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One of the most perplexing things we have faced during this pandemic is a clear definition on what is and what is not essential services or projects. As you know, your organization has been working tirelessly to try to figure out these ambiguities as they continue. Not only are our members and their workers confused, but so are the enforcement officers who don’t seem to be sure what they should be shutting down or what they shouldn’t be shutting down. This is leading to a great deal of confusion in the workplace and is damaging to the health of our firms and our workers.

As of Monday, May 4, specific ICI construction projects and workplaces have reopened, as long as they are compliant with strict public health measures and operate safely during the pandemic.

The full list of businesses that will be allowed to open can be found here.

By following the proper health and safety guidelines, construction projects that have begun operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m. include:

  • shipping and logistics;
  • broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
  • any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
  • municipal projects;
  • colleges and universities;
  • child care centres;
  • schools; and
  • site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development.

The OGCA, in partnership with the Government, the Chief Prevention Officer and the IHSA, has developed a series of guidelines that will need to be in place to protect workers from COVID-19. You can find more information on these guidelines here.

We know that much more needs to be done. The OGCA will continue its advocacy work with government so all ICI construction projects can safely reopen as soon as the easing of public health measures are met. If you have any questions, please do so at clive@ogca.ca

On April 30, the OGCA sent a letter to Minister Rod Philips, Ontario’s Minister of Finance, regarding the imminent need to re-open our ICI construction sector.

The purpose of the letter was to show that Ontario’s general contractors are prepared to go back to work, safely re-open their worksites and drive economic growth forward. You can read the full letter here.

The letter explains three key considerations: 

  1. That ICI construction is a key economic driver of the Ontario economy and will be instrumental to its recovery.
  2. Ontario should use construction as a means to rapidly retrain and employ people in impacted jobs outside of the construction industry.
  3. ICI Contractors’ expertise in health and safety and our implementation of the government’s COVID Safety Protocols make us a prime candidate to re‐open in stage one of economic recovery while maintaining worker safety.

The letter concludes with a final recommendation that the Government of Ontario must make the re‐opening of the ICI construction industry a priority and ease restrictions as soon as public health measures are met. The OGCA will continue advocating for our members until all worksites are operational and ensure that workers are kept safe as restrictions are lifted.

If you have questions about these advocacy efforts or the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact David Frame.

Trisura Guarantee goes A Step Above
Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company
Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company is a Canadian specialty insurance and surety company with a passionate team that committed to fresh thinking and new ideas. In an industry that is beginning to adapt to the digital age, we’re leading the way with innovative processes that perfectly pair with our expertise in the field, delivering the results our clients are looking for seamlessly.
Click here to visit our website and learn more about our surety and specialty insurance solutions
Industry News
Press Release
May 1, 2020 – Toronto, ON. Consulting Engineers of Ontario (CEO) hosted their 18th annual Ontario Consulting Engineering Awards (OCEA). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s gala was virtual, premiering on YouTube.

Please click here to access the May newsletter from Mary Van Buren of the Canadian Construction Association.

Like you, we are learning more about the challenges and changes businesses are facing as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Goodmans is committed to continuing to provide timely legal and business advice while we navigate this global crisis together. We are pleased to provide you with a briefing from recent developments regarding the implications of COVID-19 on:

  • Business Impact
  • Construction
  • Corporate Securities
  • Employment & Labour

There are several Updates published by Goodmans in April and they can be found in their COVID-19 Resource Centre.

The government has taken the initial step to open the industry and we expect all sectors to be fully operational in the next few weeks.

This presents a unique challenge: implementing the CPO’s guidelines and our own programs and best practices to protect our workers. The third webinar in this series is focused on providing you with the information and tools required.

Chief Prevention Officer Ron Kelusky will discuss the COVID-19 Guidelines that have been issued to set expectations for the operation of construction during the pandemic, and their application. He will also discuss the services provided to support contractors.

Craig Lesurf, President of the Gillam Group, and Chair of the League of Champions, will present Gilliam’s program for operations during COVID-19. This will include a plan for breaching physical distancing.

Steven Agla, Director EHS for the Aecon Group, will present on Aecon’s screening technique for workers, and contact tracing, a plan to undertake a COVID-19 investigation.

This presentation will support you and your firm  by being prepared to put an effective plan in place to reopen your sites and keep them safe and healthy.

Please register through this link.

On May 4, Julian Toy, H.S.C. Substance Abuse Professional and member of The Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals participated in the League of Champions webinar for Mental Health week 2020. Julian delivered “Supporting Employees During COVID-19.” The module was full of suggestions for supervisors to improve employees’ mental health. The webinar is available here. 

One suggestion Julian made was for supervisors to modify traditional boundaries to help employees. He offered a number of specific suggestions for this as well as an overview of some pitfalls for supervisors to avoid. Julian also discussed how to prepare to support employees and the differences between sympathy and empathy.

Julian also suggested his module “Optimising Mental Health during COVID-19” as an effective way to support employees’ mental health. He briefly outlined his online services including ICI specific Supervisor Fit for Duty/Drug and Alcohol training, Employee Addiction Awareness Training, Fit for Duty/Drug and Alcohol policy development and Defensible Documentation training. Julian stated all LOC and OGCA members get a 15% discount on training/policy development. See his contact information below.

Julian Toy H.S.C. Substance Abuse Professional
Counselor - Ontario Association of Mental Health Professionals
Provider of Fit for Duty/Drug and Alcohol training for ICI Constructors, HR and EH&S Professionals
Preferred provider of Fit for Duty training - Eastern Construction Ltd.
Direct Line: 905-866-7301
E mail: juliantoy@myaddictionexperts.com
Website: www.myaddictionexperts.com

K. Winter Sanitation Inc.

In 2019, the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) announced that Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) Certification Part One training would be available to be taken online using eLearning, and changes would be made to help committee members have more time to schedule and complete their training.

