Jun 4, 2020

Construction Site and COVID-19: Health and Safety Resources

By Faren Bogach, Paul Conrod, Megan Mah and James De Melo, Student-at-Law

We understand that your inbox, Twitter feed and the news are full of COVID-19 updates, articles and notices.

The recommendations and information about health and safety are being updated frequently and we appreciate that it is difficult to keep up to date, while still operating.

To assist with this, we have compiled a list of resources providing guidance on health and safety measures for construction sites. We will be updating this page at least weekly, but if you have suggestions for other resources to be added, please contact James De Melo.

If you have any questions as to how the information in these resources or COVID-19 may affect your construction site, please contact Faren Bogach or Paul Conrod. If you have any questions as to whether the specific steps you have already taken comply with your obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act or any other health and safety regulation, please contact Megan Mah.

COVID-19 Specific Resources

Resource Description Updated Date
Best Practices – Responding to a Suspected COVID-19 Exposure: This document produced by IHSA provides a brief overview of some of the steps that employers and constructors should take to comply with their obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the event of a suspected COVID-19 exposure. June 3, 2020
City of Toronto COVID-19 Resources: Published by the City of Toronto, this resource provides an overview on the steps Toronto is taking to combat COVID-19 and an explanation of how these steps impact businesses operating within the City. June 3, 2020
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): This bulletin published and updated by the Ministry of Health provides an overview of the status of COVID-19 in Ontario, as well as a summary list of health and safety best practices. June 3, 2020
Halton Region COVID-19 Resources: Similar to the resources provided by Toronto and Mississauga, this resource provides Halton’s response to the COVID-19 state of emergency and the impacts on businesses operating within the Region. June 3, 2020
City of Mississauga COVID-19 Resources: Published by the City of Mississauga, this resource provides an overview on the steps Mississauga is taking to combat COVID-19 and an explanation of how these steps impact businesses operating within the City. June 3, 2020
Reopening Ontario After COVID-19: Similar to the Framework for Reopening Ontario After COVID-19 publication, this update provides a brief explanation on the considerations that will inform each stage of the province’s reopening. June 2, 2020
Essential Services Open During the Shutdown: This resource lists the “Essential Services” which are able to remain open during the COVID-19 state of emergency. For more details on how this list impacts the construction industry specifically, see this article by Faren Bogach, Paul Conrod and James De Melo. May 31, 2020
Construction Site Health and Safety During COVID-19: This collection of best-practices and resources published by the Ministry of Labour provides an overview of the specific steps that employers and employees should be taking on construction sites to minimize the spread of COVID-19. May 29, 2020
IHSA COVID-19 Links & Resources: Another collection of COVID-19 resources, this link contains a particular focus on transportation resources and best practices for those engaged in the transportation of construction materials. May 21, 2020
A Framework for Reopening Ontario After COVID-19 Provided by the Government of Ontario, this overview document explains the staged approach Ontario will be taking to reopening its economy. May 19, 2020
TARION Response to COVID-19: A collection of resources provided by TARION, this statement contains a series of advisories and further resources for builders, including an explanation of TARION’s position on unavoidable delay claims caused by COVID-19. May 15, 2020
BILD Member Updates Under COVID-19: This publication from BILD provides a number of sources of information relevant to all members of the construction industry during the COVID-19 outbreak. May 12, 2020
OGCA COVID-19 Updates and Resources: This publication by the Ontario General Contractors Association contains a series of updates and links to new information affecting the construction industry as a whole. May 8, 2020
How to Comply with Updated Construction Safety Guidelines Published by Canadian Occupational Safety, this interview with Megan Mah provides an overview of the current health and safety guidelines in effect for employers and a discussion on some of the steps that workplaces can take to prepare for construction site safety post-pandemic. May 7, 2020
Ontario Eases Restrictions on Retail Stores and Essential Construction An updated announcement from the Government of Ontario relaxing certain restrictions on retailers and construction sites. A more comprehensive discussion on the impacts of this announcement can be found here. May 6, 2020
OHBA COVID-19 Resources: Published by the Ontario Home Builders’ Association, this page contains a variety of COVID-19 specific resources providing information, guidance and updates to members of the construction industry. May 5, 2020
Health and Safety Association Guidance Documents for Workplaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak This announcement by the Government of Ontario includes more than 60 technical sector guidance documents to support employers and employees in remaining safe in the workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak Apr. 30, 2020
COCA Health and Safety Association Guidance Documents for Workplaces During the COVID-19 Outbreak This collection of resources published by the Council of Ontario Construction Associations provides a number of technical sector guidance documents to support employers and employees in remaining safe at the workplace during the COVID-19 Outbreak. A number of these documents explain specific protocols to be followed on site during the outbreak. Apr. 30, 2020
ORBA COVID-19 Response: This resource sets out the Ontario Road Builders’ Association’s response to the COVID-19 state of emergency and a collection of further resources to assist members of the construction industry. Apr. 30, 2020
CCA COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites: This resource published by the Canadian Construction Association contains a series of recommended protocols which should be considered for implementation on all construction sites in Canada during the COVID-19 outbreak. Apr. 16, 2020
O.Reg 136/20 Amending O.Reg 82/20: A regulation amending the essential services list to classify certain short-term construction projects in the food and beverage, and agriculture sectors as essential services. Apr. 9, 2020
Ontario Accelerates Essential Construction Projects During COVID-19: This announcement from the Office of the Premier details the decision to extend work hours on essential construction sites to 24 hours a day. Apr. 8, 2020
Protecting Workers From COVID-19 on the Jobsite: An Article published by ConstructConnect discussing some suggested health and safety protocols including social distancing on site and screening of employees. Apr. 8, 2020
Tread Q&A about COVID-19 & best practices for construction material movers: This resource contains a brief discussion on some example practices instituted by one construction technology company to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 amongst suppliers. Apr. 6, 2020
OCS Coronavirus Weekly Roundup: A collection of resources complied by the Ontario Construction Secretariat, this update provides an overview of the more recent developments affecting the construction industry. Apr. 2, 2020
Ontario Stepping Up Measures to Limit the Spread of COVID-19 om Construction Sites: This statement from the Ontario Minister of Labour emphasizes the need to implement stronger health and safety measures on construction sites including for example, better sanitization protocols and staggered shifts. Mar. 29, 2020
CCA Lays out Standardized Set of Health and Safety Protocols to Help Job Sites Contend with Coronavirus: Published by On-site Magazine, this article contains a brief overview of the health and safety protocols set out in the CCA guide for on-site safety during the COVID-19 outbreak Mar. 27, 2020

