The construction industry has announced new changes on how daily operations are to be done during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Manitoba Building Trades (MBT) along with the Construction Labour Relations Association of Manitoba (CLRAM) released an initiative to ensure workers are protected.
The industry is implementing several steps that are already in place throughout the province such as staying home if you are sick and physical distancing protocols. More hand sanitizer is being made available for workers and if water isn’t available in certain areas, hand sanitizer will be.
The MBT and CLRAM said if people are having meetings, it is preferred that they are done via email, video or teleconference and if they are done in person make sure they are in small groups and maintain proper distancing.
Workers are being asked to use N95 masks if they will be working in close proximity of other and all workers are now required to wear gloves on the job.
They are also being asked to not share any hand tools or electronics and that all two-way radios and all handles and switches be wiped down at the end of each shift.
The industry is also calling on all offices and job sites to implement additional cleaning to ensure high traffic areas are cleaned regularly.
Workers are also being asked to put all washable personal protective equipment in bags and wash them when they get home and items that can’t be washed to be put in a separate bag away from the washable items. They are also being told to immediately throw out all single use items, such as masks, to ensure others don’t use them.
WANTING DIRECTION FROM GOVERNMENT
The groups are hoping the government will soon provide provincial guidelines for all construction sites.
“Construction has been designated as essential, pretty much across the country now, and our people are asking, and I think our business partners who are the employers in the contractor community are asking, if we are essential, then where are the essential guidelines to keep us safe in the work place? That is a legitimate question,” said Sudhir Sandhu, CEO of Manitoba Building Trades.
Sandhu added they are in talks with the government and hope some clear guidelines will come soon.