Cancer Center construction staff fear for safety in COVID-19 outbreak – fr

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Cancer Center construction staff fear for safety in COVID-19 outbreak – fr


The staff member said he was surprised the site is still open, adding that hygiene standards to reduce the spread of infection are poor

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Lax safety practices are fueling a large outbreak of COVID-19 at the Calgary Cancer Center construction site, one of its employees said.

The man, who would not give his name for fear of being fired, said he was surprised the site is still open, adding that hygiene standards to reduce the spread of infection are poor.

Toilets that would provide running water are not working and hand sanitizer dispensers are often empty, he said.

Many workers are concerned about the use of personal protective equipment and social distancing is not enough to slow the spread of COVID-19 after the number of cases increased from last week, he said. -he adds.

“And we dogs keep working on the site because nobody cares about us,” he said.

“Everybody is concerned).”

Many workers carpool dangerously for their jobs there and supervisors look the other way when staff drop guard, he said.

“It’s the people carpooling here and the rallies in the parking lot during breaks as the guys hang out together without masks like nothing has happened,” he said.

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COVID-19 testing at the site, which employs 1,000 people, gives an alarming number of positive results, he said, but only provides a partial picture as the procedure is voluntary.

“We’ll never know how many have it,” he said, adding that they had been told infections had been transmitted off-site.

“We have our safety meeting and (the employer) PCL is saying to us ‘hey guys, everything is fine, keep doing what you are doing’ but we have a major outbreak and we don’t know what to do differently.

On May 14, Alberta Health reported that there had been 35 cases of the disease on site, a number that rose to 66 on Monday, 26 of them being active cases.

On Thursday, the ministry said there had been 70 cases among those employed at the site, of which 23 were active.

Because the workplace is listed as a commercial construction site and therefore considered essential, it is free from what would normally be a minimum 10-day downtime.

Construction continues on the Calgary Cancer Center, a state-of-the-art facility at Foothills Medical Center. Thursday 20 May 2021. Photo par Brendan Miller / Postmedia

Other workplaces that are exempt from closures include airports, health care and oil and gas facilities, first responder centers, utilities, and warehouses.

There have been severe outbreaks of COVID-19 in oil sands labor camps in northern Alberta, a site – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. – reporting three deaths from the disease.

Some labor camp workers said conditions there were dangerous, especially given the presence of the more contagious variants of COVID-19.

Regulators continue to oversee the Calgary Cancer Center site to protect the health of employees, said Kerry Williamson, spokesperson for Alberta Health Services.

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Occupational health and safety and AHS officials attended the scene on Sunday, he added.

“From our perspective, AHS continues to monitor the site and work with operators to ensure all public health measures are followed,” he said in an email.

AHS and OHS inspectors this week said toilets at cancer center work sites were working and other health measures were being followed successfully, said Shane Jones, spokesperson for the main contractor PCL.

“They did a full and complete inspection and they are completely confident that we are keeping our workers safe,” Jones said.

“We continue to follow government guidelines.”

Workers, he said, are encouraged to report any potential gaps in safety protocols.

He and officials at Alberta Infrastructure say the $ 1.4 billion structure being built on the Foothills Medical Center campus is on schedule and on budget.

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Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn



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