On March 22, British Columbia government released an article about guidance to construction sites during COVID-19. Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, is taking measures to slow the transmission of COVID-19 in an attempt to flatter the curve. After Henry issued the order under the Public Health Act to prohibit the gathering of more than 50 people, employers in the construction industry are asking for clarification.
It is the BC government’s goal to balance between COVID-19 spread and the economy. Since this order from the Public Health Act does not apply to the construction site as a whole, employers need to take the necessary precautions to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.
A few things to note:
- The employers are to make sure there are no more than 50 people in the same space at one time.
- Maintain 2 meters apart from each other when possible.
- Post signage to limit the number of people in an elevator to 4 at any given time..
- Reduce meetings, and only host meetings in open space.
- Install more hand-washing stations for construction workers.
- Keep an updated list of active employees working on site.
- Clean all surfaces of common areas at the end of each day.
- Anyone with COVID-19-like symptoms must self-isolate for 14 days. These includes sore throat, fever, sneezing or coughing.
Although some points may be vague, these guidelines provide a starting point to providing a more hygienic working environment for the construction sites in BC. Employers are also advised to go to section 4.85 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation for minimum standard of washrooms and hand-washing facilities.