Click here to read the full announcement from Ron Kelusky, Chief Prevention Officer.

Given the challenges workplaces have as a result of the State of Emergency imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IHSA has extended all expiring COR™ anniversary dates to July 1, 2020 (we will review this date in June as our economy begins to return to work).

IHSA continues to conduct desk audits on COR™ maintenance audits submitted prior to our office closure and has been accepting electronic submissions. We will be updating our website this week with directions to assist firms to submit an electronic audit for review.

Workplaces requiring a third party audit are able to proceed as usual to identify an auditor and work with them to create an audit plan (NFAA). For these audits to proceed, companies are required to have active jobsites.

Given the work disruptions caused by the State of Emergency imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic IHSA has expanded our e-learning offerings for a member firms. We have also discounted the cost of the COR™ Essentials e-learning program to June 30, 2020 in response to employer requests to expand knowledge of the COR™ program within their organizations. Please see the following link to IHSA’s e-learning programs: https://www.ihsa.ca/lms/elearning.

IHSA has begun planning for the return of classroom training for our training centers as well as at customer facilities. Safe operating procedures are being developed to control risks of infection for both our employees and workers attending our training. IHSA will be introducing procedures to ensure proper distancing, hygiene and infection controls to ensure a safe environment once we are permitted to resume classroom training.

IHSA has posted guidelines and tools to assist our member firms control the hazards and risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the following link to these resources: 

Metropolitan Credit Adjusters Ltd
Member News

I have some great news to share!  Effective May 1, 2020, I have retired.

Robert Box is the new President of STM Construction. Robert has worked for STM almost 4 years as a senior project manager. He has more than 25 years  of working knowledge in the construction industry and will continue to grow STM Construction. 

I am still involved with STM as a director for the next 3-4 years. I have enjoyed  all the wonderful years of working together and your support in the construction industry as a whole. - Vincent Geerdinck

Associate Partner News and Events

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.

The initial shocks of the last several weeks are abating, as the construction industry is settling into a “new normal” of enhanced site safety measures, disrupted supply chains, and greater uncertainty generally.

While the pandemic has certainly elevated everyone’s stress level, our present circumstances are forcing the industry to make quick adaptations as it rethinks attitudes and practices that were prevalent mere weeks ago. It may also contain the seeds for the kind of innovation for which the industry is renowned.

Please click here to review the iMcMillan nvitation and register.

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.

The prevailing pandemic related disruption has given rise to a number of unique challenges for businesses, including the construction business. Our experience gained in attending to the needs of our construction clients during the crisis has given us an informed perspective of the specific issues faced by contractors, and solutions to those issues. Below is a list of the more commonly raised insurance, bonding and general business inquiries from Petrela Winter clients, with our answers provided.

Please click here to read the attachment.

eCompliance has provided an article on this topic. Their last C-suite blog focused on finding the silver lining in these times of crisis, both personally and as leaders of our organizations. We have more in our control and great leaders have already been taking decisive action, not only ensuring organizational survival but finding new ways to reinforce their social contract.

Click here to read the full article.

 In light of the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian workplaces, we have changed the content, time and delivery of our June 10 HReview breakfast seminar. 

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

The Emterra Hand Sanitizer contains 80 per cent ethyl alcohol (ethanol) concentration and has Health Canada approval. It is a safe, non-toxic and effective antibacterial skin cleanser to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and bacteria. Proudly made in Hamilton, Ontario, their current production capacity is 20,000 litres a week. OGCA is confident that this company can meet the short and long term personal sanitization needs of the members of the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA).

The division of Emterra Group that makes the product is Canadian Liquids Processors. Collectively, they are a group of recycling and waste management companies that provide essential services across Canada, like our members. They can appreciate what you are going through, especially front line workers. As such, this product is formulated, sized and priced to reflect industrial users’ needs. Click here to review the product.


Three sizes of hand sanitizer are available. The totes are effective for refilling smaller bottles from a central location/facility. Pricing FOB Hamilton is as follows:

500  ML BOTTLE $7.75
4L JUG $24.00
1,000 L TOTE $4,000.00

If you wish to make a purchase, please contact Sean O'Neill of Canadian Liquids or by phone at 905-379-0177.

MI Integration, a company mainly concentrating in the automotive market, and as many other companies, has decided to help control social distancing during this difficult period.

They have developed a face shield that is adaptative to a construction helmet as you may see on the picture below. 

If you would like to see more information on the face shield, please click here. To order the face shield, please click here.


Stay Ahead of the Curve With Superior Piping.
Ontario Pipe Trades Council
The United Association (UA) has been training qualified piping professionals for over 150 years. With 17 state-of-the-art training centres, we train: Steam/Pipefitters, Gasfitters, Sprinkler fitters, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanics, Plumbers, Instrumentation Mechanics and Welders. Stay ahead of the curve, and stay on time and on budget with our superior piping skills.
CMiC: Collaboration, Communications & Control. Without Compromise.
No matter what the size of the project, CMiC delivers everything you need to run all of your jobs in one place – effective collaboration, communications, control, direction and project tracking. Improved workflows ensure that field teams are able to easily communicate issues, report RFIs, distribute documents, track activities and collaborate more effectively. 
Ask an expert and determine your solution today!
ProEst Estimating Software
ELM Insurance Brokers Inc.
Legislative & Legal Updates

The latest Ontario Legislative Report is now available. Click here for the April 30 issue.

Education & Events

Lesson #2 for Immune Health for COVID-19 / Nutrition for Life!

Lasst week, I wrote about a few tips on keeping your immunity in good shape for the virus we are fighting. Remember to keep each lesson as a building block.

Click here for Lesson #2.