Health and Safety Committee members, thank you so much for becoming a health and safety representative. This is an important role in keeping you and your colleagues safe, particularly during the pandemic. We appreciate your commitment and time.
The provincial guidelines for schools require that schools with recycled/recirculated air systems upgrade their current filters to a minimum MERV 13 filter or higher if possible. As the BC Centre for Disease Control recognizes, COVID-19 is spread by the respiratory droplets an infected person produces when they breathe, cough, sneeze, talk, or sing, so mechanical ventilation is an important protective measure that can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The STA has a few requests to make of you to assist in making your schools safer. Please have your school Health & Safety committee recommend that:
- The principal provide the staff with the daily number of covid cases. Names should not be disclosed but tracking the trends in the number of exposures at the school will show whether the health and safety practices are working.
- The principal provide a list of how many of the different levels of MERV filters there are installed at the school. This data may show how extensive HVAC renovations are necessary to move schools to the recommended MERV 13 filters in battling COVID-19.
- The District continue the use of daytime custodians. The loss of daytime custodians will inevitably result in less cleaning. We in no way want to blame the custodians: they are being asked to do more cleaning in the same amount of time and we don’t want them to become the scapegoats. Make sure that any concerns around the cleaning done by custodians recognizes the untenable situation they have been put in.
Under WorkSafe regulations, principals are required to respond in writing to Health & Safety committee recommendations that they do not implement. Making these recommendations above will assist in getting WorkSafe to address health and safety concerns in schools.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have and questions or concerns, and let me know the results of your recommendations.Leave a reply