Workers in some sectors (for example, health care and transportation) have a greater likelihood of exposure to viruses and other disease-causing agents. Employers have a general duty to take every precaution reasonable to protect workers from hazards in their workplaces. Employers in these sectors should already have effective plans in place for regular day-to-day interactions.
When new viruses are identified, employers should follow a hazard-assessment methodology, that looks at the virus and considers if existing controls are appropriate. Assessment should always be in consultation with health and safety committees or worker representatives. The goal of prevention plans must be to eliminate exposure to the infectious virus as much as possible.
CUPE is calling on all workplaces to be proactive in preventing the spread of COVID-19, by implementing the following practices: