Infection and Disease Control Policy – Ontario

Intent

The West Egg Group Corp. has instituted this policy to create guidelines for infection and disease control. This policy must be used in conjunction with all other applicable health and safety regulations and governmental legislation.

Guidelines

  • All employees will be provided with general education on infection prevention and control (IPAC) practices. This education will include:
    • The risks associated with infectious diseases;
    • The importance of appropriate immunizations;
    • Hand hygiene;
    • Appropriate cleaning and/or disinfection of items;
    • Option: All employees should be immunized and immunizations should be kept up to date.
    • Employees must follow all health and safety policies at all times.
    • This Infection and Disease Control Policy will be amended at minimum annually, but may be amended more often as contagious infections come in season (e.g. influenza, H1N1, cough/cold season).

Employees Who May be Contagious

Employees who may have contracted a cough/cold, flu, etc. and are in the early stages of infection should not report to work as they may infect the others in the The West Egg Group Corp. workplace. Employees are required to exercise their judgement and call-in if they are contagious, using the The West Egg Group Corp. Absence Procedure. Where a replacement employee could not attend in the ill employee’s place, the employee may be requested to come for part of the shift but will be required to wear protective equipment to minimize the possible spread of infection as much as possible (e.g., gloves, face mask, etc.).

Management at The West Egg Group Corp. will keep records of absences due to illness and is responsible for noting any alarming trends or repeated outbreak of infections. In any cases where a pattern is noted, senior management will be notified so that additional infection control procedures can be put into place where necessary.

Employees should only return to the The West Egg Group Corp. workplace when they are no longer symptomatic or when a medical professional has certified that they are no longer contagious.

Transmission of Microorganisms

Employees of The West Egg Group Corp. may be exposed to pathogenic microorganisms, bacteria, and other microbes that can cause infection and disease.

Transmission of microorganisms can be caused by contact transmission from hands (direct) or objects (indirect), droplet transmission from coughing or sneezing, or airborne transmission from the inhalation of organisms surviving in air for long periods of time.

Other routes of entry for infection include:

  • Injection;
  • Inhalation;
  • Ingestion;
  • Contact with the skin, eyes, or nose.

While it may not be possible for The West Egg Group Corp. to completely eliminate all routes of entry for infections, employees share a responsibility to follow safe work procedures and practices to mitigate the risk of infection.

Routine Practices

Following routine practices helps to protect both the employees and customers of The West Egg Group Corp. from pathogens. Consistent practices must be used at all times with all persons as someone could be infected but be asymptomatic.

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is the most important measure in preventing the transmission of microorganisms. Hand hygiene includes both washing the hands with plain or antimicrobial soap with water as well as non-rinse alcohol-based hand rubs.

The West Egg Group Corp. will implement a hand hygiene program that incorporates the following elements:

  • Provides employees with the ability to wash their hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub when working with a client;
  • Provides education to employees about how and when to wash their hands;

 

Employees of The West Egg Group Corp. should wash their hands with soap and running water:

  • If hands are contaminated with bodily fluids or visibly soiled, including when soiled with powder from hand protection gloves; and
  • After any personal body function.

When using soap and water, a minimum of 15 seconds of lathering is required before rinsing.

When hands are not visibly soiled, the use of 70-90% alcohol-based hand rub is the preferred method of hand hygiene. This would include:

  • Before and after any direct contact with customers;
  • Before and after eating;
  • Before and after smoking;
  • After body fluid exposure risk; and
  • After employee/customer environment contact.

Apply sufficient hand rub so that a minimum of 15 seconds will pass before the product becomes dry on hands.

Employees should exercise good judgment when determining if hands should be washed. If it is possible that hands may have become contaminated with bodily fluids, they should be washed with soap and water or sanitized.

Impediments to Effective Hand Hygiene

  • Nail polish- chipped nail polish can harbour microorganisms that are not removed by hand washing.
  • Artificial nails- associated with bacterial and fungal outbreaks.
  • Rings, other hand jewellery and bracelets- are hard to clean, hide bacteria and viruses from the hand hygiene agent, and increases the risk of tears in gloves. Watches and long sleeves should be pulled above the wrist when hands are cleaned.

Additional Hand Hygiene Guidelines

  • Hand hygiene should be done in a manner appropriate for the type of situation.
  • Bar soap must never be used- instead, liquid soap should be provided in disposable pump dispensers.
  • Soap dispensers should be discarded when empty and not refilled or topped-up.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE creates a physical barrier that protects an employee’s own tissue from exposure to infectious materials and from transmission resulting from contact with others. The type of PPE is dependent on the nature of the interaction with the public. Employees of The West Egg Group Corp. are to wear appropriate PPE when interacting with others who pose the risk of transmitting microorganisms. Common PPE include gloves, and facial protection. 

Gloves

  • As gloves may break, proper hand hygiene must be performed prior to putting on gloves.
  • Gloves should be put on immediately before performing the activity for which they are being used.
  • Gloves must be removed and discarded properly in a garbage receptacle after use; hand hygiene must then also be performed.
  • Non-latex gloves must be used if a latex allergy is detected in an employee.
  • Employees who have any open wounds on their hands are required to wear a bandage over the wound and then gloves over the bandage.

Facial Protection

  • A mask can be used in the event that Health Canada recommends it for airborne infectious diseases.
  • Masks should be put on immediately before the activity in which it is indicated, and hand hygiene is to be performed after removing the mask.

Administrative and Environmental Controls

Administrative and environmental controls include respiratory etiquette, encouragement of employee immunizations, and environmental cleaning and sanitizing.

Respiratory Etiquette

The West Egg Group Corp. expects that all employees practice respiratory etiquette and personal practices that help prevent the spread of microorganisms and encourage others to do the same. These personal practices include:

  • Avoidance measures that minimize contact with droplets when coughing or sneezing, including:
  • Turning the head away from others;
  • Maintaining a two(2)-metre distance from others;
  • Covering the nose and mouth with a tissue.
  • Immediate disposal of tissues after use;
  • Immediate hand hygiene after disposal of tissues.

If tissues are not available, other avoidance measures (e.g. coughing or sneezing into sleeve) may be used.

Environmental Cleaning and Sanitizing

Cleaning is the removal of foreign material (e.g. dust, soil, blood secretions, microorganisms, etc.). Cleaning physically removes rather than kills the microorganism and thorough cleaning is required for any equipment/surface to be disinfected, as organic matter may inactivate a disinfectant.

Disinfection is the process used on inanimate objects and surfaces to kill microorganisms. Cleaning and disinfecting agents may be combined into a single product to save a step in the cleaning and disinfecting process.

Maintaining a clean and health environment is integral to the safety of employees and is a top priority at The West Egg Group Corp.. Environmental cleaning and disinfection is performed on a routine and consistent basis to provide a safe and sanitary environment.

End of Day Cleaning List (and sooner when visibly soiled)

  • Chairs
  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Mirrors
  • Tables
  • Telephones
  • Radios
  • Point of Sale Machine
  • Wall-mounted items (e.g. soap and sanitizer dispensers, paper towel holders)

Option:Employee Immunizations

To protect both employees and customers, The West Egg Group Corp. encourages employees to have (some/all) of the following immunizations:

  • Annual influenza vaccine;
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine (two(2) doses) or documentation of immunity;
  • Varicella vaccine (two doses) or documentation of immunity;
  • Hepatitis B vaccine (two doses) or documentation of immunity;
  • Tetanus vaccine (every 10 years);
  • Acellular pertussis vaccine (one dose).