The Province’s Working Alone legislation requires employers to ensure that any worker working alone is safe at all times. Employers must review situations where employees are required to work alone and provide strategies to ensure that it is a safe place.
Currently the Administration Office remains open during the lunch hour with one staff member in the building. On December 23, 2010 an unhappy resident came into the building at 12:30 p.m. and intimidated one of the staff. While we have recently upgraded the security system for the building, it seems inadequate as a measure to keep staff safe in the event that someone enters the building with intent to cause harm. The incident on December 23 did not result in any harm to our staff; however the staff member was very upset by the encounter.
Administration would like Council to consider closing the office during the lunch hour except for the months of Mid May to Mid July to accommodate the tax payments. During this time, there is a summer student hired that is scheduled to have lunch break from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. A schedule for lunch rotation would resume in order allowing residents to make tax payments. This would ensure that two staff members would be here at all times.
If we make this change, it will not be done until we provide notice with an effective date in the local newspapers and on our website.
During the month of February, 2010 we kept track of customers and incoming phone calls during the noon hour. There were 14 customers and 17 phone calls. We also surveyed the municipalities in our zone. Of the 12 municipalities, 5 are open during the lunch hour. A copy of the survey results is attached.