New Communicable Disease Prevention Plan
April 24th, 2023
This communicable disease (CD) prevention plan has been developed in alignment with the BC Restart plan and the Post-Secondary Return-to-Campus Guidelines, and following WorkSafeBC requirements, and outlines the ongoing prevention measures that everyone needs to follow as we transition from prescriptive COVID-19 safety measures to general communicable disease prevention measures that are guided by public health.
Mask mandates are lifted as of Friday, March 11th!
March 10th, 2022
Attention Staff, Students and Visitors at SMITB & SMWTCS,
The Provincial Health Officer has announced that effective Friday, March 11, 2022, there are some changes to the public health orders related to face coverings.
Per the recent public health order changes, the Training Centre has made the decision to fully implement the optional face coverings for staff, students and visitors, per the following PHO excerpt:
— Face coverings will be optional for people in all indoor public settings. People may want to continue wearing a mask based on personal choice.
— Individual businesses and organizations can choose to continue to require mask wearing on their premises.
— Indoor common area mask requirements for employees as part of the Workplace Safety Order will no longer be required. Employers may choose to continue to require wearing masks for operational reasons or in certain settings.
Anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask will be supported to do so. We encourage everyone to respect an individual’s personal choice, whether to wear a mask or not.
The Training Centre will also remove any occupancy limitations within the facility.
We thank everyone for their diligence in following public health orders and will continue to monitor any changes including re-introducing our Communicable Disease Prevention Plan as of April 8th. Please direct any questions or concerns to your supervisor or instructor.
Thank you and stay safe.
January 10th, 2022
The Sheet Metal Industry Training Board has re-activated our COVID-19 Safety Plan to adhere to the PHO order dated January 7, 2022 requiring employers to re-activate COVID-19 Safety Plans.
January 3rd, 2022
Happy New Year everyone!
We remain diligent to ensure staff, students and visitors at the Training Centre are working and learning in a safe environment. The pandemic continues to evolve rapidly and COVID-19 cases are increasing at a concerning rate. The high incidence of Omicron cases is changing the face of this pandemic and our Training Centre must remain nimble to respond accordingly.
We are closely monitoring the latest COVID-19 updates from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), Industry Training Authority (ITA), industry stakeholders and other post-secondary educational institutions to determine our next steps. Our Health & Safety Committee is meeting frequently to discuss our best approach to ensure everyone’s safety, and adjusting our communicable disease prevention protocols as needed.
We will commence the first cohort on January 4th and January 10th as scheduled. Students will be issued IT equipment and complete their mandatory orientation and safety training on the first day of class.
Staff and students will be notified of any adjustments to the schedule as we continue to monitor PHO orders to respond accordingly. This may include shifting to remote learning blended with onsite technical training. Staff and students are encouraged to check their emails frequently for timely updates.
Our approach to be agile in response to this pandemic has served us well and we are confident we have the resources, knowledge, and expertise to support the ongoing safety and wellbeing of our staff and students, while providing exceptional technical training to apprentices.
The most important thing you can do to keep yourself and everyone else safe is to get fully vaccinated, wear a mask and stay home if unwell. We thank everyone for your continued resilience, patience and being flexible in changing conditions.
New Communicable Disease Prevention Plan
August 27th, 2021
As part of our ongoing commitment to a healthy working and learning environment, the Sheet Metal Industry Training Board has implemented our new Communicable Disease Prevention Plan which replaces our previous COVID-19 Safety Plan.
Our Communicable Disease Prevention Plan details the infection control practices and protocols that are in place to minimize the risk of communicable disease transmission onsite at the Training Centre. This plan applies to all staff, students, contractors and visitors engaged in any onsite activity.
Individuals onsite will be expected to:
— Follow the established Communicable Disease Prevention Plan
— Monitor health daily with the BC Government’s COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine if testing is required, and contact 8-1-1 or a medical practitioner for medical advice
— Stay home when sick. Do not enter the Training Centre if you have any of the following symptoms:
— Stay home until you feel better and notify your supervisor/instructor of your absence
— Practice regular hand washing, sanitizing and cough/sneeze etiquette to minimize disease transmission. Refer to the BCCDC handwashing guide for more information.
— Wear a non-medical face mask or any other required personal protective equipment (PPE) when required to do so. Additional information on non-medical masks is provided by the BCCDC.
— Get vaccinated, if you are eligible and able to do so. Evidence-based immunization information and tools for B.C. residents are available from the BCCDC and ImmunizeBC.
— In the event of a confirmed case of a communicable disease at the Training Centre, we will follow the guidance of the appropriate health authority.
