Posted: March 26, 2020
NOTICE TO CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
March 26, 2020
COVID-19 Construction Worker Safety and Request for Mask Donations
The District of Tofino knows that worker safety is the first priority for the construction industry and, as the challenges caused by the coronavirus outbreak continue to shift, the B.C. government is directing all employers to take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission and illness to you and your employees.
Although BC’s provincial health officer has confirmed that construction sites are exempt from guidelines on group gatherings and can remain open, this letter is meant to serve as a reminder to those sites, large and small, of additional health and safety precautions to be put in place and shared with your crews. In addition, we are also seeking donations of N95 or other particulate masks that your business may be willing to share with first responders such as the Tofino Volunteer Fire Department, and others.
Health and Safety Precautions
The BC Construction Association has shared the following guidelines to keep workers safe:
- Reduce the number of people on-site to facilitate social distancing of meters between workers. If needed, adjust schedules or scale back.
- Wear PPE at all times as long as it is safe to do so - safety goggles, masks, and gloves.
- Workers should not congregate in break areas and lunchrooms.
- Workers should not share PPE.
- Workers should not share tools.
- Introduce extra handwashing stations.
- Do not spit on worksites.
- Do not share cigarettes and/or vaping equipment.
- Do not use sea cans as breakrooms.
- Do not rideshare/carpool to/from work.
- Clean out jobsite trailers daily - arrange for commercial cleaners to clean and disinfect areas of the project.
- Introduce an on-site COVID-19 committee to create a best practices plan to ensure worker safety.
- Create a task force focused on supporting your company's staff and customers.
- Make sure workers know about the Ministry of Health self-assessment tool.
- Make sure workers know they should not come to work if they're feeling sick.
Request for N95 Mask Donations
The District of Tofino Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) has been set up to supportsupport our local first responders and healthcare providers. We understand that many construction businesses may have a surplus of N95 masks (or other mask types). As the province experiences unprecedented demand for these and other personal protective equipment, the EOC is asking anyone who is able to donate unused masks for workers at the Tofino General Hospital and BC Ambulance to please contact:
Nicholas Henderson (Building Inspector)
Operations Section Chief
District of Tofino Emergency Operations Centre
Employers should reassess their work environment every day and keep updated with the information posted on the Province’s website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergencypreparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support
EOC Information Officer
District of Tofino
NOTICES TO ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS
March 24, 2020
Clarification re. Suspension of Operations
To follow up on the notice sent Sunday, March 22, 2020, the District of Tofino Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) would like to clarify the District’s expectations in relation to the suspension of operations at accommodation businesses.
The EOC is working closely with our healthcare providers to understand the potential severity and impact of COVID-19 to our local resources over the upcoming months. The notice sent Sunday follows from the recommendations and objectives of our Provincial Medical Health Officer and local healthcare professionals to limit the potential burden on our Hospital and healthcare resources, as well as lessen the chances of transmission in our community.
Many of you have asked about the likely duration of the need to limit visitation to Tofino. Unfortunately, this is question that we cannot answer with certainty at this time. Based on experiences in other parts of the world, we believe that it will be necessary to suspend operations until AT LEAST the end of April, and likely longer.
As we learn more from local, provincial and federal health officials, we are committed to updating our local businesses as to the expected amount of time these and other social distancing measures will stay in place.
Learn more about the District of Tofino Response at our website and social media channels - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (new!).
EOC Information Officer
District of Tofino
March 22, 2020
All Accommodation Providers Asked to Suspend Operations Immediately
On March 18th, the District of Tofino, Tourism Tofino, and the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce took the difficult the step of asking visitors to postpone trips to Tofino, and for visitors currently in town to begin to make plans to return to home. This request was made in recognition of the nature of COVID-19 illnesses, the scarce medical resources that we have in Tofino and the long travel times to larger hospitals.
We would like to sincerely thank the vast majority of Tofino’s accommodation providers who have voluntarily taken steps scale down and ultimately cease operations. While we know that this was not easy, the collective actions of Tofino’s business community are paramount to supporting the health and wellness of our community with special emphasis on healthcare providers, first responders and our vulnerable populations.
For those who have not yet closed their doors, it is not too late to join the fight to stop the spread of Covid-19. Over the next few days we will be monitoring accommodation providers that are still operational and are prepared to initiate further steps. These may include:
- suspending or cancelling business licences,
- issuing fines to owners, business operators or their guests,
- or declaring a State of Local Emergency requiring accommodation businesses to close and visitors to leave, if necessary.
The District of Tofino is closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation, and will reassess this action and communicate to businesses regularly. Please follow the daily 11 a.m. update to the community on the District website and social media channels for up-to-date information.
Chief Adminsitrative Officer
District of Tofino