Commercial Construction Regulations in Response to COVID-19
Posted in News, on May 05, 2020
Almost every industry has been significantly impacted by the global COVID-19 Pandemic, whether you sell consumer goods, provide tangible services, or operate in a completely digital model. While non-essential services have had to transition to work-from-home operations or shut down altogether, adjustments in day-to-day operations for essential businesses have been a little more complicated.
As an essential service provider, Dancon Construction has done the research into what’s required of commercial construction companies during COVID-19 in order to safely cater to the needs of the Toronto public. We are dedicated to ensuring the health and safety of ours and fellow construction teams, as well as our valued clients to remain socially responsible while providing important commercial renovation & construction services.
COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites
In an effort to protect Canadian Construction Companies and help them stay in business during the pandemic, the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has implemented the COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites. These protocols define the minimum standards and best practices a construction team needs to implement in order to continue work on construction projects, and advises those who are not able to comply, to cease operations.
While the list of protocols continues to change regularly as the situation surrounding COVID-19 rapidly evolves, the main points of the COVID-19 Standardized Protocals for All Canadian Construction Sites govern Prevention, Detection & Response measures that must be implemented, as follows:
- Communication & awareness of COVID-19 risks and precautions in and around the construction site
- Ceasing all business-related travel, and mandatory self-isolation for those returning from business travel
- Mandatory work from home for all office employees, and employees not required on the physical construction site
- Physical segregation and compartmentalization of individual groups/functions of the overall construction team
- Monitored movement to, from, in, and around the construction site in order to respect social distancing during work, and while entering and exiting the construction site before and after work
- Daily screening of workers’ health status upon arrival to construction site
- Staggered shifts, lunch breaks, entry and exit times to minimize physical personal contact and maintain minimum social distancing
- Managing deliveries of construction materials and resources to minimize physical personal contact and any possible transmission from package surfaces
- Cleanliness requirements, and minimization of high-contact touch points throughout the construction site
- Minimum time between shifts required to perform sanitation
- Mandatory minimum personal hygiene requirements
Whether you are a fellow commercial construction company in Toronto, or a business seeking commercial construction, renovation or fitout services, it’s important to know the requirements of the COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites in order to ensure the safety of your commercial construction projects, and do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19. To read the full list of Standardized Protocols, click here.
COVID-19 Commercial Construction Regulations in Ontario
While there has not been official documentation regarding commercial construction regulations in Ontario in response to COVID-19, the Government of Ontario has published a list of construction site best practices for daily operations and physical distancing, reporting of suspected illnesses, tracking and monitoring of construction team members and materials, and sanitation guidelines. The Government of Ontario has also posted useful guides from Health Canada, Public Health Ontario, The Ontario Ministry of Health, and the World Health Organization, offering invaluable resources to construction project managers.
In addition to these best practices as outlined by the Government of Ontario, it’s important for construction firms to be mindful of existing regulations that govern workplace conditions in Ontario. The Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act and The Safe at Work in Ontario strategy state that it is the responsibility of all employers to provide safe and adequate working conditions for all employees, minimizing injury and illness as best as possible.
In the case of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and as requested by Premier Ford, the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act would require all construction project managers to implement and communicate a social distancing policy, stricter requirements regarding personal hygiene and disinfection, more frequent cleaning and maintenance, and an action plan for how to deal with a possible COVID-19 outbreak on the construction site. To review the Government of Ontario’s resources on COVID-19 Management on Commercial Construction Sites in Ontario, click here.
Regulations Regarding Construction Project Delays Due to COVID-19
In order to respect social distancing and the various items within the COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites, there will be inevitable delays in completing construction projects. Staggared shifts, compartmentalized work rooms, specially sanitized designated eating areas will all affect the overall productivity and efficiency of a construction site. Additonal cleaning and protective materials, along with having minimal staff on-site at one time drastically slows down work, prolongs the project, and costs more overall. In Canada, especially, where many construction companies are family-owned, and rely on consistent cash flow, delayed work could have detrimental implications on the business, and the family.
The CCA has reached out to the Government of Ontario to create legislation surrounding potential compensation for project delays due to COVID-19, and future pandemics. They have yet to respond.
Surviving COVID-19 as a Commercial Construction Company
Dancon Construction is proud to provide an essential service in Toronto and the GTA during this unprecedented global situation. We understand our responsibility to other essential businesses - like food production & sales, medical & pharmaceutical services, manufacturing & supply chains, among others, and are committed to providing reliable and timely construction, repairs, and renovations so they can continue to seamlessly serve our communities. We are carefully abiding by the protocols as outlined by the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites for all our workplace renovation and construction projects.
We also understand that the future of commercial construction and design may have changed as we know it in response to our new pandemic lifestyles. Dancon’s Teams are ready to help businesses redesign and optimize their spaces for brand-new post-COVID-19 work models. Whatever your commercial construction needs, reach out to the Dancon Construction Team of designers and builders for innovative commercial design solutions to navigate COVID-19, and the future.