Construction work on new health care facilities in Ontario, including new hospitals, expansions and COVID-19 assessment centres, will now be a round-the-clock effort, the province announced.
Premier Doug Ford, Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development, and Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health, also laid out other measures to keep Ontario workplaces safe.
“During this escalating crisis, we are taking immediate steps to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place, particularly to properly care for those with severe COVID-19 symptoms and other patients who require critical care,” said Ford. “That’s why we’re extending construction hours to allow us to build essential infrastructure faster, while ensuring construction workers can practice physical distancing on work sites to stay safe and healthy.”
Ontario will temporarily limit local noise bylaws from applying to these types of essential construction activities. Extending hours for essential construction will also give worksite managers more flexibility to stagger shifts, limit the number of people in one place, and take reasonable precautions to keep workers safe and healthy under the recent guidelines issued by Ontario’s chief prevention officer for construction sites.
“Our government is doing everything in its power to make sure workers on the job are safe during this pandemic,” said McNaughton. “That means more inspections, more inspectors, more phone lines, and more people to take your calls. We have conducted thousands of inspections and investigations across the province in March and we will continue to conduct more this month.”