To keep everyone safe while working, WNH provided protective equipment and educated employees on COVID health and safety measures (including handwashing, social distancing, mask-wearing and vaccines). The utility also added awareness signs throughout the building and introduced capacity limits in meeting rooms and common spaces.
Education and awareness were key components of WNH’s pandemic response. WNH educated employees on COVID health and safety measures through 16 Employee Education documents, 15 virtual information sessions and regular updates to signage, information bulletins and department meetings. The employee-led Pandemic Planning Committee steered the utility through its pandemic response, meeting 78 times throughout the year.
In May, WNH, in partnership with the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, introduced a two-week Rapid Antigen Testing Pilot Program. Employees embraced the pilot program, which had a 47 percent participation rate during the initial two-week run. WNH chose to continue the program throughout the remainder of 2021 and 678 tests were completed by the end of the year.
Later in the year, WNH released a Vaccination and Rapid Antigen Testing Policy to maintain a healthy and safe workplace through encouraging vaccinations and rapid testing. By the end of the year, 96 percent of WNH employees were fully vaccinated.