce the risk of airborne transmission.  The emphasis however remains on physical distancing, mask usage, and hygiene as effective methods to control the transmission of COVID-19. 

Here at TRIUMF we have implemented the following measures where ventilation systems and controls allow. 

  1. Increase air exchanges - the ventilation systems within our buildings were designed with a maximum occupancy and a given air exchange rate.  By limiting site occupancy to approximately half, we have effectively doubled the rate of air exchange. 
  2. Increase fresh air ventilation - where ventilation systems and controls allow, TRIUMF has increased the proportion of fresh air that is brought into buildings. 
  3. Keep ventilation systems running for longer hours after occupants have left - this is desirable as it allows for a few additional changes of air within occupied spaces and helps evacuate pathogens that may be in the air.  Where ventilation systems and controls allow, we've added an additional 2 hours to the system operating schedules. 

Again it needs to be noted that improving ventilation alone is not an effective means to control COVID-19 transmission and is simply another layer in TRIUMF's defense in depth approach.  Please continue to practice, physical distancing, mask wearing, and hygiene as they are the foundation of our approach. 

If there are any questions or suggestions, please refer them to the COVID-19 Task Force at covid19taskforce@triumf.ca 

Working Off-Site

TRIUMF must ensure that all employees working remotely are doing so safely. Work Instruction: How to Set Up Your Home Work Station (Document-181068) prepared by OHS provides all staff with guidance for optimizing one's home office environment, including instructions for ensuring proper ergonomics. If you have any questions, please contact OHS.