Infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures are important to reduce the risk of illnesses like COVID-19, influenza and others from circulating in workplaces and in our communities.
- Have a workplace safety plan in place that outlines the actions you will take to reduce the potential spread of respiratory infectious illnesses (such as COVID-19 and influenza). Review the plan if the risks in your workplace or community change. Use the Ontario Workplace Safety Plan Builder to develop and update a plan for your organization.
- Review IPAC measures, policies and procedures specific to your workplace with all employees, volunteers, contractors and suppliers.
- Place IPAC reminders throughout the workplace in appropriate places. Printable IPAC posters are linked below.
- Instruct workers to monitor for symptoms of illness and of the importance of not being at the workplace if they are ill. Workers who are ill should follow the guidance within the Ontario self-assessment or at Protection from COVID‑19 and other respiratory illnesses for themselves and their household members.
- Ensure workers are informed of post illness return-to-work procedures. Employers should not require proof of a negative COVID-19 test for an employee to return to the workplace.
People who are at higher risk of illness (or who live with someone who is) are encouraged to wear a well-fitted mask, especially in indoor spaces that are crowded.
For more information about masking within businesses or organizations, visit Ontario's Protection from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses page.
- Provide access to hand washing facilities and place hand sanitizer dispensers in prominent locations throughout the workplace, if possible. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled.
- Promote frequent hand washing by employees, contractors and customers.
- Display posters promoting hand washing.
- Avoid shaking hands with colleagues or clients.
- Remind clients who may need assistance to follow these recommendations and support them to do so.
Facts about Gloves in the Workplace
- Wearing gloves is recommended for specific work situations, such as: providing direct care for patients; handling chemicals (ie. when cleaning); and preparing food if you have a cut or abrasion on your hand.
- Regularly washing hands offers more protection against illness than wearing gloves. Cross-contamination can happen easily if someone is wearing gloves.
- Wearing gloves can lead to a false sense of security and spreading of germs to more surfaces than if good hand washing practices were followed. If an employee touches their face, contamination could go from their glove to their face and they can become infected.
If employees are instructed to wear gloves, it is important to keep the following tips in mind:
- Employees should be trained on how to properly put gloves on and take them off.
- Bare hands should be washed immediately before putting gloves on and after removing gloves.
- Gloves should be changed frequently.
- Used gloves should be discarded into a waste bin right away and never reused.
- Hand sanitizer should not be used on gloves as it can break down the surface material.
- Employees should be reminded to not touch their face while wearing gloves, or unnecessarily touch surfaces like personal electronic devices.
- Encourage workers to cover coughs and sneezes using proper etiquette that reduces the spread of germs.
- Display posters promoting cough/sneeze etiquette.
- Consider providing additional tissues should someone develop respiratory symptoms. If symptoms develop, the person should be separated from others, instructed on proper cough etiquette and advised to follow the guidance in the Ontario self-assessment tool.
- Ensure organization specific cleaning protocols are followed.
- Identify frequently touched surfaces that may need to be cleaned more often (e.g. doorknobs, handrails, light switches, touch screen surfaces, phones, elevator buttons, computers, desks, lunch tables, kitchens, washrooms, cash registers, seating areas, surface counters, customer service counters, bars, restaurant tables/menus, communal pens, etc.).
- Regularly inspect and maintain HVAC systems to ensure proper functioning.
- Encourage workers to receive all vaccines as recommended by public health. For information, about vaccines visit TBDHU's dedicated webpage to learn about the vaccine available, eligibility and how to access.
Signage - How to Safely Wear a Medical Mask (PDF)
Signage - Face Mask Recommended (PDF)
Signage - Need a Face Mask? Find One Here (PDF)
Mask Friendly Space (PDF)
Espace convivial pour les masques (PDF)
How to Wear a Mask Properly (PDF)
Portez correctement votre masque ou votre couvre-visage (PDF)
Cleaning and Disinfection of Public Spaces Poster (PDF)
- PSHSA Infection Prevention and Control at Work: Basic Awareness Training
- Ontario Protection from COVID‑19 and other respiratory illnesses
- Ontario: Viral respiratory illnesses and the Occupational Health and Safety Act
- Ontario COVID-19 and Workplace Health and Safety
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety