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March 4, 2020

COVID-19 & Construction: 7 Simple Steps to Keep Your Crew Healthy On Site & In The Office

In light of the 13th case of the coronovirus disease (COVID-19) being reported in British Columbia, the first phase of a redevelopment in Burnaby being halted after an on-site worker was found to have consistent symptoms, and architectural conferences being cancelled in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Italy, and Germany, we would like to share a healthy and safety notice on behalf of our provincial partner, the BC Construction Association. 

“Safety is always a priority on job sites and managing the risk of COVID-19 should be no exception. Simply from a human resources perspective, tradespeople can’t work from home, so we strongly encourage employers to provide common sense advice about the simple actions employees are expected to take to reduce the risk. We also suggest they have a clear policy regarding when workers should stay home, enforce sanitary standards in portable washrooms, and keep hand sanitizer stocked when running water isn’t available. BCCA is keeping a close watch on this issue and how it may affect BC’s construction sector.”

7 Simple Steps To Protect Your Health

  • Wash your hands often and well, using hand sanitizer if necessary. Read HealthLink BC’s handwashing guide
  • Avoid touching common surfaces like handles with your bare hands.
  • Do not share your tools or your PPE.
  • Do not touch your hands, nose, or mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Do your part to keep the portable toilets clean.
  • If you experience symptoms of cold or flu, stay home.

You do not need to rush out to buy a N95 respirator or face mask — CDC recommends against it if you have not contracted the virus — but you and your crew do need to practice good hygiene and take precautionary measures at home, in the office, and on your job sites.

As of March 5, 2020, 34 cases of COVD-19 have been reported across the nation, according to the Government of Canada. The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure and include fever, cough, muscle pain, and difficulty breathing. 

Click the image to read McKinsey & Company’s COVID-19 Report, February 28, 2020