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COVID-19 Pandemic Health Care Worker Checklist

Unifor has launched a hub for member information about the pandemic at unifor.org/COVID19 and encourages members to check the site regularly for updates.

COVID-19 Pandemic Health Care Worker Checklist: Safety is Not Negotiable

  • Comply with existing infection control policies and procedures.
  • Stay up to date. Read all information and ask for information in the workplace about Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) and system notifications about guidance to workplaces regarding COVID-19.
  • Stay in contact with your union rep. If you are a worker member of a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC), work in tandem with your union rep and consult before signing off on anything.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • If you work at more than one location, and you are being asked to pick a primary employer contact your union rep
  • Update your N95 respirator fit testing and wear PPE as directed if there could be any risk of exposure to COVID-19. Make sure your fit-testing includes a demonstration component and not just an E-module.
  • Use required droplet, contact and additional airborne precautions such as (but not limited to):

surgical masks, gloves, goggles, gowns, face shields, respirators, powered air-purifying respirators (PAPR).

Higher risk activities will call for specific and more stringent PPE.

The highest risk procedures include at a minimum, aerosol-generating medical procedures such as:

  • endotracheal intubation,
  • including during cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
  • cardio-pulmonary resuscitation
  • open airway suctioning,
  • bronchoscopy (diagnostic or therapeutic)
  • surgery and autopsy,
  • sputum induction (diagnostic or therapeutic)
  • non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for acute respiratory failure (CPAP, BiPAP3-5)
  • and high flow oxygen therapy
  • Avoid contact between contaminated gloves/hands and equipment and the face, skin or clothing when removing PPE.
  • STOP and speak with your manager if you:

 do not have the required personal protective equipment or properly fitted respirator protection

and/or have not been trained, drilled and tested in its care, use and limitations

document the situation and copy your union and JHSC representative

  • Conduct a point-of-care risk assessment and know the measures and procedures before each interaction with an affected patient and/or patient’s environment to evaluate the risk of exposure to contact and/or aerosols in care procedures, equipment and treatment settings; at any time during this risk assessment HCWs may request an increase in PPE.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with hands to prevent self-contamination; clean hands before contact with any part of the body.
  • Monitor yourself for signs of illness and identify yourself to your manager and/or occupational health and safety department.
  • Familiarize yourself with your collective agreement and legislation with respect to pandemic preparedness, occupational health and safety (OHS) and the Right to Refuse Dangerous Work
  • REPORT any health and safety concerns, including gaps in adequate protocols and procedures and/or communications, access to PPE, fit-testing and/or training or any other health and safety concerns to your manager or supervisor, copying your JHSC and your union.
  • DOCUMENT the issue and consult with your union and your JHSC if you feel that your safety is not being protected. They can help you address the matter, and can help consider whether to file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour so that an inspector can come and investigate.

This checklist is not exhaustive. Content adapted from CFNU’s position statement.