COVID-19 UPDATE (March 20, 2020)

Good Afternoon APCA Members,

Together, we are facing a truly unprecedented situation. The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our families, business, communities, and way of life. I wanted to reach out as we enter into the weekend with the COVID-19 Pandemic continuing to rapidly evolve in Alberta and across Canada.

First of all, to ensure the continued health and safety of our community, we will be postponing the Annual General Meeting to April 29 and it will be held virtually. Details to be circulated over the next couple weeks.

Second, check your supplier’s websites for details on how to order paint in advance and avoid exposure.

Third, below are elements you should think about and act on to keep your businesses and jobsites healthy, safe and open:

On all construction sites, either under a GC or where you are prime contractor, you must do everything possible to follow the advice of Health Officials.

Social Distancing:
This will require some guidance and practice and there may be elements where you just can’t achieve that but remember, you may be monitored by others and may be impacted by their decisions if they feel you pose a threat.

Hand Sanitizers:
On new construction sites GCs are working to ensure sinks are being installed as hand sanitizer is not available. Where you are prime contractor, you will need a strategy to ensue workers have an option to ensure you are supporting the governments mandate to keep your workers safe.

Other Options to Consider:
Only one driver per vehicle or sanitize between drivers. Use only your own tools or sanitize between operators. At breaks maintain social distance: easy reference two arm lengths (1 metre). Eat lunch alone, where possible in your vehicle, respecting social distance. Workers who take public transit must sanitize their hands prior to starting work.

Safety Certificates:
Ensure that you have all necessary staff and backup staff compliant for the next 6 months. There is no suggestion that rules around fall protection or first aid etc. are going to be altered.

Training on Tools:
Some sites in BC are already experiencing 50% loss of manpower. Check your crews to ensure you can still safely operate equipment.

Office Social Distancing:
If possible, have a work from home strategy, move desks apart, sanitize your office regularly.
Warning on your door: Do not allow delivery people in your office unless they have confirmed they are in good health.
External workers: Have them complete a statement saying they are in good health before allowing them access to your premises.

Work from Home Security:
Working from home brings risks to your organization. Workers should respect strict security rules to ensure they don’t introduce viruses to your system. With many homes having children/teenagers it is imperative that workers logout from your system every time they leave their computer.

Business Strategy:
We must work together to ensure job sites remain open. Strong leadership to fully comply with government mandates is imperative.
Now is the time to review your active contracts to ensure you understand payment terms and what could impact them such as firm delivery dates. Be cautious about materials on site because you will be at the mercy of the government rules if the site is forced to shut down. Preplan your orderly exit if an order is issued today to close one or many sites.
If an inspector is required to sign off on your work, ensure they have an option in place in case they are unable to complete their inspections.

Businesses Subsidies from Governments:
Temporary Wage Subsidy: Proposing to provide eligible small employers a temporary wage subsidy for a period of three months. The subsidy will be equal to 10% of remuneration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer. Businesses will be able to benefit immediately from this support by reducing their remittances of income tax withheld on their employees’ remuneration. Employers benefiting from this measure will include corporations eligible for the small business deduction, as well as non-profit organizations and charities.

Lastly, to stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 news, please visit:

APCA’s commitment to keeping our community safe and healthy is our top priority. Please be safe out there!

Dave Schiffers
APCA President