Bell Performing Arts Centre Safety Plan - COVID-19



WSBC Phase 3 Safety Plan

Resumption of No-Audience Theatre Rentals

 This COVID-19 Safety Plan outlines the process that will be taken at the Bell Performing Arts Centre to allow no-audience theatre rentals during Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A copy of this plan will be posted on our website and at the theatre in accordance with the order of the Provincial Health Officer.

Step 1: Assessment of Risk

The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads in several ways. It can spread in droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. It can also spread if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your face.

The risk of person-to-person transmission increases the closer you come to other people, the more time you spend near them, and the more people you come near. 

The risk of surface transmission increases when many people contact the same surface and when those contacts happen over short periods of time. 

Identification of areas where there may be risks of exposure to COVID-19, either through close physical proximity or through contaminated surfaces. The closer together workers are and the longer they are close to each other, the greater the risk. 

  • We have involved front line workers, supervisors, and the joint health and safety committee in the creation of this plan.
    • Draft versions of this plan were presented to all staff and amended accordingly.
  • We have identified areas where people gather such as the control booth, offices, green room and dressing rooms.
    • The theatre will be closed to the public. Only theatre staff and approved event staff or participants will be allowed to enter the theatre.
    • Common areas will be limited to the number of persons able to safely physically distance.
    • Signage will be posted in common areas indicating occupancy based on appropriate physical distancing guidelines.
  • We have identified job tasks and processes where workers are close to one another.
    • Employees that are able to work from home effectively continue to do so in consultation with their manager in an effort to achieve 60% of pre-COVID physical contact with other adults.
    • All job tasks have been modified to allow for appropriate 2m physical distancing from other workers.
    • Interaction with the public in the box office will only occur from behind the existing glass windows.
    • Existing workstations are already greater than 2m apart
  • We have identified the tools and equipment that workers share while working.
    • When possible, workers will use individual tools that will not be shared with other workers.
    • Shared tools will be disinfected when possible before being shared with other workers.
    • Handwashing before and after shared tool used will be required.
    • Equipment shared with clients such as microphones, communication headsets, and consoles will be cleaned after use according to newly created safe work procedures.
    • Equipment that is difficult to clean and disinfect may be placed in a 72 hour quarantine before next use.
  • We have identified surfaces that people touch often, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, and light switches.
    • Offices or work locations used by only one person will be identified and cleaned twice weekly.
    • Identified surfaces include things like doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, tables, chairs, keyboards and shared equipment will be cleaned after each event. 

Step 2: Implementation of protocols to reduce the risk of transmission 

The following protocols will be implemented: 

  • Industry specific protocols as recommended by WorkSafeBC.
    • Although no industry specific WorkSafeBC protocols have been created at this point, this plan will be revised to include any WorkSafeBC recommended protocols created in the future.
    • Any industry specific protocols recommended by ActSafe will be implemented.
  • Frontline workers, supervisors, and the joint health and safety committee.
    • This plan and all essential health and safety information will be communicated to staff in writing before any no-audience events occur.
    • The joint health and safety committee will accept feedback from staff and monitor the implementation of this safety plan.
  • Orders, guidance, and notices issued by the provincial health officer and relevant to our industry.
    • As per the Provincial Health Officer’s Order for Mass Gathering Events, we will not permit a gathering of more than 50 people for the purpose of an event.
  • Industry specific Health and Safety Associations
    • We are actively working with ActSafe to create industry specific protocols to create a safe work environment for our staff and clients. 

Reduce the risk of person-to-person transmission 

To reduce the risk of the virus spreading through droplets in the air, implement protocols to protect against your identified risks. Different protocols offer different levels of protection. Wherever possible, use the protocol that offers the highest level of protection. Consider controls from additional levels if the first level isn’t practicable or does not completely control the risk. You might likely need to incorporate controls from various levels to address the risk at your workplace. 

