By Richard Lyall
Vaccinations and rapid testing are the keys to protecting construction workers from COVID-19 and ensuring that our economy gets back on track.
The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) has taken steps to make that happen by developing an online vaccination guidance sheet that outlines the specific measures workers can take to find out where and when they can get vaccinated, with links to various sites where they can register. The guidance sheet is one of the items in a COVID-19 information section on RESCON’s website.
The health and safety of those who work in our industry has always been the paramount concern of RESCON. The website information is yet another tool to ensure that workers and builders have all the information they need to stay safe, get tested and find out where they can get vaccinated.
We were quick out of the gate when COVID-19 struck. The website was launched shortly afterwards and features details on rapid testing resources, a vaccine policy template, and health and safety best practices.
The vaccine guidance sheet is updated several times a week. It provides RESCON members, the construction industry and public with critical information, so that they can register quickly and get a shot.
The site also has links to posters and flyers, information on everything from glove sanitizing to correct handwashing techniques, proper use and care of face coverings on worksites, and more. Visitors to the site can also click on links that provide information on caseloads across Ontario and Canada.
Feedback to the site has been positive, with RESCON members describing the guidance sheet as “extremely helpful and a one-stop shop for the information they need to know.”
When the pandemic struck, RESCON and its builders immediately sprang into action and developed health and safety protocols in concert with the government and unions.
Since then, we’ve continued to show steady and consistent leadership and continue to keep members and the construction industry informed and safe with the latest and up-to-date information on COVID-19. As a result, our industry has remained open and transmission on sites has remained low.
To date, we’ve held three webinars to educate members about regulations, best practices and public health measures related to COVID-19 and we will be hosting another one in late June. Our rapid testing group now has more than 10 members administering thousands of tests a week on dozens of sites.
We have worked in partnership with Labour, Training and Skills Development Minister Monte McNaughton, Chief Prevention Officer Ron Kelusky, and the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association.
We have been consistent in our message that all construction workers should get vaccinated, in order to stay safe.
A healthy residential construction industry is critical to our economic recovery, as the housing industry share of GDP has soared to a record high of 9.3 per cent, which is double the historical norm.
We encourage the industry to continue its due diligence and urge all construction workers to get vaccinated. Your health – and our successful economic recovery – depends on it.