Trades association updates construction site COVID-19 protocols

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Ottawa, ON — Best practices surrounding the COVID-19 virus are rapidly changing; as do our building protocols. The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) launched an update to their “COVID-19 — Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites,” on April 19. The protocols within the 11-page document, highlight preventative measures to be made, ensuring the health and safety of all construction sector workers.

“With COVID-19 cases escalating across the country, newer and deadlier variants of concern threatening wider age groups, and a slow rollout of vaccines, it is essential to remain vigilant and follow worksite health and safety protocols as well as public health measures,” said Mary Van Buren, president of the CCA, in a letter to the industry.  “The CCA has updated its “COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites” to underline the urgency around following health guidelines on worksites, including wearing an N-95 mask or a commercial-grade equivalent, maintaining physical distance while travelling to and from worksites, limiting your daily contacts, working remotely when possible, and washing your hands frequently.”

It should be noted that some provinces and municipalities have implemented stricter measures. Contractors are responsible to ensure that they are following the rules, regulations and practices required by the applicable authorities, reports the CCA.

All construction sites should continue to clearly outline health and safety measures, and any workplace policies. All workers should also follow recommended practices identified by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and provincial authorities, reports the CCA.

“The objectives of the standardized protocols are to prioritize the health and safety of workers and of their surrounding communities; apply recommendations and best practices from federal, provincial, and municipal public health authorities to construction site procedures, establish and maintain a common COVID-19 pandemic response plan across construction sites, and foster open communication amongst stakeholders and ensure a respectful work environment.”

The CCA has been working with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to implement rapid teasing on federal construction sites. A pilot program is being rolled out within the coming weeks on the Centre Block rehabilitation project in Ottawa, reports the CCA.

“It is vital to Canada’s health and economy that our strong track record of safety continues into this third and potentially more challenging wave,” says Van Buren. “You have worked very hard to make sure your worksites are safe and have gone the extra mile to respond to the needs of your communities. There is light at the end of the tunnel. We will get through this crisis together.”

For more information about the update, please visit www.plumbingandhvac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/CCA-COVID-19-Standardized-Protocols-for-All-Canadian-Construction-Sites-4-19-21.pdf.

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