 

Ontario Regulation 96/20 Made Under the Occupational Health and Safety Act: Enacted on March 27, 2020, this regulation causes any working at heights training successfully completed between February 28, 2017 and August 31, 2017 to be valid for four years from its date of completion. Mar. 27, 2020
Ontario Announces WSIB Employer Relief Program: On March 26, 2020, the Government of Ontario announced $1.9 billion in financial relief to employers. According to this resource, this measure will defer WSIB premium payments for six months for all businesses in the province. Mar. 26, 2020
Canadian Construction Association Looks to Federal Government for answers on COVID-19: An informational bulletin distributed by the CCA requesting clarification from the Federal Government regarding access to financial relief programs and the establishment of consistent health and safety guidelines and best practices for construction sites during COVID-19. Mar. 26, 2020
OHBA Notice to Members re: COVID-19 Jobsite Health and Safety: This March 24, 2020 update from the Ontario Home Builder’s Association provides information to members regarding jobsite health and safety. This resource contains some valuable guidance as to what steps members of the construction industry should take during this period. Mar. 25, 2020
BILD Update: Health and Safety of Workers During COVID-19: This brief bulletin sets out BILD’s position in favour of the Government of Ontario’s decision to declare construction sites essential services. Mar. 24, 2020
ASHRAE Guidance for Building Operations During the COVID-19 Pandemic: This paper provides an overview of the role of HVAC systems in the spread of COVID-19 and associated best-practices to minimize this harm. Mar. 24, 2020
WSIB Adjudicative Approach to COVID-19 Claims: This resource provides an overview of the process that will be applied to assessing worker entitlement to WSIB benefits in the context of COVID-19 claims. Mar. 20, 2020
IHSA COVID-19 What you Need to Know About Health and Safety Working On-site: Published by the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, this guide sets out a series of health and safety best practices to be followed on construction sites during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Mar. 20, 2020.


Health and Safety Resources

Resource Description Updated Date
Guide to the Occupational Health and Safety Act: Last updated on November 4, 2019, this resource provided by the Government of Ontario is a summary-level document describing rights and responsibilities of employers and employees under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Nov. 4, 2019
Construction Health and Safety Program: This resource is an overview of the requirements of the Government of Ontario’s Construction Health and Safety Program, which specifically focuses on the impact of health and safety laws in the context of Ontario’s construction industry. Nov. 4, 2019
Hazards in the Construction Sector: Another resource published by the Government of Ontario, this document focuses on the key safety hazards in the construction industry, providing strategies to deal with the same. Nov. 4, 2019
Construction Health & Safety Manual: Published by the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association, this resource provides a more in-depth discussion on a number of health and safety considerations specific to the construction industry. Aug. 2019
Preventing Infectious Diseases on Construction Projects: Although out of date at this point, this resource appears to be the most recent publication of the Government of Ontario which specifically addresses best practices for dealing with infectious diseases on construction sites. Mar. 2012
Health and Safety Checklist for Construction Projects in your Workplace: Provided by the Public Services Health & Safety Association, this checklist provides a high-level overview of potential hazards which may arise on construction sites. Undated


The information and comments herein are for the general information of the reader and are not intended as advice or opinion to be relied upon in relation to any particular circumstances. For particular application of the law to specific situations, the reader should seek professional advice.