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OHBA Covid-19 Seminar

The Ministry of Labour has been on several sites in the province. Sometimes with multiple inspectors. These are what they are looking at first.

  •  Sanitary conditions. Wash up stations, toilet facilities etc.
  • Social distancing. How are you keeping people at a safe distance?
  • Logs. Who is on the site and where? How are you documenting this?
  • Postings. Policies, Protocols, Location of toilets and wash up facilities. Government postings such as “Stop the Spread” poster and all legally required documents.

Please remember, that all of the other regulations in OHSA 213/91 (The Green Book) still apply. Document your steps and what else you’re doing to work safe.

Stay well and work safe.

41 King St. unit 2, Barrie Ont. L4N6B5 Phone: (705) 812-1656

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OHBA Conference Call Covid-19

The following is the opinion of the author and in no way reflective of a legal document, and is not necessarily the position of OHBA
We are in uncharted territory! Constructors: 23(1)(c)

  • Keep in mind the general duties clause of the act requires you to do everything reasonable to protect the health and safety of all workers on a project. (Paraphrased)
  • In this case the pandemic falls into this category. What’s everything and reasonable is for the lawyers to work out.
  • Therefore, following all directives of the various Ministries is important. Only follow the directions of a trusted source and the information posted  on the Ministry and government websites. On.gov.ca and the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour to name a few.
  • Communication has become more important than ever. Your trades need to demonstrate that they are following proper protocols such as social  distancing, sanitary procedures such as hand washing etc. As the constructor and the primary party responsible for the safety of your project,  working with the trades to accommodate protocols will be a factor in allowing us to continue working. Document how you are doing this and all  communication. It may be called upon if an outbreak happens on your site. Health care professionals may need to reach out to affected parties.
  • Email and text messaging may be the best way to bring information forward. This will give a time stamp to each occurrence, good and bad.
  • Additional wash stations and toilet facilities would probably be wise in working toward due diligence. At a minimum, ongoing monitoring of  sanitation is critical.
Employers: 25(2)(d)
  • You must make a worker aware of any hazard including biological (paraphrased)
  • Appoint a supervisor that is competent. Make sure they have the most up to date knowledge on best practices, as they become available. This may  mean daily safety talks, at a distance or by email.
  • Advise the constructor of your concerns with respect to distancing and project development. As they say, bring solutions, not problems. You and your supervisors are the best people to know what works.
  • Cooperate with the constructor and other trades. We are in this together.
  • Keep your staff informed on policy and changes.
Supervisors: 27(2)
  • Discuss with your staff any safety concerns. Document, document, document.
  • Remind workers that if they or any member of their family or those they live with exhibit symptoms, go to the self assessment web site and get  checked. Do NOT come to work! There are benefits in place for paying those effected.
  • Monitor your staff and the work environment to follow protocols.
  • Monitoring movement or work locations of your staff will be very important in the event of someone becoming infected. Other workers may need to  be notified and isolated.
Workers: (28)
  • Do not hide or ignore symptoms. If you are feeling unwell notify your supervisor.
  • Follow the advice of the safety and health care providers.
  • Follow all new procedures.
  • You have the right to refuse unsafe work. However, there are procedures that must be followed. Bring any concerns to your JHSC or safety rep immediately.
Checklist
  • Wash up and toilet facilities are adequate and locations posted
  • Social distancing procedures implemented
  • Documentation is distributed to correct parties
  • Sanitizing of common areas is conducted regularly
  • Policies and /or changes have been communicated
  • Posting of web sites and/or numbers for Covid information
  • JHSC or safety rep is aware of protocols
  • Supervisors know who to contact ( trades, ministry, management, etc.)
  • Housekeeping is adequate including waste receptacles
  • WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER

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