Mandatory Mask Policy
CMHA Kelowna acknowledges that physical distancing is difficult to maintain in enclosed spaces (indoors) and recognizes that a non-medical face mask is a necessary, recognized, practicable and effective method to limit the spread of COVID-19. CMHA Kelowna is committed to the health and safety of its employees and as such has created this policy regarding the use of face masks in the workplace.
This policy must be observed at all times when working in areas requiring face masks.
The purpose of this Policy is to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, protect the people present at all CMHA Kelowna buildings, and ensure compliance with public health guidelines, federal and provincial laws, local bylaws, and other applicable requirements and standards.
Definition of “Mask”
For purposes of this Policy, “mask” means a non-medical face mask that covers the nose and mouth, secures around the ears or back of the head, fits snugly against the sides of the face, is secured under the chin and is designed to protect persons other than the wearer. “Masks” do not include N95 and other filtered masks required by healthcare workers nor face masks that protect only the wearer.
Scope of Policy
This Policy applies to CMHA Kelowna employees, contract workers, vendors and visitors (unless they are subject to a specific exemption under Section 5 below) in all indoor common areas such as lobbies, hallways, stairwells, meeting rooms, kitchens, shared offices / open shared workspaces and other areas that are shared with others or when engaged in activities that risk a violation of the two-metre physical distancing requirement. Working within two metres (with a mask) must be kept to the minimum necessary to perform the task. If working outdoors and required to work within two metres a mask must be worn. More specifically, in indoor common areas, masks are to be worn:
- When exiting a personal office or work area and entering a common area;
- When entering/exiting and while moving in any open setting or when meeting with an individual one-on- one in a meeting room, or multiple people in a meeting room;
- When operating a motorized vehicle transporting a client / resident with more than one occupant;
If inside a building and working alone (i.e. evening or weekend shift) and there is no one else present in the common area you may remove your mask.
Face masks are not required when:
- A medical professional has advised that wearing a mask may pose a health risk to or impair the breathing of the wearer;
- Wearing a mask would create a health or safety risk to the wearer as determined by federal, provincial or local regulators or OHS guidelines;
- The person is physically unable to put on or take off the mask without assistance;
- The person has trouble breathing, is unconscious or cannot remove the mask without help;
- The listener is deaf or hard of hearing and relies on facial and mouth movements to receive communication; or
- The person is a baby or toddler under two years of age.
In additions to the above exemptions, CMHA Kelowna will make reasonable accommodations to the point of undue hardship on a case-by-case basis for people with disabilities, religious beliefs and other protected characteristics as required by British Columbia’s human rights laws.
Roles & Responsibilities
CMHA Kelowna will provide appropriate masks to employees and will post signs at all entrances informing members of the public about requirements for wearing masks, in addition to any other safety measures. CMHA Kelowna will train all employees on proper procedures for wearing masks.
CMHA Kelowna will:
- Provide disposable non-medical masks to participants, suppliers, contractors, vendors or visitors who arrive without one;
- Make available to employees and the public alcohol-based hand sanitizer in the recommended concentration (at least 70%);
- Not require members of the public to prove they are exempt from requirements to wear a mask;
- Offer a copy of this policy to those who request it, along with information about any applicable act, regulation, bylaw, or order; and
- Deny entry to any person who becomes aggressive about the new requirement.
1.2 LEADS, MANAGERS
Leads and Managers are responsible for:
- Performing an assessment to determine the mask needs of their department;
- Ensuring that all personnel and visitors to their department have and properly use required masks.
- Instructing workers in the proper mask fitting, use, conservation and laundering/disposal;
- Serving as a role model by following the rules themselves;
- Answering employees’ mask-related questions; and
- Coaching and reinforcement of rules for those not complying.
Employees are responsible for:
- Using the masks supplied by their department— although employees may also buy their own masks at their own expense;
- Following the proper mask use instructions listed in Attachment A – Worksafe BC “How to use a Mask” ;
- Laundering their own masks or dropping used disposable masks in garbage receptacles that are lined with plastic bags;
- Recognizing that masks are in short supply and take the proper steps to conserve them; and
- Reporting mask violations to their supervisors.
All those who work and enter our buildings have a shared responsibility for the health and safety of our community. It is CMHA Kelowna’s expectation that all staff and visitors will follow the requirement to wear a mask. It is important to note that non-compliance may be subject to action under CMHA Kelowna policies and applicable legislation.
This Policy will remain in effect until public health officials and/or regulators determine that wearing a mask is no longer necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and may be modified by CMHA Kelowna as necessary as the public health emergency and guidelines and regulatory requirements evolve.
FACE MASK DO’S & DON’TS
- DO make sure your mask completely covers your nose and mouth
- DO put on your mask properly using the tie loops or elastic bands that secure behind your head
- DO wear your mask snug around your face and adjust it as necessary throughout the day
- DO when taking off your mask and putting it down, place it with the outside down on a tissue; if a tissue isn’t available, clean the surface on which you placed it down afterwards
- DO wash your hands and face after removing the mask and before touching your face
- DO keep your mask clean and launder it once day in warm water
- DO store your mask in a clean and dry space or properly dispose of it
- DO request a new mask if the one you’re using becomes unsanitary or damaged
- DON’T wear your mask under your nose or mouth
- DON’T let a strap dangle down or cross the straps
- DON’T touch or adjust your face mask without cleaning your hands before and after
- DON’T wear your mask on your head or around your neck or arm
- DON’T let your mask fog your safety glasses or otherwise obstruct your vision
- DON’T lay your mask on a surface that could be contaminated or contaminate the surface
- DON’T wear your mask near machinery, equipment or parts in which it may become entangled
- DON’T use a mask if it is damaged in any way