Construction Industry Leaders Adopt New COVID-19 Measures
March 30, 2020
WINNIPEG – Manitoba Building Trades (MBT) and the Construction Labour Relations Association of Manitoba (CLRAM) have proactively introduced special safety measures to protect workers and ensure business continuity for contractors on Industrial Construction Industry (ICI) job-sites. These new measures are industry-led in the absence of a provincial directive and exemplify a strong spirit of collaboration to protect workers and keep a major component of Manitoba’s economy moving. The procedures are in effect as of today and will remain in effect until further notice.
“Our contractors are seeking guidance from the government to develop protocols that allow business continuity while addressing escalating COVID-19 concerns,” states Peter Wightman, Director, CLRAM. “With an absence of direction from the provincial government to protect frontline construction workers, we felt it necessary to prepare and adopt these measures to keep our worksites safe.”
The “Manitoba Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety and Prevention Measures” outlines 10 industry-specific sections, including PPE, Hand and Power Tools, Powered Mobile Equipment, and before and after Worksite Protocols. Worksites that do not provide these amenities or do not follow applicable protocols are deemed unsafe and workers may exercise their right to refuse work in accordance in accordance with the Workplace Safety and Health Act.
“We have been hearing non-stop from our members and business partners regarding the lack of clear safety protocols as a result of COVID-19,” says Sudhir Sandhu, CEO MBT, “We want to protect our members and the industry from avoidable interruptions that’s why we took the lead on drafting these measures.”
MBT and CLRAM have reached out to the province to assist in the development of these ICI sector protocols. To this date, the province has not responded. Manitoba is the only province that has not engaged in these discussions with ICI leaders. Construction is largely considered a critical business and is allowed to continue following the Provincial announcements on business closures.
A full copy of “Manitoba Construction Industry COVID-19 Safety and Prevention Measures” is available here: mbtrades.ca/covid-19safety