The level of risk of certain communicable diseases may elevate occasionally, or on a seasonal basis. Additional measures that could be re-introduced during periods of elevated risk, as directed by public health, include but are not limited to:
— Enhanced cleaning and disinfection
— Limiting building occupancy
— Physical distancing and limiting close interactions
— Mandating use of non-medical masks onsite
Thank you for your patience and perseverance as we continue to navigate the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jud Martell, Training Coordinator
SMWTCS COVID-19 pandemic updates
Updated April 23, 2021
To lower transmissions and curb the spread of COVID-19, the province is prohibiting non-essential travel between three regional zones in the province, using health authority boundaries. The regional zones are:
Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley (Fraser Health and Coastal Health regions);
Vancouver Island (Island Health region); and
Northern/Interior (Interior Health and Northern Health regions).
Everyone should continue to stay within their local community, even for day trips – essential travel only. Click here for details on travel restrictions and what is identified as essential travel.
This order will be in effect from April 23 through May 25, 2021, (after the May long weekend). It applies to everyone in the province, including non-essential travellers from outside the province.
We need to do our part to keep everyone safe. Stay close to home, maintain social distance and wear your mask.
Updated April 19th, 2021
The PHO has strengthened province-wide restrictions, extending the current restrictions to May 25 at midnight.
Per Dr. Henry,
“this includes the current restrictions on restaurants, pubs, bars and indoor group fitness activities.”
The public health order also includes a directive that workplaces with a COVID-19 exposure may be ordered to close for a minimum of 10 days.
Adding to this, starting this Friday, new travel restrictions will restrict individuals from vacation and recreation travel outside of your health authority. We encourage all staff, students and stakeholders to follow these guidelines.
The vaccine roll out continues and individuals can register by clicking here. Individuals may also register for the AstraZeneca vaccine at participating pharmacies. To find a pharmacy near you and book an appointment, click here.
Stay safe everyone!
Public Health Order updated March 29th, 2021
Dr. Bonnie Henry has released stronger province-wide restrictions.
“In the last few days, we have seen the start of exponential growth in new cases, hospitalizations and more people requiring critical care support.”
“A circuit breaker is now required to break the chains of transmission in our province and allow us to safely move forward.”
“Gathering indoors is too great of a risk for us right now. As a result, for the next three weeks, from midnight tonight through to April 19, 2021, the provincial health officer’s orders have been amended.“
Between March 29 at 11:59 pm and April 19 at 11:59 pm the PHO is strengthening province-wide restrictions:
• The variance allowing indoor religious gatherings and worship services between March 28 and May 13 is suspended
• Indoor low intensity group exercise classes are cancelled
• Restaurants, pubs and bars are closed for indoor dining. Outdoor patio seating and take-out or delivery is allowed
• Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is closed
Also, Health Canada is monitoring vaccine responses globally and has made the decision to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca-SII vaccine for people who are under age 55 until we receive more information.
As a reminder, let’s work together to keep our sheet metal community safe. In addition to following the Public Health Order, please do your part and follow these safety recommendations:
• Working from home whenever possible, unless it is essential to be in the workplace
• Keeping your child home from school if they feel sick or have any sign of illness
• Getting testing immediately if you or anyone in your family feels sick
• Avoiding all non-essential travel
Stay safe everyone!
Updated February 5, 2021
By order of the PHO, all gathering and events are suspended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions. The order came into effect November 19, 2020 at midnight and will be kept in place until further notice based on direction from the PHO.
Updated January 7, 2021
The current provincial health officer’s order on all gatherings and events have been extended through to Feb. 5, 2021, at midnight. The same restriction, including on social gatherings in people’s homes and in public venues, continues to apply.
Per Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, “we need to hold the line with the public health orders for the next two incubation periods – one month – to ensure we are doing all we can to keep everyone in the province as safe as possible. These orders enable our health-care system, schools and essential workplaces to continue to stay open, which is important for all of us.”
Thank you to everyone for continuing to make choices that adhere to the public health order to keep us all safe.
Updated December 7th, 2020
The Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry has extended the existing public health order until January 8, 2021. The Training Centre continues to be diligent with our daily health monitoring of staff, students and visitors. Our health and safety committee is meeting regularly to ensure we adhere to our COVID-19 Safety Plan protocols.
We encourage everyone to do their part: wear a mask in public indoor settings, maintain physical distancing and limit travel outside your community.
The order mandates that we do not hold any “social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble”. We recognize this will be challenging over the holiday season, however our collaborative efforts will help keep everyone safe. Our short-term efforts will guide us safely into 2021.
