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British Columbia COVID-19 Safety Plan

Health and safety is our priority. We continue to monitor our practices to align with local, provincial and federal health and safety guidance. HBC implemented a safety plan which includes policies, guidelines and procedures to ensure the risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19 is minimized at all our workplaces.  This safety plan is consistent with WorkSafe BC’s six-step process to resume operations.

1. Assessing the risk

In consultation with our associates, joint health and safety committees and supervisors, we completed a risk assessment of our workplaces. Through our risk assessment, we identified areas where the risk of exposure or transmission could be introduced. We continue to assess our workplace regularly to ensure risks are identified and managed.

2. Implementing measures to reduce the risk

Based on our risk assessment, we implemented measures to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission. Measures include:

  • Maintain physical distancing wherever possible by limiting occupancy, revising operating practices (e.g. MHF customer pickup, try-ons as applicable), using signage and other measures to maintain a distance of two metres.

  • Where physical distance cannot be maintained:

    • We have installed plexiglass barriers in many of our locations; and

    • Our associates have been provided with non-medical face coverings and are required to wear them.

  • Cleaning and hygiene

    • We implemented additional cleaning protocols for all common areas and surfaces, including washrooms, equipment, tools, common tables, desks, light switches, and door handles. We are ensuring that those engaged in cleaning have adequate training and materials;

    • Hand-washing and sanitizing facilities are available in visible and easily accessed locations; and

    • Developed hand washing/sanitizing policies for our associates, including the requirement to sanitize hands upon arriving for work, before and after breaks, after handling cash or other materials, before and after handling common equipment.

3. Developing policies

We developed policies to manage the workplace, including policies around who can be at the workplace, how to address illness that arises at the workplace, and how workers can be kept safe in adjusted working conditions. Examples of policies include vendor and contractor protocols, wellness and temperature screens for our associates,  vendors, and contractors prior to entry, mandating associates to stay at home if they feel ill, and/or notify one’s supervisor if an associate starts to feel ill while at work.

4. Developing communication plans and training

We developed communication plans and training to ensure that everyone entering the workplace, including vendors and contractors, knows how to keep themselves safe while in the workplace. Examples of our communication plans and training includes:

  • Effective handwashing practices;

  • Training our associates on the measures we have in place and the policies around staying home when sick; and

  • Training our supervisors on monitoring workers and the workplace to ensure policies and procedures are being followed.

5. Monitoring the workplace and updating plans as needed

We continue to monitor the workplace and update our plans as needed with the involvement of our associates. We welcome feedback from our associates and ensure they can raise safety concerns with the active involvement of the joint health and safety committee.

6. Assessing and addressing risks from resuming operations

When building our re-opening strategy, we involved planning committees to ensure risks arising from restarting our business were managed. Prior to resuming operations, we implemented protocols and procedures to ensure the health and safety of our associates.

- May 2020 -