Another construction union has voiced its apprehension about continuing business amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially when health and safety standards in their worksites cannot be properly maintained.
The BC Building Trades Council is raising concerns over working conditions after reports of poor health & safety conditions. The group said that it has heard from construction workers that people were reporting for work visibly sick, and that workers did not have access to washroom facilities, running water, soap, or hand sanitizer.
“Workers are pleading for help - this is urgent,” BC Building Trades Council executive director Andrew Mercier said in a statement.
The news comes after a construction union in Quebec – CSD Construction – demanded that the labor minister impose a $50,000 fine on any construction employer who does not follow coronavirus safety measures and guidelines. The union even asked that repeat offenders have their license suspended on top of the fine.
OHS Canada Magazine reported that while most construction activity in Canada is still allowed, other companies are being cautious. Major residential builder Mattamy Homes has suspended all customer-facing and site-based operations after Ontario declared a state of emergency.
Not all construction companies are deterred, however. Brookfield Residential has issued a statement saying that since home construction has been deemed an essential service, it can continue to “safely build homes.”
“In most markets, the home construction industry has been identified as an essential service, so what this means to us is that we can continue to safely build homes and operate our sites and sales,” the builder said in a statement.