On May 14th, the Government of Ontario announced as part of the first stage of the plan to gradually lift the COVID-19 emergency restrictions that all construction projects may re-open on Tuesday May 19, 2020, subject to complying with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the advice and recommendations of public health officials. The Premier urged workplaces to re-open only when ready to do so with the proper health and safety mechanisms in place.
To assist workplaces in re-opening their businesses, the Government has released over 60 guidelines to enforce protective measures in workspaces. In addition to these guidelines, the Government has released over 90 health and safety guidance documents for employers to use. Specific to the construction industry, these documents include safety measures with respect to:
- Procedures for handling paperwork;
- Worker responsibilities;
- Supervisor responsibilities;
- Construction facility hygiene;
- Sharing tools;
- Personal protective equipment;
- Handling and receiving practices;
- Lunchroom practices;
- COVID-19 screening checklist;
- Construction site trailers;
- End of shift best practices; and
- On site sanitation measures.
The Construction Litigation group at Pallett Valo LLP continues to monitor the response of the Government of Ontario to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the construction industry.