Waterloo builder reports on COVID-19 on-site safety measures

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Waterloo region-based builder Stonerise Construction says it is working to ensure the health and well-being of its employees and their families, their clients and communities.

After initially shutting down all construction sites in March following the provincial government’s orders, two of Stonerise Construction’s residential towers in the Barrel Yards development have been deemed essential and will remain open—given that precautionary measures are employed to provide the safest possible working environment, the builder says in a statement.

As job sites across the province grapple with the effects of COVID-19, many construction firms have had to halt current construction projects and further cancel a growing number that have yet to be started. Inevitably, this has forced many contractors to face layoffs and other trials when it comes to managing their workforce.

“With the essential services designation has come significant responsibility for Stonerise Construction as it continues to build critical infrastructure in the region.” the company said in a news release. “The builder has taken a number of safety precautions, enforcing new policies and procedures, to respond to the pandemic as effectively as possible.”

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on-site and protect the community, Arrow and Tower I of the Barrel Yards development have seen enhanced health screening and testing measures implemented at designated entry points for anyone entering the work locations.

A sanitation company has also been hired by Stonerise to sanitize different workstations and the sites multiple times a day.

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“We want our employees to feel comfortable and safe at work, and we want our community to know that we are being very intentional in how we are operating to ensure we are keeping everyone as safe as possible,” said Stonerise Construction’s executive vice-president Wade Gayowsky.

“We’ve carefully scheduled our work to ensure no one is on the same floor or taking the same set of stairs at once—and anyone accessing our sites, whether that be trades, suppliers, union reps or Stonerise employees, are required to physically distance and wear masks at all times.  If they’re unable to follow these rules, they’ll be removed from the site.”

In addition to the measures being implemented on-site, the builder says it has transitioned all of its office staff to work from home.

With growing concerns across the province related to contractors not receiving materials from their sub-trades on time due to COVID-19, Stonerise Construction has not had any issues, nor has their progress on both residential towers slowed down. Arrow and Tower I are still on track for completion by fall 2021.

“Now, after weeks of practicing physical distancing and improved sanitation at work, Stonerise Construction is proud of how their on-site and office employees have adjusted to this new normal,” the statement says.

“This has been quite the challenge and adjustment for myself and the entire Stonerise Construction team, but we are grateful for being able to continue our work without risking our health and our safety.” says Gayowksy.

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