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There is no doubt we are facing many challenges throughout this pandemic. These include continuing the bidding and tendering process; what the terms of the contracts are going to be; protection that might be retroactive in our contracts to prevent us from being unfairly penalized because of the virus's impact on our jobs; health and safety issues; cash flow sustainability; all of these things are playing a role in adding stress to our industry and daily lives.

Yesterday, the Government of Ontario released a new guiding framework that will loosen restrictions and reopen the economy when safe to do so. Although no specific dates or timing have been provided, this three-stage process will guide the supply chain and the construction industry as it reopens. You can read the full framework here.

According to the province, the stages for reopening are as follows:

  • Stage 1: Select workplaces that can "immediately meet" public health guidance and some outdoor spaces such as parks.
  • Stage 2: More workplaces based on risk assessments, which could include some service industries and retail, and some larger gatherings.
  • Stage 3: Further relax restrictions on public gatherings and open all workplaces "responsibly." Even in this phase, however, "large gatherings such as concerts and sporting events will continue to be restricted for the foreseeable future."

The time between stages will be at least two to four weeks and will be determined by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health. The Chief Medical Officer will also have the power to extend each stage if transmission rates increase.

The document notes that health and safety will be a top priority as Ontario transitions to a 'new normal,' emphasizing public health officials will have input during each phase of the process. How this will translate to construction workplaces has yet to be determined.

Exactly when and how Ontario begins reopening will depend on several factors, including a consistent two-to-four week drop in new daily COVID-19 cases, a decrease in cases not traced to a source and a reduction of new hospitalizations.

The OGCA will continue advocating for Ontario’s contractors, informing members about how to remain safe and fighting for our industry to resume regular operations as soon as possible. For more information about COVID-19 and general contractors, please visit www.ogca.ca.  

April 28 is the National Day of Mourning. Each year, we are reminded that this day is not just to remember and honour those lives lost or injured due to a workplace tragedy. It is also a day to collectively renew our commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses and deaths. This renewed commitment is relevant now, more than ever.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OGCA is encouraging you to consider holding or supporting a virtual event. You can find more information about the Day of Mourning here.

WSIB has also provided a video link regarding the Day of Mourning. Click here to view.

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Industry News
Making the most of this slow down/shut down time.

Thank you to Norm Vokey of VUBIZ who has provided this link for your children to view. It talks about the COVID-19 virus in easy to understand language. Click here to view it.

CEO is thrilled to announce the live premiere of our Ontario Consulting Engineering Awards!

This virtual event will be taking place on Friday May 1, 2020 at 7:45 pm right here.

Finalist and winners of each 12 categories will be publicly announced during the program. Grab your best pair of sweatpants and join us while we showcase the innovative work of our member firms!

*No subscription to the CEO YouTube channel is necessary but CEO recommends you “like” the page to receive reminders ahead of the live event.

Monday, May 4 | 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM | via Zoom online platform.

In support of NAOSH Safety Week, we are presenting the second of a series of Webinars to help you develop and deliver excellence in health and safety.

This is a difficult time for both businesses and their employees so it’s helpful to take some time to focus on mental health and effectively supporting our employees.

We are fortunate to have two professionals with some unique experience to share:

“Employees Mental Health Reaction to COVID-19” by Dr. Katy Kamkar Ph.D.

Dr. Kamkar is a Clinical Psychologist in the Psychological Trauma Program/Work, Stress and Health Program/Mental Health Program at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Dr. Kamkar will focus on normal reactions, emotions and thoughts during COVID-19. She will discuss individualized self-care strategies for healthy and proactive coping including self-comparison and supporting employees.

“Fit for Duty/ Mental Health Strategies During a Pandemic” by Julian Toy

Julian Toy is A Substance Abuse Professional and Human Services Counselor and he will join us again to present. Your company’s success during the health crisis of COVID-19 requires unique training and support for your employees. Julian will help you support your employees and your business. Julian’s article on his strategies for COVID 19 - Mental Health/Substance Abuse and the ICI Construction Industry is available through the LOC website.

There will be a Q & A after each presentation.

To join this FREE webinar, please register here. Click here to view the invitation.

Registration is open until noon of May 4th.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything and the League of Champions is responding.

Last week, the LOC started to present best practice webinars delivered by its members on important health and safety challenges. The webinar was available to all LOC and OGCA members, and their association members. In the weeks to follow, the League of Champions will roll out more webinars and will encourage its members to request subject matter that they would be interested in learning about.

On Thursday, April 23, the League of Champions presented its first webinar, "Sharing Best Practices: COVID-19", featuring five LOC Health and Safety professionals. Over 100 people registered to attend the webinar.

