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COVID-19 Response Plan

UPDATE! In light of today’s announcement from the Government of Ontario, we have been mandated to shut down all construction projects in the Province effective tomorrow Saturday, April 4th at 11:59 PM.

UPDATE. April 3, 2020

In light of today’s announcement from the Government of Ontario, we have been mandated to shut down all construction projects in the Province effective tomorrow Saturday, April 4th at 11:59 PM.

Our priority is the health and safety of our staff and community. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation actively and keep everyone informed as information is received. Vestacon’s project management team will continue to work remotely during these unprecedented times. We will ensure that all pre-construction activities and management of projects from the PM team will continue to ensure that we can complete any outstanding work as soon as the government will allow us to.  Our team will continue all weekly meetings as a touchpoint to ensure all our clients are receiving the most up to date information. 

Below is the latest information that the Government of Ontario has issued stating the projects that are allowed to continue at this time.

The new list of essential businesses and services has been paired down from 74 categories announced on March 23 to a list of 44 today.

Construction-related activity now numbers 27 through 31 on the list:

  1. Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations, and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.
  2. Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy, and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.
  3. Critical industrial construction activities required for,
    1. the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
    2. significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced,
    3. industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. Residential construction projects where,
    1. a footing permit has been granted for single-family, semi-detached and townhomes
    2. an above-grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed-use and other buildings, or
    3. the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4, 2020.

Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety

For now, we ask everyone to follow the safety measures instructed by the Government and we hope that we can see this through together and come out of it safely. Thank you to all our industry partners for your dedication through these trying times and thank you for working with us to ensure that we are assisting our clients as much as possible.  

Thank you and stay safe.

Daniel Passera                            Sam Falzone                                          Jamie Oldfield

President, Principal            Vice President, Principal           Vice President of Business Development, Partner

 

COVID-19 Emergency Response Team (ERT) Responsibilities

  • Emergency measures, managing their operations and communicating decisions
  • Protecting employees and their families’ health and safety
  • Assuring business continuity and mitigating impacts on our operations
  • Answer any questions or concerns from employees, clients, sub-trades

 

  • Daniel Passera, President, Principal
  • Sam Falzone, Vice President, Principal
  • Jamie Oldfield, VP Business Development, Partner
  • Julie Zabizewski, Heath & Safety Representative
  • Johnathon Passera, Health & Safety Representative


The Barantas Project Hazard Assessment Questionnaire should be reviewed to understand the proactive steps taken for both office and site.


General Protection Procedures

  • Washing your hands with soap and water as frequently as possible
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available
  • Practice Social Distancing: avoid handshaking, keep a six-foot spatial separation from others, replace in-person meetings with video conferencing or teleconferencing
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, and mouth
  • Keep surfaces clean and disinfected
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Avoid crowds or large groups of people, including those who may be exhibiting flu-like symptoms
  • High-touch surfaces should be regularly cleaned throughout the workday
  • Soap/paper towel and hand sanitizing stations should be checked and replenished frequently
  • It is critical that individuals NOT report to work while they are experiencing illness symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body     aches, chills, or fatigue
  • Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop these symptoms
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and wash your hands afterward. If either occurs due to illness symptoms then you are to follow other protocols in place for any personnel exhibiting any symptoms of an illness
  • Avoid commonly touched areas or ensure you clean your hands afterward
  • Open doors and touch elevator buttons with gloves, the back of your hand, or other body part or activate the wheelchair accessibility button with the back of your hand, elbow or knee if possible
  • Wash your clothes as soon as you get home

 

Self-Monitoring & Self-Isolation
We have included a guide to help you understand the differences between self-monitoring, self-isolation, and isolation for COVID-19.


