With COVID-19 cases on the rise, new strains cropping up and a slower than hoped rollout of vaccines, it is essential to remain vigilant and follow worksite health and safety protocols as well as general public health measures, says the Canadian Construction Association (CCA).
The health, safety and wellbeing of our workers and the communities in which we operate has always been the top priority of the more than 20,000 member firms of CCA.
“We are proud of our industry and the firms of all sizes who quickly adapted and consistently implemented health protocols across Canada,” said Mary Van Buren, CCA president. “This pandemic highlighted the value of past infrastructure investments, including maintenance, that ensured that the increased volume of goods, food and medical supplies moved efficiently across our roads and bridges, that we could work from home because of broadband connectivity, that we have clean water to drink and for hygiene and that we have hospitals where we receive excellent care.”
The Canadian construction industry already has in place and implements highly disciplined health and safety protocols on construction sites and at manufacturing facilities. Companies have significantly amplified these by adhering to CCA’s COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites. CCA and our partner associations have a wealth of resources available to member firms to assist them during the pandemic.
“It is vital to Canada’s health and economy that our strong track record of safety in the first wave continues into this second and potentially more challenging wave,” said Van Buren. “I know many of us are frustrated by this long road, are experiencing pandemic fatigue, and making personal sacrifices. Together, we can stay the course so that Canadians continue to benefit from the essential work and services provided by construction. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”
With cases steeply rising and ICU units reaching full capacity in some locations throughout Canada, there is also a growing urgency around following general health guidelines and other government measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as eliminating all non-essential travel, wearing a mask in public, getting a flu shot, limiting your contacts and washing your hands frequently.
The construction sector is one of Canada’s largest employers. The industry, 70 per cent of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), employs more than 1.4 million Canadians and contributes 7.5 per cent of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product. The risk is high if we do not maintain our vigilance in the fight against COVID-19.