Province stepping up measures to limit COVID-19 spread on construction and work sites

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Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer announced today updated guidance to help employers better understand their responsibilities and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the job site.

The update follows an initial guidance document on March 20 and addresses sector topics including:

  • providing better on-site sanitation, including a focus on high-touch areas like site trailers, door handles and hoists
  • communicating roles, responsibilities, and health & safety policies, by, for example, posting site sanitization schedules and work schedules
  • enabling greater distances between workers by staggering shifts, restricting site numbers and limiting elevator usage
  • protecting public health, by tracking and monitoring workers

“The health and safety of construction workers is a top priority for our government,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

“With the COVID-19 situation changing day by day, we are working to ensure that workers have the tools they need to help keep job sites safe. We must do everything possible to fight the spread of this disease.”

According to the province, ministry inspectors are inspecting job sites every day, reminding employers that they must take every reasonable precaution to keep workers safe.

Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work, and can report health and safety concerns by filing a complaint with the ministry’s Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.

“Employers and constructors should know: failure to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations could result in a stop work order,” the government said in a statement. “Keeping job sites open during the current pandemic requires a heightened focus on health and safety.”

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