Province Allows 24-Hour Construction, Limits Noise By-Laws For Essential Projects

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The provincial government says it is allowing 24-hour essential projects to be built in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Projects that meet the criteria include hospitals, hospital expansions and COVID-19 assessment centers.

In a press release Wednesday, the province said construction on these projects could continue “anytime of the night or day” to accelerate the province’s response to the pandemic.

“During this worsening crisis, we are taking immediate steps to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place, particularly to properly care for those with severe symptoms of COVID-19 and other patients who require critical care, “said Prime Minister Doug Ford in a statement.

“This is why we are extending the hours of construction to allow us to build critical infrastructure faster, while ensuring that construction workers can practice physical distance on construction sites to stay safe and healthy.”

The province has said the new measure will temporarily cancel local noise regulations that would normally limit construction.

At the same time, the government is committed to ensuring that construction sites are safe for workers.

“The temporary limitation of noise by-laws to extend the hours of construction work will make it possible to stagger the shifts and have fewer workers on site at all times so that they can practice physical distance”, a said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark. .

The province has been criticized for leaving many construction sites open during the pandemic. Last week, the government announced that a more limited number of sites would be allowed to stay open, including major health care projects, transportation projects and residential construction that were already underway.

Criticism has also been expressed about the conditions of some construction sites, some workers citing the lack of proper washing facilities, poor social distancing and employers who have not been lenient with sick leave.

The province said on Wednesday that it had sent guidelines to employers, deployed inspectors and specialists to check conditions and doubled the number of lines at the Ontario Health and Safety Call Center in the aim to guarantee the safety of work sites.

The province is also asking recently retired inspectors to consider returning to their posts if they can.

It is not immediately known how many sites around the GTA will be affected by the extended hours.

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