News

  • Construction deemed an "allowable" business

    Construction (including maintenance and repair) is considered one of the "Critical Public Services and Allowable Business Services" allowed to continue operating during COVID-19.

    Read the release from the Government of Saskatchewan.

    Province declares Construction Industry to be “Allowable”

    Comply or Goodbye


    Yesterday the Government of Saskatchewan announced that construction has been designated as an “allowable” industry, and that businesses in the construction industry will be able to continue operations through the next round of business closures in Saskatchewan.

    The government’s announcement is welcome news for our industry, as we were all uncertain as to construction’s status with differing decisions from other provinces in the past few days.

    The announcement came with a list of “non allowable” businesses that must now close, along with businesses that have been designated as “critical”. As an “allowable” business, construction may remain open now, but is subject to future closure if on-site safety can not be assured.

    For the entire list of business classifications, click here.

    So, what does this mean for construction?

    As a starting point, it means that you may continue current operations.

    Next, it means that your responsibility to operate your sites safely has only grown. Your sites must be as safe as possible.

    Public scrutiny on the construction industry is high. In a time of heightened public anxiety, there is significant pressure on governments to close construction sites. This pressure is not based on the best public health advice and guidance, but on fear.

    Every contractor working in construction today now has a mutual responsibility to ensure their sites are made safe. If contractors fail in this duty, the entire industry risks a shutdown.

    So, what can you do to ensure that you have done everything possible to protect your site and your workers?

    We will be working to provide better answers to this question in the coming days, but for now, I have four recommendations for you to consider:
    1. Visit www.scaonline.ca/third-party-information-bulletins and review all of the “Workplace Safety” documents available there. These documents represent best available resources to support your site management. A particularly valuable resource is the “Pandemic Planning for the Construction Industry” guide from ACA;
    2. Talk with your competitors. In a time like this, everyone in the industry has a mutual interest in ensuring that ALL sites are operated safely. Ask your competitors to share their safety best practices with you.
    3. Share your best practices with each other, and with us. If you have policies and procedures that are working for you and your team, let others know and send information to us at: president@scaonline.ca. The more information we have, the more we can share with the industry and improve everyone’s performance.
    4.  If you see, or become aware of, sites that may not be complying, take the initiative and call the appropriate site manager. Share your concerns with them and remind them of the obligation they have, not only to themselves, but the entire industry. Put them in touch with resources that can help them improve.
    If our industry wants the privilege of being able to continue to work, we all have an obligation to ensure we comply with all public health directives. Failure by any of us may lead to closure for all of us.

    Very simply we are now in a world where sites that can maintain compliance should remain open, and those that cannot should consider voluntarily closing. It is, Comply or Goodbye. There is no other choice.

    Mark Cooper
    President & CEO, Saskatchewan Construction Association



     

Associations