COVID-19 Update No. 5 – Construction an essential service

Dear member,

If you’re like me, you have fielded an increasing number of questions about why construction sites remain open during a global pandemic. Earlier today, the provincial government provided our industry with an answer as it clarified the nature of essential services – those daily services essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning.

The government has defined the construction industry as a non-health essential service provider in the context of COVID-19 response and recovery.

As such, construction sites should remain open provided they follow the orders and guidance provided by the provincial health officer (PHO) to minimize the risks of COVID-19 transmission and illness. Construction sites that cannot comply with the required enhanced safety protocols will have two choices:

  1. Proactively shut down; or
  2. Be shut down by WorkSafeBC.

This morning, VRCA hosted a call with members of its General Contractors Division to share pandemic response plans and best practice COVID-19 safety protocols for construction sites. Thank you to the member companies that made presentations and willingly agreed to share their plans and resources across VRCA’s three Divisions. The documents can be downloaded from VRCA’s COVID-19 Resources page.

B.C.’s construction industry is in the privileged position of being defined as an essential service. It is now up to us to operate in compliance with the orders and guidance that have been provided by the PHO.

Let’s demonstrate that as the largest employer in the goods and services sector, the health and safety of our workers continues to be our No. 1 priority; that we are ready and able to implement enhanced safety protocols that will keep our workers safe and employed; and that we own our collective responsibility to help position B.C. for economic recovery.

As always, we are here to support you. If you have questions regarding the above, please call me at 604.293.6585 or David Weir, Manager, Industry and Government Relations at 604.293.6589.


Fiona Famulak

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