Social Distancing
On-site Sanitation

  • Staggered start times, breaks and lunches
  • Total number of people on-site and where they are assigned to work
  • Site movement (potential pinch points including hoists, site trailers, and elevators), limit the number of people in confined areas to the amount that can practice safe social distancing of 6 feet
  • Take stairwells when you can
  • All face-to-face meetings should have no more than four attendees
  • Non-critical staff may work from home, your manager will contact you with more details
  • Wash your clothes as soon as you get home


As outlined in several government announcements Social Distancing is required to control the spread of COVID-19. In order to ensure social distancing on-site and in the office, please consider the following:

  • Access to soap and water (if you require supplies please advise immediately)
  • Washroom facilities
  • Commonly touched surfaces or areas (hoists / site-trailers / door handles/ equipment or residential units)
  • Limit unnecessary on-site contact between workers, as well as between workers and outside service providers. (i.e. remove coffee trucks from the site)
  • Bleach: use a bleach solution to spray down high use and high traffic areas on-site including spraying of washrooms minimum twice per day


As outlined in several government documents, on-site sanitation is paramount. All employers have an
obligation to increase the sanitization of sites. Areas of focus should include:

  • Access to soap and water (if you require supplies please advise immediately)
  • Washroom facilities
  • Commonly touched surfaces or areas (hoists / site-trailers / door handles/ equipment or residential units)
  • Limit unnecessary on-site contact between workers, as well as between workers and outside service providers. (i.e. remove coffee trucks from the site)
  • Bleach: use bleach solution to spray down high use and high traffic areas on-site including spraying of washrooms minimum twice per day

Sickness
Employees or any site visitors are to stay home if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptomaltering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

 

Workplace Procedures
Travel Policies and Head Office/Site Restrictions

  • All VESTACON LIMITED-related international travel is prohibited
  • All personal international travel is strongly discouraged
  • All VESTACON LIMITED-related non-essential domestic air travel is prohibited
  • We strongly urge extreme caution and judgment for your personal domestic travel
  • If you have traveled internationally as of March 14th, 2020, you are required to work from home and self-quarantine for 14 days upon your return to Canada and monitor your symptoms for any signs of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath). You are required to work from home and self-quarantine for 14 days
  • We strongly prohibit any non-essential meetings or events of 50 people or more
  • Anyone who returns or arrives at a VESTACON LIMITED place of employment from a location with a Government of Canada Active Health Advisory is asked to self-quarantine for 14 days

 

Reporting

  • Employees are required to disclose if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Employees are required to disclose if they have traveled internationally and must self-quarantine for 14 days
  • You are asked to report any of the above situations to the ERT

 

Attendance at Events (Training, Professional, Conferences, Educational)

  • You are asked to postpone/cancel all attendance at events until further notice
  • If you are unsure about an event, please consult with a member of the ERT

 

Workplace Accommodations (Internal Information)

  • If you require to work from home due to illness or childcare please let your manager know
  • If you require to work from home for any other reason, please discuss it with your direct supervisor
  • If you are working remotely please ensure you are available to your co-workers, clients, and partners

 

Operational Procedures


On-site/Office Procedures
At this time, we are asking staff to continue working from home. The ERT will put together a rotating schedule of when staff can start coming back to the office. We are still monitoring what both levels of government and Health Canada are advising the public and business and we’ll act accordingly.

 

Limit Gatherings and Groups
As a precaution, we ask our worksites to limit the number of meeting participants (to four people, for example, or based on your own best judgment). This will help create social distancing, in line with recommendations from public health authorities.


Mandatory Screening of New Workers to Site/Office

VESTACON LIMITED’s Site Supervisors will have their foreman text them first thing in the morning to report on their crew, and log these responses on the sign-in sheet available on all job-sites. If they answer “yes” to any, they are not allowed on the job site and will be recommended self-isolation for two weeks. Anyone asked to stay home should not return to work until 24-hours after they are free from a fever or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medication.

