Safety a top priority for construction leaders forced to pivot during pandemic

stock photo hard hat on wood

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Construction companies have been on a roller coaster ride since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada over 14 months ago.

As leaders, they weathered an ongoing storm of shutdowns, restrictions, public health regulations and spiralling material costs, while ensuring the safety of workers every day. That meant developing and implementing new procedures, providing PPE and educating everyone about COVID-19.

Safety Week in Ontario (May 2 to 8) provided an important opportunity to review this year’s successes and for everyone to recommit to safety. Congratulations to some of the top construction leaders in this province:

Sunbelt Rentals is a main driver behind the development of the global Construction Equipment Rental market. Staff is now ready to help get facilities up and running again following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The experienced team offers the proper equipment, expert personnel, and accessibility to prepare businesses for re-opening and growth. Whether it’s assistance with cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting, or expertise regarding pump, power, and HVAC – specialists are always focussed on safety and supporting clients.

Bird Mechanical strives for continuous improvement in the realm of safety, “investing in tomorrow by practicing safety today and always”. This safety culture is shared company-wide with a commitment to provide clients with expertise and workmanship to ensure jobs are done on-time and on-budget with safety as the number one priority.

Roque Roofing in Hamilton specializing in built-up roofing, the company is also an approved applicator of most major manufacturers of modified bitumen, cold applied roof restorations and single-ply membranes.

Budget Demolition believes that every injury is preventable. The responsible for providing a safe workplace is met by effectively managing workplace risk and promoting a culture of taking responsibility for each others’ safety.

Jemcor Elevating Inc. is an elevating devices company serving the greater Ottawa area and eastern Ontario, catering to individual needs and completing jobs safely, on-time and on budget, all while providing quality workmanship exceeding the industry standard.

Alltech Electrical Systems Ltd. provides solutions to electrical needs for residential, commercial and industrial projects. The company has established its commitment to providing complete customer satisfaction with earning the trust of customers by providing quality service and reassurance that the job has been completed correctly and safely.

Ratcliff Excavating and Grading Inc. in Stouffville is part of the Site Preparation Contractors Industry. Whether engaged in site preparation activities, such as excavating and grading, demolition of buildings and other structures, septic system installation, or other projects, the first commitment is to health and safety of workers.

Ferguson Electric Company serves customers ranging from local homeowners requiring electrical work to large federal institutions with more complex projects. Staff is dedicated to providing quality service, regardless of how large or small a project may be, safely and with minimum disruption to operations.

GMR Landscaping, formerly Greenspace Landscaping and Property Services has over 10 years experience installing outdoor spaces for businesses and municipalities in the GTA. During the pandemic and every day, the company works with clients to ensure safety and quality workmanship.

VanRooyen Earthmoving Ltd. is a second-generation, family-owned and operated business based in Woodstock. Owners believe that a company is only as strong as the people it employs. With over 40 years of experience, the committed team of people and our modern, technologically advanced fleet helps VanRooyen stay ahead of the industry, even during the pandemic.

For the first time, Ontario celebrated Occupational Safety and Health Day during North American Occupational Safety and Health Week, to recognize and promote safety on the job.

Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton encouraged businesses to mark the day and their commitment to keeping Ontario workers safe on the job.

“Each of us – government, employers, workers and others – have a role to play in preventing injury and illness in the workplace, at home, and in our communities,” he said.

In addition to everyday safety hazards, Ontario workplaces including construction sites have had to put in place new and increased measures to protect workers from COVID-19. Safety plans are more critical than ever.

“Essential workers continue to be needed on the frontlines to build hospitals, testing centres, broadband and other critical infrastructure our province needs,” McNaughton said on Occupational Safety and Health Day.

“I encourage you to hold health and safety at the forefront of your thoughts and actions. To employers: commit to training and raising awareness about best safety practices. To workers: make sure you understand your right to know the safest and best ways to handle equipment, technology, and hazards.

“Now, more than ever, we all have a responsibility to protect workers. Together, Ontario can continue to be among the safest places to work in the world.”



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