Ontario’s health and economy are interdependent: Safety procedures are vital, says survey

Ontario Construction News staff writer

As many businesses begin to reopen under new health guidelines, a group of Ontario business owners including the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA), say a survey indicates that safety procedures are vital to ensure an economic recovery.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association commented on Tuesday following the release of  new business confidence survey results from Campaign Research Inc., a market research firm.

“Construction workers return to work this week with our assurance that they will be working in safe workplaces,” OGCA president  Clive Thurston said in a statement. “As industry leaders in health and safety, contractors have put in place orientations, procedures, and the required supervision to ensure workers will resume safely from day one. Our industry is proud to lead in the rebuilding of our economy and remobilize our workforce. It’s time to get back to work.”

“Today’s survey results indicate that employers, employees and consumers need the right tools in place to feel safe and supported as we reopen the economy,” said Rocco Rossi, president and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

“Eighty-eight per cent of Ontarians are worried about the economy, with 50 per cent being very worried. Meanwhile, 75 per cent of people in Ontario 18 years of age or older are concerned about contracting COVID-19. This supports what we have been saying all along – the economy and the health of Ontarians are interdependent, and both must be addressed together.”

“The most important aspect of a sustainable return to work is the health and safety of our employees,” said Flavio Volpe, president, Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association. “The results of the survey reinforce our responsibility to provide COVID-19-conscious workplaces and to ensure that they know that their well-being and that of their families is our first priority.”

As the OCC has previously outlined, the six critical elements to reopening are PPE availability, smart quarantine policies, protection for the most vulnerable, mass testing, contact tracing, and workforce management systems.

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