March 27, 2020

Keeping Construction Work Sites Safe and Sanitary

Here’s what you need to know.

Last week, CLAC asked the province to partially shut down the construction industry to ensure the safety of our members in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, we have called for drastic measures to ensure that work sites that do remain open are safe and sanitary during this time.

We know that many of you continue to work, and that not all employers are providing safe and sanitary conditions. To date, we have stopped short of calling for a full shutdown, but we continue to actively monitor situations and are in regular contact with the Ministry of Labour and contractors. Our message is consistent: contractors and provincial enforcement officers must ensure proper steps are taken to keep workplaces safe and sanitary. This also means requiring workers with symptoms to remain at home and to report all COVID-19 cases.

Workers who are unwell, who are self-isolating, or who must care for someone as a result of the pandemic should remain at home, and shall experience no repercussions. An amendment to Ontario’s Employment Standards Act guarantees job protection. CLAC is swiftly responding to any complaints by workers who experience pressure to remain at work.

In response to worker complaints, the province has issued new guidelines for the construction sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be found here.

Keep in mind that inspectors are ready to ensure enforcement and can be reached by calling 877-202-0008. Members who encounter work sites where these guidelines are not in place should immediately contact their health and safety representative or their CLAC representative.

Your CLAC representatives are available to support you, so please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.