COVID-19 and Healthcare – FAQ for IAM Members

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If my employer can’t provide PPE do I need to go to work?
In instances where a member is assigned to work with a client who is confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, you have the grounds to invoke your right to refuse unsafe work. We are asking employers to conduct risk assessments, and advise workers of risks involved with their work.
In non-confirmed cases, we are urging employers to develop policies based on the precautionary principle and ensure all workers have adequate protection. Not only do employer policies protect workers and residents, they are part of social policies that can help protect the greater public. Should you show up to work, we are recommending that you request PPE. Even if a case is not confirmed, the employer should provide disposable gloves and hand sanitizer.
Once a possible case is confirmed, and it happens to be a client you visited, you should follow public health guidelines and be in self-isolation for 14 days. We are asking the employer to not penalize individuals who are following government issued guidelines. If you develop symptoms, contact your family doctor and follow further instructions.
Given the evolving nature of circumstances, we are asking employers to abide by the precautionary principle, and even in suspected cases, provide PPE up to and including N-95 masks. Employers are legally obligated to provide workers with the appropriate PPE and protect against workplace dangers and hazards.
Guidelines issued by Health Canada apply to the general public and not those who work on the frontlines where the nature of their work exposes them to the virus. The IAMAW is advocating for a different standard and advocating for the use of PPE in all circumstances, up to and including the use of N-95 masks. READ MORE