Message from President and CEO Lynn Brownell and Board Chair Marianne Matichuk

Apr 03, 2020

WSPS CEO Lynn Brownell and Board Chair Marianne MatichukKeeping every worker healthy and safe in unprecedented times

The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting challenges we have never experienced before in Canada. It is changing our world.

At Workplace Safety & Prevention Services, we’re responding by leveraging technology and working remotely to keep our people safe and help flatten the curve of infection in Ontario. We would like to salute the people and businesses who are on the front lines, keeping our food supply, healthcare, and other essential services running. We appreciate your dedication more than we can say.

Our WSPS vision is to ensure that every worker keeps healthy and safe, every day, and never has this been more important. Workers in essential workplaces need guidance on protecting themselves and their families. People who are new to working remotely are looking to manage their new work environment. And of course, we cannot overlook the impacts of anxiety and isolation on mental health.

If you are wondering what steps you can take to keep people safe at your business, please consider:

  • If your workplace is not deemed an essential service by the province and has been asked to close, please follow that direction. If you have questions about the provincial emergency order, a new toll-free line (1-888-444-3659) is available for businesses.
  • Physical distancing - have employees work from home if possible, and hold virtual meetings. For others, stagger work schedules and ask them to maintain a 2-metre distance if they must work in close proximity.
  • If a worker shows respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, or breathing difficulties, encourage that worker to seek medical attention.
  • Educate workers on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and the precautions that can be taken to prevent the spread. Provide information for them to share with their families. Regular communication is key.
  • Increase hygiene in the workplace, including hand washing stations, provision of PPE, facial tissues and hand sanitizer, maintain cleanliness of equipment, lunchrooms and restrooms, and sanitize common touchpoints like door handles, light switches, etc.
  • Eliminate work travel and encourage workers to reconsider personal travel - instruct workers who have travelled to self-monitor for symptoms and self-isolate.
  • Evaluate workplace emergency response protocols and consider what, if any modifications are needed.

Lastly, please don’t forget to check on each other. It’s not business as usual right now. People are dealing with an overload of stress and fear. To help businesses and employees manage this, WSPS and Howatt HR Consulting have developed a new blog with advice, inspiration and resources. You’re not in this alone. Please get in touch if we can help you in any way.

On behalf of the WSPS team and board of directors, we wish the very best to you and your employees during these challenging times. Thank you for all that you do to keep our province and people safe.

Lynn Brownell
President and CEO
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services

Marianne Matichuk
Chair, Board of Directors
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services