(Black Press File)

(Black Press File)

New safety measures for Canada Post amid pandemic

Message from Luc Julien, President of Columbia River Local - Trail, Rossland, Castlegar post offices

In consultation with the union, Canada Post has put new health and safety measures in place across the country.

“Postal workers touch many more surfaces and items throughout the workday than the average person, as a result we wash our hands more than ever,” began President Luc Julien, of the Columbia River Local.

Read more: Triple the deliveries over Christmas for WK postal carriers

Read more: Kootenay postal workers carry on despite no contract for 2 years

“Outside workers like myself carry a disinfectant spray so we are continually able to sanitize our hands.”

Physical distancing is also practiced inside the workplaces.

“Our local Health and Safety Committee has made workplace modifications such as installing PVC shields at the retail counters, encouraging debit or credit transactions, rather than cash, and setting up social-distancing signage in the post office lobbies,” Julien explained.

“Please note that for the time being, retail office hours have been altered to 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to accommodate extra cleaning. Letter carrier sortation cases have been spaced out to maintain the two-meter distance between coworkers as well.”

Julien says the coronavirus contagion has created a very stressful adjustment for all frontline workers; including postal workers of the Columbia River Local which encompasses Trail, Rossland and Castlegar.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, members of our Local were very nervous about being at work,” he shared. “Many of us are still anxious about contracting the virus and contaminating our family members, coworkers, and the public.”

These are extraordinary and very difficult times for everyone, Julien said.

“We ask our customers to continue being patient and kind with clerks and delivery workers. Please remember to practice physical distancing and to carefully follow the guidelines from the health authorities. We are proud to provide the public with their goods during this ongoing global crisis in a manner that is safe for all concerned.”

How can you protect

postal workers?

The spread of the virus is primarily person-to-person.

– Clean and disinfect your mailbox, railings and doorknob daily.

– Maintain physical distancing, don’t approach postal workers on delivery.

– Maintain distancing in post offices and respect the posted guidelines.

– Don’t go to the post office if you’re not feeling well.

Is the mail itself safe?

The virus can survive for some length of time on surfaces. The length of time is uncertain because it depends on the nature of the surface, and environmental factors like heat, cold, and sunshine.

Just like with grocery delivery, you should clean and disinfect anything that comes into your home, and set it aside for a few hours before handling it, if you can. After handling anything that’s come from outside your house, wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express the Columbia River Local’s gratitude to the healthcare workers of our communities,” Julien said. “We encourage everyone to grab your instruments, whistles, or pots and pans and be loud as you can every evening at 7 p.m. to thank these hard-working heroes that put their lives at risk to care for us.”

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