Canadian HR Reporter

November 2021 CAN

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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4 N E W S effective in a smaller space. You want a unit that is sized appropriately for the space, and you don't want one that's going to be too loud and introduce other kinds of noise exposure. And you're going to want to make sure you have one that doesn't produce ozone, which again, is another exposure." Ventilation is critical, and while there are other methods such as ultraviolet light to kill the virus, they can't be shone directly on people because of the risk of skin cancer, says Goldman. "[Even] if you treat a room with ultraviolet light when nobody's in it, you still have the problem of someone who's breathing it after." When it comes to the workplace, ventilation has not been well understood because of issues around the data, says Furness. Take, for example, airplanes. While they do have excellent filtration, with air coming in through the ceiling and out through the floor, and six or eight air changes per hour, they often shut their circulation systems off when they're on the runway to stop exhaust fumes from being sucked into the cabin. "But as soon as you do that, your safety is out the window." Plus, there is the issue of meal times, when everyone whips off their mask and starts chatting, he says. "[If ] the person next to you has COVID and you're inhaling their aerosol, the air filtration system has nothing to say about it. So, you're breathing in directly air from what's been exhaled by your neighbours. So that's a problem." Air flight crews purportedly have high rates of COVID, but airlines are not required to report the numbers, says Furness. There's no federal agency that collects this data and provincial agencies don't have the standing to force airlines to disclose. "They're getting sick, there's no question… And that tells me that we have a big problem… that lack of honesty, the lack of disclosure, the lack of transparency — that's a safety problem too." A big challenge is that the data collection is really poor. It's the same for restaurants, he says. "Some restaurants are good at collecting contact tracing data, but most don't. And how good is their record keeping? So, in 2020, the argument to reopen indoor dining was that only one per cent of all COVID cases are attributable to restaurants — except that a whole ton of transmission happens there. You just can't measure it. And there's no systematic data collection around what proportion of servers are getting sick. So that's very, very problematic." CHRR BOOSTING SAFETY PRACTICES "You want to ask people wearing masks both to lower your contiguity and to be protected from other people who will be contagious." Raymond Tellier, MUHC 90% Percentage of workers wanting frequent disinfection and cleaning of high- touch surfaces, such as doorknobs and light switches 83% Percentage of workers wanting use of Environmental Protection Agency-approved antimicrobial disinfecting products 71% Percentage of cleaners who are certified in disinfecting through a governing authority 70% Percentage of workers wanting immediate test results showing bacteria has been eliminated 68% Percentage of workers wanting use of a sprayer, fogger or mister to apply disinfectant to all surfaces Source: OpenWorks, U.S.

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