The Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission has developed a risk assessment tool to guide employers in determining if a worker can safely be on the worksite under the current direction of the Chief Public Health Officer of the NWT.
COVID-19 and the Workplace: General Precautions and a Risk Assessment includes recommendations from the OCPHO and practical tools for conducting a risk assessment and establishing a protocol to prevent the risk of transmission by an essential service worker.
Debbie Molloy, WSCC President, and CEO stated that all employers need to ask themselves a key question – Does this worker provide an essential service and can this worker safely work?
“We are asking all employers in the Northwest Territories to follow the advice of our Chief Public Health Officers closely and to make decisions based on current information as to what’s best for the welfare of our whole community.”
Molloy is assuring all employers and workers that the WSCC continues to provide the services they might need.
“We are grateful for those still working hard to ensure the continued movement of goods and delivery of essential services for our communities; from healthcare workers, tradespeople, transport drivers and pilots, cleaners, grocery store clerks, municipal services, harvesters, and all others.”
Their offices in Yellowknife, Inuvik, and Iqaluit are closed for public access, however many of their staff are working from home.
The WSCC reminds employers that they are legally responsible to take every reasonable precaution for the health and safety of workers. This includes ensuring having and maintaining an occupational health and safety program that is current and relevant to the potential hazards at their worksite, including COVID-19.
The CPHO is recommending that the following businesses be closed as the nature of their operation will not allow them to have suitable distancing measures in place to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19:
- Tour Operators
- Bottle Depots
- Gyms and fitness centers
- Museums and Art galleries
- Bars and night clubs
- Theatres and movie theatres
- Buffet style restaurants
- Personal service establishments (barber, hair salons, massage, nail and other salons)
Other Useful Resources:
- Employers and Business related to COVID-19
- Workers Exempt from Travel Restrictions
- Guidance issued for Long Haul Truckers
For remote assistance from an OHS Inspector to perform a risk assessment related to COVID-19 for your worksite, contact them at 1-800-661-0792.