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COVID-19 Challenges the Ontario Construction Industry

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Ontario’s construction industry has managed to operate safely under COVID-19 restrictions, and as a result, it is operating fully open under the third wave lockdown. However, the experience with the variants of the third wave is much different.

By all accounts, the industry is battling a higher level of community spread and on-site transmission. This week's WSIB report of COVID claims increased by 30 to 228 construction industry claims, the largest weekly increase yet. This reflects infections that occurred weeks ago, so it is likely there are many more to be reported.

Chief Prevention Officer Ron Kelusky has reached out to the industry asking us members to be “extra vigilant with respect to active screening, masking and infection control protocols.” We also expect an increase in inspectors visiting sites to make sure the protocols are closely followed.

The CPO has announced that the guidance document will soon be updated and will include new standards for masking. We will distribute as soon as it is available.

OGCA has links to all industry protocols through our COVID-19 web page. Please visit it to review your practices and procedures and ensure you are in compliance.

The Ministry of Health has made hundreds of thousands of rapid tests available to the construction industry for companies willing to conform with the required procedures. Please contact david@ogca.ca for more information. They are being used on many larger sites and have proven successful at catching community spread before it spreads through the workplace.

OGCA has succeeded in having essential construction workers added to the vaccination priority list. It is currently projected that construction will have vaccines available beginning the third week of May. OGCA will continue to work with the government and will provide details when available.


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