Update on the new COVID-19 Provincial Orders announced Nov 19th
The BC Provincial Health Officer announced expanded and updated response Orders to aid in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Effective November 19, 2020 at midnight to December 7, 2020 at midnight, the following new Orders will be in place for everyone across British Columbia:
• Masks are now required for everyone in all public indoor settings and all retail stores. Masks are required in all workplaces for shared work areas and areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
• No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble. This includes all social events and social community-based gatherings as defined in the PHO order – Gathering and Events.
• Suspend all high-risk indoor group fitness activities.
• Games, competitions, and practices can continue with no spectators and no travel.
• Businesses are to suspend any returns to the office for employees who have been working remotely.
• All non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of BC and between regions of the province. People travelling to BC from another province or territory within Canada should only come for essential reasons.
SMITB diligently reviews new Orders as they relate to the Training Centre and will update our Safety Plan as needed. We will share updates with staff, students and other stakeholders as new information becomes available as it is important that we all do our part to keep each other and our community safe.
The Provincial Health Officer’s announcement and the full Orders are available here.
November 9th, 2020
In response to increasing COVID-19 cases and the recent Provincial Health Officer (PHO) order, the Sheet Metal Industry Training Board are reminding all students, staff and visitors of our COVID-19 safety protocols and to remain vigilant and maintain a safe environment at the Training Centre.
The order states:
By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), all individuals, places of work and businesses in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley must significantly reduce their level of social interactions.
The order is in effect from November 7, 2020 at 10:00 pm to November 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm.
As the Training Centre falls within the Fraser Valley region, we must adhere to this order and ensure we are doing our part at school and at home to ensure everyone’s safety as we interact at the Training Centre.
The SMWTC Health and Safety Committee met in advance of the most recent PHO announcements and have confirmed our safety protocols continue to be in accordance with provincial guidelines. We identified some opportunities for improvement to ensure we are diligent in keeping a safe environment for staff, students and visitors to our facility. Highlights of our safety protocols include:
• ongoing daily health symptom checks
• mandatory orientation and COVID-19 safety training
• blended learning model (remote theoretical and onsite practical)
• students issued IT equipment for use while in technical training
• 3-layer masks issued to staff and students as of Monday, November 16th, 2020
• mask wearing while on the premises including the parking lots and walkways
• staff and students are encouraged to avoid car-pooling unless a mask is worn at all times
• enhanced cleaning and sanitization of all equipment
• ongoing monitoring of public health orders and industry guidelines
See our most recent WorkSafeBC COVID-19 Safety Plan dated November 13, 2020.
Our goal is to get everyone through technical training safely, working together with clarity, calmness and compassion. We encourage everyone to stay safe and healthy.
The Sheet Metal Industry Training Board continues to operate the Training Centre with occupancy limits, physical distancing requirements, and enhanced cleaning protocols adhering to WorkSafeBC COVID-19 safety protocols and public health orders. Student and staff health is monitored regularly to ensure everyone’s safety.
Current students are completing apprenticeship training using our new blended learning model with theoretical training online and practical learning onsite. Students are issued iPads and laptops to support their learning online facilitated by dedicated instructors.
We are working diligently to finalize our revised class schedule for 2021/2022 and reassign students to upcoming classes in a sequential manner. Watch for emails from the Registrar with further information about your rescheduled start/end dates for apprenticeship and specialty training. Please note that Specialty Training courses have been suspended until spring 2021.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sheet Metal Industry Training Board has suspended all apprenticeship and specialty training classes scheduled for 2020/2021. We will be implementing a revised class schedule with a reduced number of classes, complying with WorkSafeBC COVID-19 safety guidelines and public health orders to ensure a safe work environment for all our staff and students. This includes occupancy limits, physical distancing requirements, enhanced cleaning protocols, etc.
Students scheduled for classes in 2020 will be contacted in a sequential manner over the following months as the class schedule for 2020, 2021 and 2022 is finalized. Watch for emails from the Registrar with further information about your rescheduled start/end dates for apprenticeship and specialty training.
Resources and benefits to help individuals and businesses impacted by the COVID-19:
The summary of programs & benefits offered by the Government of Canada.
Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit
WorkSafeBC Resources on staying safe at work, accessing WorkSafeBC services, and more.
WorkSafeBC information and services by topic
If you’re a residential customer and you or your spouse/partner have lost employment or have become unable to work due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for free credit on your BC Hydro bill.
COVID-19 Relief Fund for residential customers
Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan offers a wide array of services to meet the mental health and addiction care needs of all BC and YT construction industry workers and their families.
Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan (CIRP)
Vancity created the CommUNITY Centre – a place for members and employees to find and share up-to-date, reliable information about everyday finances, health and other questions you may have right now.