Opening speakers were Craig Lesurf, LOC Chairman and Gillam Group President, and David Frame, OGCA Director of Government Relations. The webinar was moderated by Dan Fleming, NORCAT-GTA Manager. The topics presented by the speakers were as follows:

  1. Self-Assessment Survey – Pre-Screening by Michael Mancini, Matheson Constructors Health and Safety Manager
  2. Applying Physical Distancing Protocols by Bruno Alves, Stuart Olson Construction Regional Health and Safety Manager
  3. Working with Your Subs – Committed Contractor by Corey Lofft, Pomerleau Regional Health and Safety Manager – GTA
  4. Thermal Screening Procedure and Facial Fabric Coverings by Craig Sparks, Maple Reinders National Health and Safety Manager
  5. E-learning Module on Construction Protocol by Sobi Ragunathan, 4S Consulting Senior Compliance Partner

Thank you to all the speakers and guests, and to the OGCA and LOC members, and their association members who supported this webinar and made it a success. We are working hard to provide excellence in construction safety to you and our industry.

Please visit the League of Champions webinar page to see the full recording and the presentations.

Is your company or association a Safety Leader? Are you a Safety Champion and want to make a difference in the Ontario construction industry? Do you want to join an organization that inspires leaders to be health and safety champions?

League of Champions Members and Patrons are committed to inspiring leaders to be health and safety champions. Please visit the LOC website, Facebook and Twitter page for more information about the League of Champions. To apply to become a Safety Champion, please contact Marjorie Javier or phone 905-671-3969.

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Workplace Safety & Prevention Services’ CEO H+S Leadership Network has partnered with The Conference Board of Canada’s H&S Leadership Centre and we invite you to attend our first virtual event…

Civility & Respect are present in a work environment where employees are respectful and considerate in their interactions with one another, as well as with customers, clients, and the public. Our workplaces are constantly evolving and the future of work is changing along with it. But we are still struggling with addressing and improving civility and respect in our workplaces. How can organizations create respectful workplace cultures where more employees feel valued and respected? How do we build awareness of the responsibility of each employee to contribute to a positive workplace culture and how do we get involved in developing and being part of the solution? Join us to hear from our distinguished panel and learn more about the paths organizations can take to create and improve civility and respect in our workplaces.

Don't miss this opportunity to virtually connect and network with other senior leaders and engage in a facilitated discussion.

Speakers include:

  • Agnes McLachlan - Wellness and Abilities Management Specialist, City of Barrie
  • Sheldon Kennedy - Former NHL Hockey Player and Co-Founder of Respect Group
  • Tony McGrath - CEO of Calgary's The GRAND Theater
  • Dr. Bill Howatt - Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity, The Conference Board of Canada and President, Howatt HR

Please click here to register.

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Member News

Jane Snyder will be sending some advice to our community at no cost/benefit for the next few weeks to try to keep you healthy and reduce stress. If anyone wishes to call her, you can see her number in the attached article.

Jane does wellness/nutrition for her company (Snyder Construction) for many years now. She has a diploma and a Masters in Nutrition Education, and have had her own practice for over 12 years, part time. Retired from private practice, she now volunteers her services.  

Associate Partner News and Events

“Contractor Planning in Uncertain Times” is a 90 minute webinar by The Family Business Institute, one of the leading Construction Consulting Firms in North America (and a subsidiary of Travelers).

It discusses several best practices and strategies to help Contractors lead their businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. 

The strategies covered have been distilled from discussions with many construction leaders that participate in the Family Business Institute’s Performance Roundtable, Construction Leader Peer Groups and offer actionable ideas from contractors to help others through this difficult period.“

Click here to view the webinar held on April 6.

Click here to download the presentation slides.

To help their clients and business partners navigate this situation, Fasken has centralized all of their COVID-19 related materials and information about webinars into one main Knowledge Centre.

To help you quickly access these materials, they will be sending weekly summaries, a snapshot listing the latest national bulletins, blogs and other communications. In order to share information with their clients as quickly as possible, many of their bulletins are currently available in English only, however, the French translations will be provided as soon as possible on the COVID-19 Knowledge Centre.

For Ontario businesses, these are the most challenging times in decades.  Not only must we grapple with the impact of widespread global economic and financial instability, but a range of fundamental workplace issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. For Ontario businesses, these are the most challenging times in decades.  Not only must we grapple with the impact of widespread global economic and financial instability, but a range of fundamental workplace issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The new WSIB Health and Safety Excellence Program (HSEP) gives businesses of all shapes and sizes incentive to invest in workplace health and safety. NORCAT is an approved provider of the WSIB HSEP and we have started providing weekly Public Information Sessions to those who want to learn about the Excellence Program.

Simple method to check filtration efficiency of your face mask. Click here.

Reusable Masks

1. HK Mask (dual layer cotton mask with pocket for nano filter or paper towel)  Click here

2. Respirator Face Mask II (with PM 2.5 charcoal filter) Click here

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Legislative & Legal Updates

Remember that you can always access the latest Ontario Legislative Reports by visiting the OGCA website, and looking under Government Relations.