As British Columbians entered week two of the province’s Phase 2 reopening plan, BCIT School of Construction and the Environment collaborated with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) to develop an extensive risk assessment plan with enhanced protocols that safely welcomed seven Level 4 Joinery students back onto the Burnaby Campus. The students have returned for one-week of training to acquire the essential applied skills required to take their Interprovincial Red Seal Exam.
BCIT has developed thorough policies and guidelines for the consideration and, where approved, delivery of in-person and on-campus instruction when required for students to achieve their credentials. These policies and guidelines were developed based on Public Health Officer and WorkSafe BC guidelines for post-secondary institutions. OHS inspects teaching and learning environments and issues Safe Operating Procedure guidelines prior to returning any spaces to operation.
Enhanced protocols to ensure the safety and health of everyone
A shop class designed for 64 students welcomed seven students, one instructor and a tool room attendant. A large sneeze-guard has been installed outside the tool room to protect staff and students. Red and yellow tape lines the ground to mark one-way travel arrows in the shop and to ensure the mandatory two-meter physical distancing required between students and the instructor. Additional cleaning services to disinfect common areas and hand sanitizer dispensers have been added to reinforce mandatory hand sanitizing upon arrival to the shop. Students now have their own workbench with their own set of hand tools, table saw, and supplies.
These are just some of the mandatory protocols and measures in place to safeguard the health of the Joinery students and instructor as they work in the shop.
Supporting students’ academic goals and wellbeing
Back in mid March, students in the Joinery program transitioned their learning online consistent with the Provincial Health Officer’s guidelines to help fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying home and practising physical distancing. BCIT continues to be deeply committed to supporting students’ academic goals and their wellbeing within the current primarily online learning environment,
“The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount. Our sincere thanks to everyone involved with the development and implementation of this multi-faceted and complex plan. This plan will ensure our students have the opportunity to safely acquire the applied skills needed to complete their training,” says Wayne Hand, Dean, BCIT School of Construction and the Environment. “I would also like to thank all of our students and faculty for their ongoing resilience, collaboration, and patience as we adapt to this new reality.”
BCIT continues to put the necessary safeguards and adjustments in place to create an experiential learning environment wherever possible. By combining adaptive and meaningful teaching, learning, and service delivery methods, BCIT is committed to equipping students with the tools required for academic success.