Institute of Power Engineers
COVID-19 Best Practices for Shift Operations
While most Canadians can work from home or just stay home to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19, Power Engineers who work in industries that must operate on a 24hr basis cannot. The IPE fully supports the recommendations of the WHO for keeping individuals safe and we suggest the following “Best Practices” for those who work rotating shifts.
WHO Recommended Best Practices
Actions to be taken regarding scheduling.
Change shift schedule to minimize worker interactions between shifts. This includes grouping maintenance teams in small teams and schedule so that they have minimal physical interaction between the teams. The longer the shift pattern ie. 7 on 7 off vs 2, 2, 3 or a modified 4, 5 is better as this reduces the frequency of physical contact between replacement shifts. The longer shift pattern also makes for an assessment period for those who are off and then need to be quarantined. The longer shift pattern will also ensure that if a working team does contract COVID-19 while on shift, there is a team healthy for immediate replacement.
Have the cleaning contractor do a through cleaning between shift crews. Have the cleaning contractor provide the employees how to clean properly between shifts changes and how often this is to be done during shifts as they should be the experts in this. Having the cleaning come in to do a deep cleaning of the work areas between group changes ie. A and B shift have completed their 7 or longer shift period and C and D shift are coming in, this will provide a break between these groups to prevent cross-contamination if one of the groups has been compromised.
The Directors and Officers of the IPE wish all the best to those who continue to work supporting our economy.