On May 1st 2020 Ontario Government made its first announcement allowing some of the businesses to gradually resume operations. By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.: These include Additional Essential Construction Projects that cover the following:
- shipping and logistics;
- broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
- any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
- municipal projects;
- colleges and universities;
- child care centres;
- schools; and
- site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development.
“We are allowing certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines because we are confident they can operate safely and adapt to the current environment,” said Premier Ford. “While further reductions in the spread are needed before we can begin reopening the province, we have the right framework and the right workplace guidelines in place to do so gradually and safely.”
The government, in partnership with Ontario’s health and safety associations, has developed more than 60 guidelines in response to COVID-19. These sector-specific measures will help employers prepare their workplaces so they can be reopened safely and ensure workers, customers and the general public are protected.
Business owners, project managers and site supervisors are responsible for implementation of proper protocols. Specific policies and procedures must be drafted in order to make sure that in case of audit or inspection the site remains compliant and hence can continue operating. Some of the policies are available to general public on the website of Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) , and many of the guidance documents are posted on IHSA site as well.
However, as per IHSA own advisory, those documents are not necessarily in compliance with provincial and federal employment laws. They also need to be presented in a more straightforward format so that the content is clear and easily accessible.
Please feel free to contact our firm and we will be happy to assist. Below we have posted two sample COVID-19 related policies for a construction company. These documents are provided for illustration and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for legal advice. Please review full terms of our Disclaimer prior to using these policies.