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COVID-19 Risk and Returning To Work

11th May 2020

Carbon Safety Solutions is excited to introduce a new service to support organizations in preparing to return to work.

We will be providing COVID-19 return to work packages focused on helping organizations meet COVID-19 safety expectations, as well as a new ATP testing service to help test surfaces for microorganisms.

As many businesses prepare to open up, or further fine tune their health and safety practices in relation to managing COVID-19.  With the provinces announcement of a “Restart Plan“, what does working with COVID-19 mean for organizations?

Most organizations will need to assess what tasks will create risk of exposure, and how to manage that risk.

Carbon Safety Solutions will continue to provide  health and safety support for COVID-19.

Support will be available through existing services, as well as through the COVID-19 return to work packages which will provide guidance and documentation to help manage potential exposures and transmission at work.

ATP Testing

Our new ATP testing service will help organizations determine how well surfaces have been cleaned, and provide confidence when cleaning is effective, and knowledge on where cleaning can be improved.  The testing can be:

  • Part of a return to work package
  • Individual testing of key areas or
  • An audit package comparing results in different areas at different times

What IS ATP?

Adenosine triphosphate or ATP is the primary energy molecule that is present in all living organisms.

ATP testing can be a helpful tool in maintaining an effective workplace hygiene program.

What Is An ATP Test?

The test indicates the degree of ATP present, and can indicate how effective cleaning methods have been, providing evidence as to whether cleaning has reduced the potential for biological contaminants on a surface.

Some considerations with ATP testing:

  • COVID-19 is the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or (SARS-CoV-2)
  • ATP testing cannot identify whether SARS-CoV-2 specifically is present on surfaces
  • ATP testing can provide evidence of biological residue, indicating how much biological matter remains on surfaces after cleaning
  • The test shows a simple pass, caution or fail dependent on the levels of ATP detected

The less ATP detected, the less the likelihood of biological films, and contaminants, including harmful bacteria, and SARS-CoV-2.

How Can CSS Help?

Worksafe BC will require all businesses to implement and maintain a COVID-19 management plan for the workplace.

Carbon Safety Solutions will be providing return to work packages, with guidance and documentation on best practices to help plan and manage COVID-19 control measures in the workplace.

We will also be offering ATP swab tests with instant results, or ATP audit packages including:

  • A consultation
  • Supporting COVID-19 management documents
  • Various ATP testing packages
  • ATP audits

The intent of the packages is to:

  • Speed up the development of COVID-19 return to work programs
  • Provide workplaces with the support they need to implement appropriate controls
  • Demonstrate that the organization has taken adequate measures to reduce risk of exposure and transmission of the virus
  • Create confidence that the workplace is safe for employees, and clients

What Should Organizations Do?

Focusing on management of COVID-19 in the workplace,  organizations should be considering a review of some of their existing organizational safety practices and resources to ensure COVID-19 is included as a workplace hazard.  Areas to consider include:

  • Hazard and risk assessments
  • Guidance on regulatory and best practice expectations (WSBC, BCDC, CCOHS)
  • Utilization of safety committees and representatives
  • Developing or revising safety documents and programs
  • Creating COVID-19 awareness orientations and training
  • Monitoring measures to ensure best practice is being used at work

Simple COVID-19 Controls

While testing for ATP can be a helpful tool in maintaining a healthy workplace, the measures identified by health organizations that we’ve been using throughout the pandemic are still essential measures for organizations.

Effective use of these practices is essential to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace.

  • Employee screening and monitoring
  • Work from home where feasible or necessary
  • Use of masks in the workplace
  • Regular and effective handwashing and;
  • Good cleaning practices including use of SARS-CoV-2 approved disinfectants
  • Application of distancing practices in the workplace through space, or physical barriers

The New Normal

Our workplaces and means to work need to change, and until a significant number of our communities receive some degree of immunization we will need to be diligent in preventing transmission of this virus.

With the use of good risk management, and effective control measures we can all reduce the risk of exposure to the virus in our workplace, hopefully providing us with the opportunity to return to a degree of normal, and also providing a degree of safety, and peace of mind.

Contact us at info@carbonsafety.ca or call us on 250 734 1373 for more information about how we can support your organization. 

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