First Level Protection (Elimination) 

  • We have established and posted an occupancy limit for our premises.
    • We have established and posted and occupancy limit of 50 people in the theatre as per the prohibition of gatherings of greater than 50 people for gatherings.
    • The area of the stage and ancillary spaces is much larger than the 5 square metres of unencumbered floor space per worker that was developed for the retail food and grocery store worker sector.
  • In order to reduce the number of people at the worksite, we have considered work-from-home arrangements, virtual meetings, rescheduling work tasks, and limiting the number of customers and visitors in the workplace.
    • Employees not otherwise required to be onsite due to the nature of their work and who are able to work from home effectively, will continue to do so in consultation with their manager in an effort to achieve 60% of pre-COVID physical contact with others.
  • We have established and posted occupancy limits for common areas such as multipurpose rooms, staff rooms, meeting rooms, washrooms, and elevators.
    • Occupancy limits have been established for the Control Booth, Elevators, Dressing Rooms and Green Room.
    • Other locations will have physical distancing signage.
  • We have implemented measures to keep workers and others at least 2 metres apart, wherever possible. Options include revising work schedules and reorganizing work tasks.
    • Employees and clients will be requested to maintain 2 metres distance from one another.
    • All workstations are currently separated by more than 2 metres.
    • Box office workers have been scheduled so as not to overlap shifts which ensures only one worker in the box office at a time.

Measures in Place 

Our control measures for maintaining physical distance and reducing transmission in the workplace through Elimination include:

  • No public access to the theatre.
  • No rentals that would include a public audience.
  • Scheduling box office workers so only one worker is in the box office at time.
  • Limiting events to less than 50 people onsite and monitoring that this limit is followed.
  • Removing all equipment and furnishings not required for the event. 

Second Level Protection (Engineering): Barriers and Partitions 

  • We have installed barriers where workers can’t physically distance from co-workers, customers, or others.
    • We have existing glass separation between box office workers and customers.
  • We have included barrier cleaning in our cleaning protocols.
    • Any physical barriers will be included in our cleaning protocols.
  • We have installed the barriers so they don’t introduce other risks to workers (e.g., barriers installed inside a vehicle don’t affect the safe operation of the vehicle)
    • We have not installed any new barriers that introduce other risks to workers. 

Measures in Place 

Our control measures for maintaining physical distance in the workplace through Engineering include:

  • The existence of a glass barrier between the box office worker and the public. 

Third Level Protection (Administrative): Rules and Guidelines 

  • We have identified rules and guidelines for how workers should conduct themselves.
    • All school district staff have been given a Form created in consultation with CUPE 728 and the STA which provides employees the information regarding controls put in place by the District, expectations of employees to not attend work if exhibiting signs or symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19 as well as other procedures and other information to be disseminated to our employees. Additional information linked to the Form will provide employees information on the Exposure Control Plan, H&S Recommendations for Stage 3, Information on how to Prevent the spread of COVID-19, the limitations of use of personal masks and how to properly use and care for one if an employee chooses to wear one, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions for Employees.
    • We have added and addendum to our contract outlining the rules and guidelines we expect them to follow while onsite. This addendum outlines all of the information given to district employees in the above form and must be signed as part of the approval of the event. A copy of this addendum is attached to this Safety Plan.
    • We have created several new safe work procedures to ensure staff are informed on how to carry out tasks in a safe manor during this pandemic.
  • We have clearly communicated these rules and guidelines to workers through a combination of training and signage.
    • The form referenced above will confirm that school district staff have been provided the information referenced above.
    • The addendum attached to our contract will be signed by the client and confirm that clients have been provided the information described above.
    • The new safe work procedures have been provided to appropriate staff and reviewed.
    • Signage will be posted throughout the facility reminding both staff and clients of the information referenced above. 

Measures in place 

Our control measures for minimizing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace through Rules and Guidelines include:

  • The communication of the controls put in place by the district as well as the expectations of the employees through a Form sent to every staff member.
  • The addition of an addendum to our contract (attached) that outlines the controls put in place as well as the expectations of all persons on site supplied by the client. This addendum must be signed as part of the approval of the event.
  • The posting of signage throughout the facility reminding all persons on site of the following messaging:
    • Follow appropriate social distancing of 2m
    • Stay home if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19
    • Stay home if you have been outside of Canada in the previous 14 days
    • Follow posted room capacities
  • The creation of the following attached new safe work procedures:
    • Disinfecting Sensitive Equipment
    • Disinfecting Dance Floor
    • Communication Headset Use and Disinfecting Protocol
    • Equipment Set up and Take down Protocols

Fourth Level Protection (optional measure in addition to other control measures): PPE and Cleaning 

