What To Know About Managing COVID-19 Business Risks In Canada

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In the know | Managing COVID-19 business risks in Canada

Moving target. This is precisely how many business owners are feeling about managing COVID-19 business risks in Canada right now. That is to say, as we all review evolving governmental guidance regarding workplace safety and risk management, we know today’s guidelines may well change tomorrow. So in times like these when best practices are in flux, it’s up to you to keep current when managing COVID-19 business risks.

We are all working hard to incorporate new risk management protocols into our day-to-day operations. However, sometimes despite best intentions, things can quickly go wrong. For instance, here’s some news about nearly 400 COVID-19 safety rule violations in BC:

“After conducting thousands of inspections, WorkSafeBC says it has issued nearly 400 COVID-19 health and safety violation orders. The agency says orders are issued as a result of an inspection or can be part of a follow-up activity when a prevention officer sees health and safety violations.

Of the 399 orders issued, 134 were in the service sector, which includes businesses like hotels, restaurants, gyms, hospitals, schools, real estate and hair salons. Ninety-one were issued in manufacturing, which WorkSafe says includes meat processing facilities, breweries, sawmills and pharmaceutical businesses.

There were 80 orders issued for the construction industry, and 68 were issued in the trade sector, which includes supermarkets, retail and wholesale operators, and service stations.”1

Most certainly, it’s important to keep on top of the newest COVID-19 rules and regulations to manage a safe and secure workplace.

We’ve prepared this post featuring some insights from helpful federal and provincial government websites. You may want to bookmark and revisit these sites to help keep current while managing COVID-19 workplace risks.  

COVID-19 and new business risks you need to identify and manage

Employee hand-washing breaks. There are many simple things that you can do during the pandemic to help support employee and customer safety. Updating your workplace safety protocols, human resources guidelines and operational standards are just the starting point.

Suffice it to say, incorporating new COVID-19 health and safety protocols is essential.

A recent Canadian Underwriter article notes that failure to do so can lead to a potential lawsuit. For instance, “a number of legal claims have been filed against employers because they’re not doing what they are supposed to be doing to keep their employees safe during re-opening.”2

Moreover, “Some of the more common issues are failure to provide staff with face masks and not giving employees opportunities to wash their hands often enough amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”3 Likewise, “it was alleged that employees were not allowed to take frequent breaks to wash their hands.”4

Simple solutions – such as stocking PPE supplies as well as social distancing – can prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace.

New COVID-19 business guidance from the Government of Canada

Keeping current isn’t easy when you’re managing a business in Canada. Even more so when you’re managing during a pandemic. Therefore, taking stock of the newest support materials available for preventing the spread of COVID-19 for business is essential.

As a result, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) manages a website that’s filled with COVID-19 workplace resources.

The CCOHS notes, “Being informed and knowing what to do in the event of an outbreak will help minimize the impacts on our daily lives, work, and activities. Browse this site for helpful guidance, advice and tools to help you plan, prepare, prevent and protect against infectious disease outbreaks.”5

You can find many useful tools on the CCOHS site, for instance:

And if you are looking for free pandemic resources, the CCOHS is facilitating an online space where businesses are sharing documents. You can find more than 50 resources from Maple Leaf Foods, the Canadian Construction Association as well as SafetyDriven – the Trucking Safety Council of BC.

Note that the site, “is provided to enable businesses to share their pandemic-related good practices and resources that other workplaces may find helpful in developing their own business continuity plans. CCOHS is not responsible for the accuracy, currency or reliability of the resources or information contained within this website, nor does it endorse the sites and their content.”6

Keeping current is just one of 18 ways we deliver a different and better insurance experience to our clients across Canada. Continuing education is helping our team members adapt during COVID-19 and keep current on risk management best practices.

For instance, provincial regulators require a minimum level of continuing education standards. Meanwhile in Ontario, the amount is 8 hours. Keeping current is important to us and that’s why we complete 20 hours of continuing education each year.

So if you are looking for current guidance when managing business risks, connecting with an ALIGNED business insurance expert is essential.

Alberta business?

Pivoting to incorporate many new recommendations to help keep people as safe as possible? Thankfully, many day-to-day guidelines are now available to help businesses put safety first in their Alberta workplace.

To keep current on the latest COVID-19 workplace guidance and Government of Alberta info, you can bookmark this page. In addition, you can find general COVID-19 information for Albertans here.

Vancouver or BC business?

As a business owner, you know risk management best practices help manage workplace hazards. Specific workplace guidelines are now available to help mitigate ongoing COVID-19 risks in your business.

Recognizing the impact of the pandemic on workplaces, the BC Government is providing a number of business supports. From financial support to free small business webinars to more, find many workplace resources here.

Small Business BC recommends “reading the WorkSafeBC guidelines for your industry, as well as any guidelines from your industry association.”7 To get the latest COVID-19 news releases from the BC Government, you can sign-up to receive BC Government news via e-mail.

Toronto or Ontario business?

Risk management has and will always be critical when it comes to ensuring the safety of your Ontario workplace. Find info about protecting workers from COVID-19, working with someone who might have COVID-19 and protecting yourself here.

You can download a Word template of the Ontario COVID-19 workplace safety plan here. To keep current on the latest COVID-19 Ontario Government releases, you can sign-up to receive news via e-mail.

Know the experts | We can help you manage your business risks in Canada

It isn’t easy adapting to the new normal during COVID-19. Above all, we understand that you are working hard to keep your staff and clients safe. Every day, we are answering specific coverage questions as well as helping people connect with the best possible business insurance options.

We are insurance advocates. No matter what the future brings, as your business insurance advocate, we are here to support you. 

To sum up, we know how to align the best possible coverage options during COVID-19 and anytime.

Where to find more info about COVID-19 and the Canadian workplace

The pandemic is changing how we live, work and interact with each other. To help understand COVID-19 risks and commercial insurance Canada products, read our Insurance Blog. In addition, you can keep current by subscribing to our e-news ALIGNMENT Matters on our homepage.

Here’s a selection of recent COVID-19 related news articles that we hope you will find helpful.

Sources: 1 CTVNews.ca: Nearly 400 COVID-19 safety rule violations found through WorkSafeBC inspections; 2,3,4 CanadianUnderwriter.ca: Common mistakes your clients make when the re-open; 5,6 CCOHS.ca: COVID-19 Helping workplaces prevent the spread and reopen for business; 7Small Business BC.ca: How to rearrange your workplace for a safe reopening

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