CPCA members have been working diligently and responsibly to establish a safer workplace for their staff and ongoing interactions with their suppliers and customers. CPCA member companies have adopted and applied all recommended measures published by federal and provincial governments and various Occupational Health and Safety groups to ensure adequate protection of their workforce and those with whom they interact on an as-needed basis.
In addition to physical distancing measures and frequent disinfecting and hand-washing practices among workers, members have taken other important initiatives such as: established completely isolated work areas, secured worksites, use extensive PPE protection, mask-wearing, temperature monitoring, limiting shift work rotation, enhanced deep cleaning activities and/or cleaning product applications to further assure worker protection at various stages of ongoing operations. For members with ongoing retail operations, there is limited and intermittent access to retail sites and curbside delivery of goods to customers, especially in areas where so designated as essential workplaces. CPCA has asked members to continue sharing these types of renewed commitments to corporate actions by sharing the extent and magnitude of such exemplary measures with the association. These may help others in industry and other business sectors while supporting CPCA’s advocacy efforts at all levels of government in maintaining CASE manufacturing and sales operations as essential services during the pandemic, as we have seen in Ontario and Quebec where paint and coatings operations have been designated as essential workplaces during these difficult times.
CPCA members know their best asset is their workforce. They understand the necessity to preserve that workforce in recognition of many years of service and to ensure business continuity beyond the pandemic when more normal business operations resume. The Geneva-based World Health Organization has made a series of recommendations on how employers can secure workplaces during the virus outbreak. At the top of the list is having people work remotely where possible, which may not possible for many business operations. In cases where there is a need to have multiple staff and to interact with customers physical distancing and enhanced sanitization practices must be respected. CPCA members are closely following this protocol.
While Canadian companies and governments seek to strike a fine balance between confinement and productivity, it is possible that workers may become wary of such practices as stricter business lock-downs are gradually being imposed regionally and pandemic scenarios are being revealed by governments in larger urban jurisdictions. These measures will raise concerns and fears among certain types of workers in the supply chain such as our truck drivers on the frontline of the economy and those who serve those essential workers. Until the pandemic curve has clearly peaked and flattened, managing the workforce will be more complex than usual, especially among larger companies and those located in larger jurisdictions. Canadian industry, in general, understands that it is dealing with a more mature workforce in some cases, which must be fully aware of the current risks of COVID-19. Our members’ operations are focused on supporting the sectors that require their products and services as some of these industries play a crucial role in the health and well-being of the public and are working hard to help avert a total collapse of the Canadian economy. Such a collapse would not be helpful for the long-term health and welfare of the country.
CPCA will continue its advocacy efforts in support of member operations by reassuring governments and workers that the paint and coatings industry is taking all necessary measures to ensure containment of the pandemic while supporting essential economic activities as designated by governments. Therefore, we need all members to share further examples of the preventive measures and resourceful practices being currently implemented to help counter the COVID-19 spread.
For a list of the essential services designated by the federal and provincial governments please consult CPCA’s COVID-19 webpage.
Essential services of the paint and coatings industry are many and varied, read the CPCA Backgrounder.