Infection prevention and control (IPAC) is an integral component of a workplace’s occupational health and safety program and effective strategies need to be in place for the safety and protection of workers.
The Importance of Infection Prevention and Control
Over the past ten years, the health care delivery system has undergone enormous change. Often, service delivery has shifted to settings such as ambulatory clinics, work sites and clients’ homes. The historic separation between the activities of hospitals, nursing homes, physicians and other care providers have become increasingly blurred. Infection control practices must now encompass infections that clients may acquire as a result of their care or treatment — both in and outside of an acute care setting.
Every year in Ontario, thousands of workers contract infectious diseases that result in absences from work and interrupted daily living activities (WSIB, 2011). Influenza, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and gastroenteritis, are a few examples of conditions that can develop following contact with biological hazards. While the risk of exposure exists in every workplace, the majority of reported incidents originate from the public service sector.
Health care and community care organizations have a dual responsibility — they must work to prevent the transmission of infections from their clients to their workers, and limit the introduction of infections by care providers to other workers and clients. As such, infection prevention and control (IPAC) is an integral component of a workplace’s occupational health and safety program and healthcare and community organizations need to have effective strategies in place for the safety and protection of workers.
Progressive workplaces recognize that developing and implementing a successful IPAC program necessitates commitment and participation of all individuals throughout the organization, including occupational health and safety specialists and their Joint Health and Safety Committees or Health and Safety representatives. They also understand that even though program components may vary according to specific business environments and activities, three fundamental priorities need to remain consistent: risk reduction, legislative compliance and continual improvement.
Ebola virus disease (EVD) is associated with a high fatality rate, and is currently spreading in West Africa. Although the risk of spread in Canada is low, Ontario’s health care system must be prepared for persons entering the province with the disease or incubating the disease. As a result Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA) in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) and Ministry of Labour have designed several resources to assist health care workers (HCWs), paramedics and first responders who may be required to provide care to suspect/confirmed cases of EVD and their care environments.
Protecting healthcare workers from EVD requires a comprehensive infection prevention and control program. Personal Protective Equipment is a key component in protecting health care workers, paramedics and first responders during an Ebola outbreak. Among the resources available on this site are donning and doffing checklists. These checklists have been developed to train workers and to be used with a trained observer, to verify and document that all necessary donning and doffing steps are performed safely and in the proper sequence to prevent contamination.
Additional resources, tools and links will be made available on this site to aid in training and ensuring you are prepared should a suspect/confirmed EVD case enter the province, so visit this site often.
- Protecting Heath Care Workers From Infectious Diseases: A Self-Assessment Tool
- Occupational Illness: Requirements to Report to the Ministry of Labour
- Infectious Diseases web tutorial
- Ebola Virus Disease – Staying Healthy and Safe at Work
- Cold and Flu Infographic
- Seasonal Infections: Protecting Workers in Education
- Hand Hygiene: Spread Protection, Not Infection
- Cleaning and Disinfection of Environmental Surfaces
Before using our checklists, please read this essential Pre-Planning document.
When it comes to infectious diseases, personal protective equipment is just one important factor in protecting a worker. In times of crisis, sometimes things can be overlooked that can impact the worker, facility or even general population. These sector-specific checklists were designed to address the unique needs of: Acute Care and Emergency Medical Services. Using them in conjunction with the Pre-Planning document can eliminate risk of infection while ensuring your staff have the best possible protection.
Acute Care Checklists
- Donning: Screening/Triage
- Doffing: Screening/Triage
- Donning: Coveralls with Integrated Hood and Sock
- Doffing: Coveralls with Integrated Hood and Sock
- Donning: Coveralls/Gowns with Separate Hood and Boot Covers
- Doffing: Coveralls/Gowns with Separate Hood and Boot
- Doffing: PAPR with Coverall Training Checklist for EVD
- Donning: PAPR with Coverall Training Checklist for EVD
- Doffing: PAPR with Gown Training Checklist for EVD
- Donning: PAPR with Gown Training Checklist for EVD
- Observer Donning: Triage/ Screening
- Observer Doffing: Triage/ Screening
- Observer Donning: Coveralls with Integrated Hood and Sock
- Observer Doffing: Coveralls with Integrated Hood and Sock
- Observer Donning: Coveralls/Gowns with Separate Hood and Boot Covers
- Observer Doffing: Coveralls/Gowns with Separate Hood and Boot Covers
- Customizable Acute Care – Donning: Triage/ Screening
- Customizable Acute Care – Doffing: Triage/ Screening
- Customizable Acute Care – Donning: Coveralls with Integrated Hood and Sock
- Customizable Acute Care – Doffing: Coveralls with Integrated Hood and Sock
- Customizable Acute Care – Donning: Coveralls/Gowns with Separate Hood and Boot Covers
- Customizable Acute Care – Doffing: Coveralls/Gowns with Separate Hood and Boot Covers
- Customizable EMS – Donning: Coveralls with Integrated Hood and Separate Foot Covers
- Customizable EMS – Doffing: Coverall with Integrated Hood and Separate Foot Covers
- Customizable EMS – Donning: Coveralls/Gowns with Separate Hood and Foot Covers
- Customizable EMS – Doffing: Coveralls/Gowns with Separate Hood and Foot Covers
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