  • We have reviewed the information on selecting and using masks and instructions on how to use a mask.
    • We constantly monitoring information regarding mask usage and updating our policies to align with the advice of public health officials.
  • We understand the limitations of masks to protect the wearer from respiratory droplets.
    • We will be reinforcing that non-medical masks’ primary purpose is to prevent ill people from spreading their own droplets to other people. We recognize that masks are not effective at protecting the wearer from contracting COVID-19. Staff and Clients will be reminded that they must stay home if unwell.
    • Whenever possible, we will be emphasizing the importance and effectiveness of physical distancing and proper hand hygiene.
  • We understand that masks should only be considered when other control measures cannot be implemented. We have trained workers in the proper use of personal masks.
    • First Aid Attendants will be provided instructions on the use of masks and other PPE now required during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Measures in Place 

The only time masks or other PPE related to the COVID-19 pandemic are required to be used is by the First Aid attendants.

  • Procedures for proper use of PPE and masks for First Aid attendants is outlined in the following attached WorkSafeBC documents which have been provided to First Aid attendants:
    • OFAA protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic
    • PPE for OFAAs
    • How to Wash Your Hands
    • Glove Removal Procedure
    • How to Use a Mask 

Reduce the risk of surface transmission through effective cleaning and hygiene practices.

  • We have reviewed the information on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
    • We are following the Cleaning and Disinfectants for Public Settings guidelines published by the BC Ministry of Health (attached)
  • Our workplace has enough handwashing facilities on site for all our workers. Handwashing locations are visible and easily accessed.
    • Hand washing stations are located in every washroom and dressing room as well as in the theatre office, concession and on the stage.
  • We have policies that specify when workers must wash their hands and we have communicated good hygiene practices to workers. Frequent handwashing and good hygiene practices are essential to reduce the spread of the virus.
    • Staff and clients will be regularly reminded about the importance of diligent hand hygiene, specifically:
      • Upon arriving at the facility and before leaving the facility
      • Before and after eating or drinking
      • Before and after using shared equipment or tools
      • After using the toilet
      • After cleaning tasks
      • After handling garbage
      • Whenever hands are visibly dirty
  • We have implemented cleaning protocols for all common areas and surfaces —e.g., washrooms, tools, equipment, vehicle interiors, shared tables, desks, light switches, and door handles. This includes the frequency that these items must be cleaned (number of times per day) as well as the timing (before and after shift, after lunch, after use).
    • During events, these locations will be cleaned before the event, at least once during the event and after the event.
    • During non-event times, these locations will be cleaned twice weekly.
  • Workers who are cleaning have adequate training and materials.
    • Our Caretakers are trained in the use of the disinfectant (PCS Sodium Hypochlorite) and have a safe work procedure developed for use.
    • Our Technical Coordinators will only be using Isopropyl Alcohol and Diversey Morning Mist and have a safe work procedure developed for use.
  • We have removed unnecessary tools and equipment to simplify the cleaning process —e.g.,coffee makers and shared utensils and plates
    • All unnecessary equipment has been removed from the client accessible areas to simplify the cleaning process. 

Cleaning Protocols

  • During periods when there aren’t any events and staff are only accessing their office areas less than 60% of the time we will implement the following cleaning protocols:
    • All high touch areas including door handles, light switches, washrooms, and work surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected twice weekly by school district Custodians.
    • All shared tools will be cleaned and disinfected after use by Technical Coordinators.
  • During no-audience events we will implement the following cleaning protocols:
    • All high touch areas including door handles, light switches, washrooms, and work surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected before and after the event as while as at least once during the event by school district Custodians.
    • All shared tools will be cleaned and disinfected after use by Technical Coordinators.
    • All equipment will be treated according to the equipment safe work procedures outlined above. The procedures will include specialized disinfecting or placing a piece of equipment in 4-day quarantine. This work will be done by the Technical Coordinators. 

Step 3: Develop Policies 

The following workplace requirements will help ensure that employees and clients who are showing symptoms or at risk of carrying the COVID-19 virus are informed not to enter the workplace. 

  • Anyone who has had symptoms of COVID- 19 in the last 10 days. Symptoms include fever, chills, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and new muscle aches or headache.
    • All staff and clients have been informed that anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home and self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Anyone directed by Public Health to self-isolate.
    • All staff and clients have been informed that anyone directed to self-isolate by Public Health is not allowed to enter the facility.