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Construction sites making adjustments to meet new safety standards for workers

It comes with the ongoing COVID-19 spread worldwide
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Construction sites are now making adjustments to keep their workers safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Greg Bobier with the Waterloo-Wellington-Dufferin and Grey Building Trades Council, a full shutdown of construction sites is not an option at this point.  

"We understand that the works got to get done."

He said they are evaluating sites on a case by case basis to determine whether or not it is feasible for them to stay open.

"We are hoping to work with the Ministry of Labour as well as the other levels of organization for enforcement to make sure that work is done safely."

Since some of these sites have to stay open, some new standards are being put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

"They are, and not limited to the access to hot and cold water for washing and facilities to do so, hand sanitizer, working safe distances and staggered breaks and lunches among other things, if we're doing these things much like the rest of society we can kind of get through this."

By law, workers are allowed to refuse unsafe work as defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Bobier said if some workers are immuno-compromised, or living with someone who is, it becomes a personal choice on their end to stay at home. 

"While we are certainly not telling our membership that they should stay home, they need to evaluate that on a person by person basis."

He said they have always advocated for their workers to stay home if they are sick. 

"You shouldn't be expected to come to work if you're ill, but in this case, it's obviously more poignant at this point."


Cali Doran

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