COVID-19 Pandemic Safety Plan
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Altus Group met the situation head-on. We quickly assembled a cross-functional COVID-19 response taskforce and initiated our Business Continuity Plan proactively in early March 2020. Since then, we have followed guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other national health agencies on the actions required by individuals and businesses, and have closely monitored local governments and public health institution recommendations in the markets where we operate. We acted decisively and quickly and in short order we set up our employees to safely work from home. This was in addition to other pre-emptive measures that allowed us to ensure employee safety, sustained productivity, and enhanced client support.
Developed in collaboration with various teams across the organization (including Corporate, Management, Legal, Human Resources, Global Facilities, JHSC), this Plan outlines Altus Group’s response to the COVID-19 Global Pandemic.
The principles guiding Altus Group’s actions are as follows:
- Safety: Prioritizing the health and safety of our employees and the larger community
- Compliance: Following health & safety orders and guidelines from the international health organizations, as well as national & local governments and public health institutions
- Partnership: Collaboratively working in partnership with all our stakeholders
- Readiness: Closely monitoring the situation as it evolves and assessing our response strategies accordingly in real time
- Prudence: When its determined to be safe, cautiously reopening our offices and carefully evaluating our plans before proceeding
Altus Group will maintain a safe workplace by following guidelines and requirements outlined by local government and health officials and will adhere to any requirements specified by building Property Management at our office locations.
New and/or Temporary Protocols
In accordance with local legislation and in response to the COVID-19 threat, Altus Group has instituted new and/or temporary protocols to ensure the continued health and safety of our employees.
Office Access Restriction
Altus Group has restricted the number of people in the office by implementing work from home arrangements, establishing occupancy limits and rescheduling work tasks in order to prevent the threat of spreading the virus.
Altus Group requires employees and visitors to complete pre-screening and adheres to guidelines and requirements outlined by local government prior to accessing our office locations. In addition to pre-screening requirements, Altus Group maintains a record of employees and visitors attending our office locations in order to facilitate contact tracing.
Physical Distancing Requirements
Employees are reminded to maintain a 6ft/2metre distance from others at all times, through signage and decals posted throughout the office. Workspace between employee work areas has been increased to facilitate appropriate physical distancing. Altus Group is decreasing the possibility of contact by limiting large or close contact gatherings and restricting employee access to all office locations. A “no visitor policy” is in effect until further notice and virtual meetings continue to be the preferred method for conducting business. New meeting room protocols include reduced capacity to allow for proper physical distancing, restricted use and an increased cleaning protocol. To avoid employees gathering in groups, use of common areas such as reception, meeting rooms, kitchens/break rooms and washrooms, have been restricted.
Increased Cleaning Requirements
All Altus Group office locations have implemented increased cleaning of all areas and surfaces likely to have frequent hand contact (i.e. door handles, faucets, handrails, printers, scanners, fax machines etc.). Appropriate supplies to facilitate cleaning of workstations have been provided and placed throughout our office locations so employees may clean and disinfect their personal workspace. Shared items (such as tableware, utensils, magazines, newspapers etc.) have been removed from use in all Altus Group office locations.
Frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizers is encouraged. Altus Group has provisioned supplies and installed signage reminding employees of proper use. Posters indicating proper hand and respiratory hygiene have been placed throughout the office as reminders of expected behavior.
Personal Protective Equipment
A mask or face covering is required within all public/common areas of our offices (including washrooms, kitchens, copy rooms, reception, elevators etc.) and whenever physical distancing may be challenging. Masks or face coverings are required when navigating through the office, in meeting rooms and in accordance with local legislation. Altus Group has made PPE available to employees at all office locations, as required.
Altus Group has instituted guidelines for site visits, including identifying roles and responsibilities, required information prior to a visit, PPE requirements, pre-screening and reporting protocols.
Work from Home
As an immediate response to COVID-19, Altus Group has supported employees in working remotely from home, wherever possible, and has implemented work from home arrangements. Altus Group will continue to evaluate the impact of relaxation of local government-imposed restrictions before bringing additional employees back to the office. Like many other organizations, we will re-enter the office in a phased approach.
Business travel restrictions have been put in place, limiting travel to only essential purposes with approval required prior to booking. In addition, in accordance with local government quarantine policy, Altus Group requires employees that have traveled out of Country/Province/State and for all air travel, whether business or personal, to refrain from entering the office and to self-isolate/work from home for 14 days upon their return.
To ensure all employees are aware of Altus Group’s expectations and new/updated policies and protocols, employees are required to complete mandatory training before being permitted to return to the office.
Included in mandatory training is an outline of Altus Group’s protocol in response to COVID-19 for scenarios that may arise in the office, including the following:
- An employee develops symptoms while at work
- An employee may have been exposed or are awaiting test results
- An employee tests positive for COVID-19
- An individual in the office or building tests positive for COVID-19
Training materials have been made available in a format acceptable and understandable to all employees, respecting any accommodations that may be required.
At Altus Group, our employees are our greatest asset. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reminded employees to take personal time, offered webinars on easing work from home challenges, and most importantly, offered repeated reminders of the importance of tending to mental health, offering employees mental health supports including management and employee training around mental health issues, and referrals to mental health and wellness resources.
This document may be updated from time to time as necessary.