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Jobsites are not mass gatherings: B.C. officials

Jobsites are not mass gatherings: B.C. officials

VICTORIA, B.C. — The province has confirmed that its order prohibiting mass gatherings of 50 people or more does not apply to construction sites.

The order was given by provincial health officer Bonnie Henry to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

The Vancouver Regional Construction Association announced it had received clarification from the provincial health officer that construction sites are considered industrial sites, which are exempt.

“This afternoon, the provincial health officer clarified that the order does not apply to industrial sites,” said Fiona Famulak in a message to members. “We’ve received confirmation that her reference to industrial sites includes construction sites.”

Henry also suggested several precautions to reduce the risk of spreading the virus on industrial sites, including:

  • Reducing the number of people on site;
  • Practicing social distancing by maintaining two metres separation between workers; and
  • Not congregating in break areas and lunchrooms.

“For now, this means construction sites remain open with additional health and safety precautions in place,” said Famulak, adding that the association is planning to host a conference call in the coming days for members to share the steps they are taking to keep their workers safe during this pandemic.

The VRCA will be also be streamlining its COVID-19 communications. By launching a COVID-19 page in the advocacy section of its website to organize updates by date.

“Meantime, each of us can help slow the spread of this virus by washing our hands often, by practicing “social distancing” and by staying home when sick,” said Famulak, who directed those with questions on assessment or testing for COVID-19 to use the Ministry of Health self-assessment tool.

Recent Comments (18 comments)

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Jack Image Jack

this is ridiculous. There’s no running water toilets on site and not enough soaps to wash hands. All the worker will be touching the same entrance/exit doors on site. And how can you prevent workers to be not working within 1 meter distance if needed. Workers who have shown symptoms on site got sent back home, but the hospitals refuse to check on them because the symptom were considered as “low risk”. Does workers even considered as human to you or just some disposable cheap money making machines?

Now Horgan thinks he’s God! No one should be able to override a public health warning because of money, contracts, time-lines agreements, or whatever! No one knows how this virus is even transmitted or how long it lives on all surfaces, if it is seasonal or a year round threat. No one knows this virus so how is it that there are any exemptions at all?? This is unacceptable at any time. Literally, our futures live or die by temporary politicians and corporate big-wigs who demand exemptions during a world catastrophe! And they wonder why no one takes this deadly threat seriously. Our politicians and corporate head guys are NOT setting a good example. I’m pretty sure that exemptions are attempted murder in Italy and other countries protecting their citizens. Just saying.😪

Randal Hadland Image Randal Hadland

This is an anti social move by industry and government. To think that restaurants are being closed, but work camps with restaurants serving 1,500 people are ‘open for business’ is more than a logic fail, it is a sellout of the people of BC.

Mary Image Mary

This is wrong on many levels…. will these folks be paid? Will they have to use their own sick leave? Or will they be required to go on unemployment insurance?
Shame! Shame! Shame!

Chris Image Chris

this is insane. having been worked on several jobsites, both large and small, the portapotties by themselves, pretty demand you shut down. Never mind the fact you don’t have to feel sick, in order to spread this. So there are people working right now, that are spreading this to their coworkers. Especially in the hoists, first thing in the morning. You are facing an outbreak totally irresponsibly.

Dan Riordan Image Dan Riordan

Pc response.. should be up to the workers discretion in some cases. Some job sites you could get away with it baring an emergency.. it would be very tough on others. ❤️ going out to all doing tough jobs in a tough situation. Especially Henry.

PD Image PD

Hard to wash hands when there are no or inadequate sanitation stations. Why are Work BC not visiting sites making sure they are in compliance? The measures stated are not being put in place. This is not happening. Be better!

Hart Schorneck Image Hart Schorneck

More should be said about touching money & one should regularly wash their cellphones

Jacob Image Jacob

This is an absolute joke! The government has 0 regard or care for the health and safety of it’s construction workers. I’m currently on a government contract job and they refuse to shut down or move the deadline so people are working as if nothing is different. No running water for handwash stations (there are none anyways), 1 extra sanitizer dispenser at the front door of a massive multi-storey building, sick employees back after 2 days off but still coughing. Everyone in quarantine and isolation are wasting their time when it’s running rampant on the jobsites and will still be here when they come back out. Shame on the government for doing nothing and letting more people die because of money.

Gustave Recof Image Gustave Recof

In Quebec we shut down all industries non-essential!

Val Fishman Image Val Fishman

Wash your hands? Keep 2 meters distance? Have you ever been on a construction site! There is none of that! You got a hard hat! Won’t protect you from covid19!

Bud Image Bud

How can a 1,200 personnel based man-camp be even considered as we learn how to deal with this pandemic? Looks like Horgan’s LNG plans are more important than the health and safety of our workers. Shut these camps down. What the hell is wrong with this government.

Chris Image Chris

This seems a bit disingenuous – certainly essential service jobs like hospitals etc understandably should be exempted, but why construction sites? This undermines both the intent of the restriction and the credibility of government authority. It is, in short, an unconvincing statement.

Geoff Image Geoff

You just lost 5 votes, Horgan, you arrogant sycophant.
“The most important part of our work is protecting people. With more and more people working contract-to-contract or self-employed in the gig economy, workers deserve direct support as they self-isolate or care for their families, no matter how they earn a living.” From the NDP website.
Yeah, I suppose you could call it “letting them hang themselves”, if you didn’t count the fact that they’d be laid off if the site re-opened and they didn’t go to work. Perhaps they should contact their union so they can fight back against the “union-party”.

Ryan Image Ryan

Are kidding right now!
Yea, keep your distance, never mind the fact we all use the same porta-potties with no hand sanitizer in them because they have all been stolen.
If this isn’t a ticking time bomb for transmission I don’t know what is.

Serena Francis Image Serena Francis

Why are they still building a pipeline in Wet’suwet’en and why is the site still being guarded by RCMP , these workers and the RCMP should be home with their families in these different times.


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