With the dramatic increase of new COVID-19 cases that B.C. has seen over the last month – and the introduction of new regional restrictions to help stop the surge in the Fraser Health (FHA) and Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) regions – our union has urged the FHA and VCH to re-evaluate workplace safety protocols – at both directly health authority sites and those worksites with health authority contracts – to decrease the potential spread of the virus.
In a letter sent to the respective health authority CEOs, President Stephanie Smith requested specific policies requiring masks in all common areas and allowing work-from-home where operationally possible.
Included alongside the policy requests was a briefing note from the BCGEU Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) department regarding how workplaces can adapt to the latest scientific findings on how the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads. Details on our communication can be found here:
- Click here to read the letter to Fraser Health Authority President and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee
- Click here to read the letter to Vancouver Coastal Health Interim President and CEO Vivian Eliopoulos
- Click here to read the briefing note from the BCGEU OHS department
- Click here to read the Public Health Officer's restrictions announced on November 7
Given the spread of the virus in recent weeks, we expect changes to come, and we will continue to work alongside government and the health authorities to ensure that any changes protect workers and are in-line with the latest science.
As more information becomes available, we will continue to update you on the latest developments
If you have any concerns about how COVID-19 precautions are being handled at your workplace. Please consider the following to protect the health of yourself, your family, fellow workers and any clients:
- Review in full your employer’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, especially the section about outbreak management.
- Ensure your questions and concerns are answered by your employer to your satisfaction.
- Tell your supervisor about your concerns. It is your right to raise health and safety concerns, and it is also your responsibility.
- Tell your worksite OHS representative. If you still need assistance, you can contact your local BCGEU area office, or email [email protected];
- Consider invoking your right to refuse unsafe work.
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