COVID Guidelines for Faculty & Staff

WorkSafeBC mandates that employers develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan that outlines the policies, guidelines, and procedures they have put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace.  Before resuming activities that require additional faculty, staff, or students to return to work (on campus or in the field), a university approved COVID-19 Safety Plan must be in place for a given workspace, ensuring compliance with WorkSafeBC requirements.  

It is a requirement of WorkSafe BC that approval of any COVID-19 Safe Work Plan involve the front-line workers involved and be reviewed by relevant local safety committee prior to approval.  were given the opportunity to review the plan.  

The Faculty of Science Manager, Safety Operations, will ensure that the Science Safety Committee reviews your submitted SWP. However, you should involve your group in the development of this prior to submission. Further to this, all approved SWPs will be sent to the personnel listed in order for them to review and bring any concerns to you, the supervisor.

If you have any questions regarding the local safety committee process in the Faculty of Science, please contact the worker co-chair Ken Myrtle (Physics) or management co-chair: Ruth Appanah (Office of the Dean, Science)

Researchers, instructors, and administrative personnel may apply to resume activity on campus or in the field in accordance with Provincial, SFU and Faculty of Science guidelines by submitting a Safe Work Plan (SWP). The expectation is that all work that can be done remotely will continue to be done remotely – this application procedure applies to essential work that cannot be readily accommodated remotely.  Essential return-to-work activities include work that can be grouped into four general portfolios:

  1. Research on Campus – e.g., research that requires access to critical laboratory equipment or bench work.
  2. Fieldwork (research and teaching-related activities) – e.g., researchers conducting field work; instructors filming virtual fieldtrips.
  3. Teaching Activities (on-campus preparatory work for the Fall/Spring, 2021/0 semester) – e.g., instructors filming lab demonstrations for Fall/Spring, 2021/0 courses.
  4. Administrative Work – e.g., staff supporting the above activities (on campus) if considered essential.

How to apply to resume activities on campus or in the field

Members of our Faculty will be able to complete and submit the required forms, and link to faculty and university resources via the redirect buttons above. 

If you are a faculty member or supervisor, including those operating under a Phase 1 exemption, you must complete and submit

  1. COVID-19 Safety PlanSafe Work Plan (SWP) for your space (in compliance with WorkSafe BC) Your SWP must be submitted via the Faculty of Science online portal:
  2. Ensure all employees listed have completed the  SFU EHRS COVID-19 Awareness and Safe Return to Work Training Module 
  3. Ensure all employees on the SWP are completing a daily self-assessment prior to each day that they are coming to campus
Guiding Principles for approval of and compliance within your Safe Work Plan:
  • Approval of your COVID-19 SWP for a return to work on campus covers the supervisor and all their personnel that will be working on campus; 

  • The COVID-19 SWP needs to be completed for all spaces that will be used or occupied (e.g.  research and teaching labs, shared space, field sites) and include mandatory maximum occupancy numbers allowed for compliance, plans for disinfection, physical distancing and usage of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g., masks and any other research related PPE).  A separate SWP must be completed for office spaces that is separate from the one created for lab and research spaces.

  • If you are not a faculty member or supervisor, ensure you are included in the relevant supervisor’s COVID-19 SWP.

  • Field work guidelines are available via the Faculty of Science COVID-19 Guidelines webpage

  • Everyone (faculty, staff, and students) who intends to visit campus or work in the field, for any reason, must complete the SFU COVID-19 Safety Training module that can be completed on Canvas.

  • All employees, including faculty members, must complete a daily self-assessment before coming to campus using the Faculty of Science has created a web portal:

  • Supervisors can review which employees are on campus here:

  • You must continue to sign-in to your workspace on arrival at campus. A sign in sheet template can be found here: SFU Science COVID-19 Self-Assessment Check List and Sign in Sheet (records retained within each work space)

  • If applicable to your work, there are special considerations for access to Science Stores, Science Receiving, and the Science Technical Centre

After submission, the SWP is reviewed and then approved by the Department Chair and then is sent to the Science Safety Committee (LJHSC) for review. Once reviewed by both the Chair and Committee, the SWP is then sent for approval to the Dean's Office. You will be then be notified in a timely manner on your SWP status (i.e., approved or rejected). If your request is approved, you (and all personnel listed on your application) will receive an email from the Dean’s office which will include the following:

  • approved SWP in pdf format
  • compliance for use of space (including max occupancy)
  • sign-in sheet for space

All SWPs are subject to review by the VP-Research, VP-Academic and WorkSafe BC will be available to these groups upon request.

Additional Context to the Resumption of Work Activities

If you have questions regarding any return-to-work procedures, please contact the Director, Facilities and Technical Operations or the Associate Director, Facilities and Technical Operations.

This process aligns with the University, Provincial Health Authority and WorkSafe BC directives and we urge you to take the health and safety protocols seriously. COVID-19 remains a prevalent public health issue in the community and safe practices will help us minimize risk on campus and in the field