Kristin Hoffman, Heath & Safety Consultant
There's one thing we can all agree upon: We will be far happier putting COVID-19 behind us and getting back to the way things were - a world where we can all 'breathe' easier in every sense of the word.
But is it worth asking ourselves whether some of the actions we've been implementing to fight COVID-19 have a place in a post COVID-19 world?
Absolutely, according to Kristin Hoffman, a WSPS consulting veteran.
"While we're all focused on the devastating effects of COVID-19, we shouldn't forget that every year hundreds of thousands of Canadians get the flu," says Hoffman. "Along with the personal toll, this translates into millions of lost work days including those in the agriculture industry."
Influenza is transmitted through the spread of airborne droplets through breathing, coughing and touching our eyes, noses and mouths. Does this sound familiar?
"Farms should celebrate the great job they've done establishing protocols such as installing equipment to prevent the spread of COVID-19," Hoffman reminds us. "These can also have long lasting benefits after COVID-19 is gone."
Examples she cites include hand washing/sanitizer stations, cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces such as equipment, tools and vehicles, decreasing the number of people using these and barriers to separate workers.
We associate these with the current pandemic, but they will have a similar effect in mitigating the risk associated with our annual flu bug. And most of us have very clear memories of having to make do without members of our team when we needed them the most because they were stuck at home fighting a flu.
There are government programs in place to help with the cost of things like permanent Plexiglas barrier systems and other hazard prevention tools. These are discussed in the article on the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program in this issue.
For more information on the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program, visit: https://wsps.news/2C2F097 or call Customer Care at 1 877 494 WSPS (9777).