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Component 1 (Sheriffs) Update: COVID-19 Risk Assessment & Exposure Control Plan - BCGEU

BCGEU and Sheriff Service have signed a provincial risk assessment and exposure control plan ("SSRA") designed to mitigate COVID-19 risks as you return to new normal work conditions at your worksites in the weeks and months ahead.

The SSRA is the product of a constructive joint effort. Many thanks to component 1 executive member at large (Sheriffs) Dave Iorizzo, local 104 member at large Rick Holzapfel, and BCGEU staff representative Brian Campbell, for their many hours of hard work on this project.  

A Fluid Document – please read it

The SSRA was developed following guidance from a range of sources, including: the BC Centre for Disease Control, WorkSafeBC, Occupational Health Programs, Sheriff Service policies and other provincial risk assessments. The SSRA is a fluid document which will be continually reviewed and may be adjusted as updated information becomes available.

All members should receive a copy of the SSRA, and are strongly encouraged to read and become familiar with it.

SSRA highlights

  • Standard precaution

    Work from home options where possible;
    Physical distancing;
    Cough and sneeze etiquette; and,
    Staying home when sick.

  • Staff to establish appropriate PPE at the beginning of each shift

    At the beginning of the work shift, staff should establish the appropriate level of PPE (non-medical mask versus surgical mask, gloves and eye protection) they may require for the duration of the work shift.

    When determining the appropriate level of PPE for the shift, staff must take into consideration the total daily time they may have potential exposure. Potential daily exposure time is important as potential exposure of more than 15 minutes may require a different type of PPE.

 All PPE will be provided by the Sheriff Service.

  • Different kinds of masks

    Under the SSRA, different masks are to be used in different situations. Members requiring surgical masks should ensure they are obtained from containers indicating they are certified as ASTM Level 1.
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols

    The SSRA prescribes significant enhanced cleaning protocols for courtrooms, prisoner transports and prisoner holding areas.

SSRA review by local JOHS committees

The SSRA will be reviewed by all Local JOHS committees and implemented in a manner appropriate for the unique features of each worksite. Please contact your local JOSH committee or supervisor if you have any suggestions about the implementation of the SSRA in your workplace.

Right to refuse unsafe work

While the SSRA is comprehensive and intended to be a mitigate COVID-19 return to work safety hazards, all workers retain the right to refuse unsafe work.

BCGEU masks

BCGEU masks will be distributed to members in the weeks to come. These masks are intended for community use only, not for use in the workplace.  

In solidarity,

Dean Purdy
Component 1 Chair & BCGEU Vice President