Project (Site) Protocols
The following protocols and policies have been implemented and must be followed on each project site: from public health authorities.
(*Note: each site has unique circumstances and set-ups and as such the implementation of each must be evaluated on a project by project basis as to how it can best be applied)

  • Any employee who has traveled anywhere outside of Canada as of March 11, 2020, must self-isolate and avoid contact with others for 14 days
  • Any person visiting, or attending a site to perform work, who has traveled outside of Canada within the last14 days will not be permitted on any VESTACON LIMITED project site;
  • Non-essential visitors will not be authorized on any VESTACON LIMITED project site until further notice
  • If a VESTACON LIMITED employee or a person they have come in close contact with in the last 14 days is experiencing any illness symptoms, that employee must not come to work and must adopt self-isolation measures and follow the recommendations of Health Ontario in that regard. VESTACON LIMITED is to be notified within 24 hours if this does occur
  • If any trade person or other person working on a VESTACON LIMITED project site is showing or indicating any symptoms of an illness, VESTACON LIMITED as the construction manager and Constructor under the Ontario Health and Safety Act has the full authority to order them to leave the site and direct them not to work on our project at this time. If such a situation does occur, they are not to be permitted back to the site until they can ensure that they are cleared and no longer showing any symptoms of an illness
  • COVID-19 Warning signage will be posted at all entrances to a site. This will notify all visitors and personnel who are attending to site that if they have traveled within last 14 days and/or have possibly been in contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, and/or they are experiencing any symptoms of illness, they are not to enter the site
  • Site safety orientations should be held in an open area with worker separation of a minimum of 6 feet.
  • Orientations to be limited to 5 workers/attendees at one time. The trainer/instructor shall take the names and information of all attendees and distribute the orientation manuals again maintaining the 6-foot distancing requirement. For the time being any gathering and copying of training cards will not be required, with only Working at Heights, WHMIS & Worker Awareness to be shown/read out to the instructor. (The instructor is to wear gloves during the distribution and collection of any and all training materials)
  • All new workers reporting to a site must have their Foreman contact Site Supervisor, they fill out a “New Worker Questionnaire”. This questionnaire will be used as a COVID -19 screening tool and if the worker answers yes to any of the questions on the form, they are not to be permitted on site
  • Sharing personal items is to be avoided (i.e. pens, pencils, passing documentation, etc.)
  • VESTACON LIMITED will not accept nor allow any workers on-site who had been performing work or had visited another construction site that has been closed due to any COVID-19 related matters
  • All visitors to the site must be identified and will be documented
  • The Ministry of Health COVID-19 Awareness and Fact Sheet posters are to be posted at the hoist (if applicable), all project safety boards, all entrances and by all main washroom
  • All washrooms are to be cleaned as frequently as possible. Where possible additional washrooms and handwashing stations are to be installed
  • Hand sanitizing products are to be made available in as many locations as possible and best efforts are to be made to maintain supply given current market shortages
  • Encourage all workers to bring their own personal sanitizer in addition to this to assist; Social distancing protocols as recommended by the government are to be implemented and followed. No workers are to be working within 6 ft of each other at any time unless a specific safety need is required that overrules this situation
  • All site offices are to be closed for all non-VESTACON LIMITED staff access except for those necessary for our first aid and safety requirements. Social distancing rules to be maintained inside of the office as outlined
  • Only 10 workers or less are to be performing work in any given area and they must be able to maintain at a minimum a distance of 6 feet apart at all times. If this distance cannot be maintained between workers in any given space, then the total number of workers in this space must be reduced to meet the 6 feet distance requirement
  • Non-essential meetings are not to be scheduled and held. If a meeting must be held, all social distancing protocols are to be implemented and more preferably, alternative means (conference calls, virtual meetings, etc.) are to be utilized where and whenever possible to avoid gatherings
  • The number of workers entering and utilizing an elevator or hoist must be restricted to only the amount of people that can enter and maintain proper social distancing measures.
  • All shared common areas and surfaces are to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular and daily basis
  • No Saturday or after-hours work is to occur until further notice; and
  • Workplace harassment, including disparaging comments about a person’s ethnic origin, whether or not arising as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, will not be tolerated and the terms of our Workplace Harassment Policy will be firmly enforced

 

Adjust On-Site and Production Schedules
In order to keep sites open, owners, consultants, and trades will need to collaborate to ensure there is a clear understanding of how production will be impacted. Schedules should consider:

  • Need for social distancing, please limit the number of people attending meetings to 4
  • Please encourage videoconferencing meetings, we have the ability to hold meetings via MS Teams, SKYPE, etc.
  • Do not congregate in lunch areas
  • Do not share tools
  • Do not share personal protection equipment (PPE)
  • Sanitize reusable PPE per manufacturer’s recommendation prior to each use
  • Ensure used PPE is disposed of properly
  • Utilize disposable gloves where appropriate; instruct workers to wash hands after removing gloves
  • Disinfect reusable supplies and equipment
  • Identify specific locations and practices for daily trash such as paper, hand towels, food containers, etc.
  • Instruct workers responsible for trash removal in proper PPE/handwashing practices
  • Provide routine environmental cleaning (doorknobs, keyboards, counters, and other surfaces)
  • Do not use a common water cooler. Provide individual water bottles or instruct workers to bring their own
  • Utilize shoe sanitation tubs (non-bleach sanitizer solution) prior to entering/leaving job site
  • Instruct workers to change work clothes prior to arriving home, and to wash clothes in hot water with laundry sanitizer
  • Don’t stack trades if possible
  • Utilize disposable hand towels and no-touch trash receptacles
  • Request additional/increased sanitation (disinfecting) of portable toilets
  • Avoid cleaning techniques, such as using pressurized air or water sprays that may result in the generation of bioaerosols

 

On-site Operations
A competent supervisor/superintendent must remain on site at all times while workers are present, and follow MOL and IHSA regulations.

 

Coordination of Services with Subcontractors, Trades, Suppliers

You are encouraged to openly communicate with project teams should an issue arise pertaining to labour, supply, materials, or financial concerns. Please communicate with Partners regarding any project concerns immediately.

 

Employees / Trade-persons Rights
No VESTACON LIMITED employee will be penalized for absenteeism related to controlling the spread of COVID-19. On a case by case basis, we will ascertain eligibility for paid and unpaid leaves of absence in line with our corporate policies and the Employment Standard Act. Please note that if you contract COVID-19 and you are ordered to self-isolate for an extended period of time, you may be eligible to receive EI and/or WSIB financial support, depending on the circumstances. Each employee, trade, or tradesperson has the right to refuse work in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act if they believe that their work conditions are unsafe. If any person exercises their right to refuse work, this must be reported to VESTACON LIMITED and an investigation will be carried out in accordance with the VESTACON LIMITED Health and Safety Policies. No worker will be expected to work during this investigation. A trade or tradesperson may refuse to perform work due to COVID-19 related matters of their own accord and such intentions must be communicated to VESTACON LIMITED as well as adhered to and respected by VESTACON LIMITED personnel.

 

Responsive Actions in the Event of Site Contamination

  • Notification of the situation to be provided via phone call and email to all employees, trade representatives and project owners as soon as possible
  • Remove employee from the workplace and determine, to the extent possible
  • Duration of potential contamination
  • Identify employees in direct contact during the period of contamination
  • Employee’s whereabouts at the workplace during the period of contamination
  • Request employees who had direct contact with the affected employee to work remotely (to the extent possible) until asymptomatic (minimum 14 days)
  • Ensure safe & secure office/site evacuation and shutdown, if required
  • Arrange for disinfection of impacted workplace
  • Communicate to authorities, as required

 

If a member of VESTACON LIMITED’s site or head office personnel finds or believes that any of the above policies and protocols have been breached, are not being followed or applied should immediately notify ERT.

Communication
Currently, COVID-19 is considered a pandemic. We continue to monitor the evolving global situation and will update this document with relevant information. Communication between the VESTACON LIMITED, the VESTACON LIMITED ERT, and all VESTACON LIMITED employees as well as trade contractors, suppliers, consultants, owner representatives, and others must be coordinated and consistent. The VESTACON LIMITED ERT and all staff are expected to ensure VESTACON LIMITED’s health and safety policies including these COVID-19 policies are updated, communicated, and posted to all personnel involved on a project as mandated and/ or required. Any updates or revisions to these protocols are to be communicated via phone or email to all employees and trade representatives.

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