Protect employees or shut down: Premier Ford addresses construction companies

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Premier Doug Ford says that he will not hesitate to order the closure of any construction sites not taking necessary steps to protect workers and limit the spread of COVID-19.

The province has ordered all non-essential businesses to close by midnight but it is exempting those that fall into 74 categories deemed essential to the supply chain and day-to-day life, including the construction industry.

At a news conference at Queen’s Park on Tuesday afternoon, Ford said that while he believes that construction must continue during the pandemic he has “put the industry on notice” regarding their duty to protect workers and take necessary precautions to promote social distancing.

“Our chief prevention officer has sent our new guidelines for construction sites and there are currently dozens of provincial labour inspectors at numerous large job sites to ensure appropriate protocols are in place,” he said.

“These inspectors will not hesitate to shut sites down. Let me be clear; if the industry does not take every step necessary to look after their workers I will shut them down because this is first and foremost a public health emergency.”

Ford’s comments on Tuesday come amid an increasing number of calls for construction sites to be shut down.

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