Health & Safety Updates
Worker safety is the first priority. Although BC’s provincial health officer has confirmed construction sites are exempt from guidelines on group gatherings and can remain open, anyone who’s sick should not be going to work. Additional health and safety precautions should be put in place and information shared with crews.
Businesses are instructed they should continue to operate if parameters can be put in place to keep workers safe. Here are some guidelines for construction sites. We know this isn’t easy:
- Reduce the number of people on-site to facilitate social distancing of meters between workers. If needed, adjust schedules or scale back.
- Wear PPE at all times as long as it is safe to do so – safety goggles, masks, and gloves.
- Workers should not congregate in break areas and lunchrooms.
- Workers should not share PPE.
- Workers should not share tools.
- Introduce extra handwashing stations.
- Do not spit on worksites
- Do not share cigarettes and/or vaping equipment.
- Do not use sea cans as breakrooms.
- Do not rideshare/carpool to/from work.
- Clean out Jobsite trailers daily – arrange for commercial cleaners to clean and disinfect areas of the project.
- Introduce an on-site COVID-19 committee to create a best practices plan to ensure worker safety.
- Create a task force focused on supporting your company’s staff and customers./li>
- Make sure workers know about the Ministry of Health self-assessment tool.
- Make sure workers know they should not come to work if they’re feeling sick
Province of BC resource: Guidance to Construction Sites Operating during COVID-19
This is a rapidly changing global challenge. Continue to stay informed, remain calm and flexible.
Message From WorkSafeBC Regarding Payment Deferrals on March 26
“WorkSafeBC is actively monitoring and adjusting to the COVID-19 situation to determine how we can best support stakeholders around the province.
We know employers are facing a number of challenges and uncertainty at this time, so we have decided to allow employers to defer payment of their Q1 2020 premiums by three months. This means employers who report payroll and make payments on a quarterly basis, as well as Personal Optional Protection (POP) coverage holders, can defer payment until June 30, 2020. Employers who report annually will not be impacted because they do not report payroll or pay premiums until March 2021.
Employers who report and pay on a quarterly basis may still find it to their advantage to report their payroll by April 20, even if they defer payment, to ensure their account balance is accurate and clearance is not negatively impacted.”
Here are some reliable links for Government resources around COVID-19. Specific employer and industry-related information is below:
- Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
- BC: http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/2020/information-on-novel-coronavirus
- Global statistics: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries
Please act responsibly and prioritize your health and the health of your employees and your community.
Important documentation to help educate and inform workers on minimizing the spread of infection.
BC Construction Safety Alliance - Recently Published Official Documentation & Resources
Best Practices Examples from BC Employers and other Organizations