Construction contractors are ready to work

Les entrepreneurs en construction fin prêts à travailler

While open today some of the sites for residential, industry watch white paw to prove it is ready to tighten its health-based standards to restart the machine for good.

“We didn’t have the habit of putting a sink like that, with soap, but the towels heated pool was already mandatory on all of our projects,” says Sébastien Maillette, director of sales of the Dwellings Jutras, Drummondville, with a turnover of nearly $ 23 million.

Sébastien Maillette, director of Housing Jutras in Drummondville says it is ready to complete the construction of its houses, as the industry restarts, little by little starting today.

Since this morning, Quebec allows construction companies to complete their residential units planned for the 31st of July next, a privilege that comes with homework in the midst of a crisis health.

“We will not let go of the sub-contractors all alone on the construction site, insists Sébastien Maillette, who has thirty units in the yard. We could have a who cares and who doesn’t wash hands of its employees, then, we are going to send people on site to watch it. ”

For the president of the CSN-Construction, Stone Cuff, these new rules of hygiene are the business of all. “If it is stacked one on top of the other to do the work, it is there that one is going to risk doing a second wave of spread of the virus. It is the danger “, he says.

According to Pierre Brassard, the social distancing may be more problematic in the towers to condos or multilogements that in the single-family homes. “There will be a lot of trades that are going to rub. There will be a coordination to be done, it is certain “, he says.

“Each task will take more time. The books will be longer to carry on to limit the infections, ” said for his part the CEO of the Corporation des entrepreneurs généraux du Québec (CEGQ), Eric Side.

Even if the recovery is not total, this step revives the hope.

“This is a big wave of optimism, a sigh of relief for the contractors, but above all to the customers. It is now necessary to have a frank discussion with them to establish new delivery dates, ” explains from his side, François Bernier, v. p. senior public Affairs, the Association of professionals of the construction of the’habitation du Québec (APCHQ).

Costs still uncertain

However, for Jean-Pierre Brun, retired professor of the Université Laval, who has been proprietor for about twenty years of management Chair of the health and safety of work in organizations (CGSST), these new health rules will be expensive.

“These measures could amount to several thousands of dollars per week in addition to construction companies. This is not nothing, he analyzed. The contractors will pass the bill on to customers, this is normal “.

At the APCHQ, we recognize that these measures will have an indirect impact on prices.

“It is expected that it is more expensive, but it is unknown how many more,” says his v. p. senior public Affairs, François Bernier.

He adds that the new rules of the standards Commission, equity, health and safety in the workplace (CNESST) are the result of the work of all the industry partners, which aims to ensure the safety of all.

“The guide said : “Do the most with the distancing”. The two meters of distance can not be an absolute law. It is necessary to give the chance to the rider, ” he concludes.

– With the collaboration of Martin Lavoie

Last Wednesday, The Newspaper revealed that construction workers are asking the police to ensure compliance of the instruction of distance of two meters on the building and that the contractors recalcitrant receive heavy fines.

Occupations most at risk

Additional precautions will be needed to perform certain jobs on construction sites for condos or multilogements. The rule of the two meters may be difficult to apply…

Bomber interior systems

The layer of interior systems made the walls, partitions and ceilings. He asks gypsum board. “Sometimes, it takes three to lay a sheet of gypsum twelve feet, then the six feet of distance is still hard to have. Will require innovation, ” warns Pierre Brassard, president of the CSN-Construction.


The erector-mechanic (glazier) installs, and repairs glass products for doors, windows, garage doors or storefronts. “When we installation of the windows, it is the same thing, we can be two in a pod of six, seven or eight feet wide. The social distancing becomes a little tougher, ” says the big boss of CSN-Construction. Stone Cuff.

Other (plumber, electrician, etc)

Many of the workers who are on construction sites will now have to ensure not to go there at the same time as their colleagues, which resulted in additional costs because they will sometimes be forced to wait their turn to perform their daily tasks, which was not the case prior to the pandemic.


The carpenter, who erected the frames of a wall, floor, and installation of siding, in addition to installing doors and exterior windows, will sooner or later close to other construction workers. He will have to adjust by moving certain tasks according to specific schedules to avoid contact.

Floorcovering installer

The floorcovering installer of vinyl or asphalt will, sooner or later, to completely revise his work to avoid seeing other workers in confined spaces, such as small condos or multilogements where it is sometimes impossible not to come across anyone on his way.

The rules on mandatory health

The current regulation stipulates that the building of at least 25 workers must be equipped with sanitary facilities with running water. On the site visited, there was a sink and running water for the washing of hands.

Which resumes today

  • Units new residential or rental units for which delivery is expected not later than 31 July, the date of signature of the contract/lease or the beginning of the work before the 24th of march.
  • Renovation work started before the 24th of march, with delivery scheduled no later than July 31, to make the unit functional.
  • Work of renovation including the date of signature of the contract prior to the 24th of march and that would deprive of a possession no later than 31 July.

The protocol of return-to-work

Audit of the state of health of the workers who arrive on the job site

  • Is it that I have a symptoms : cough, fever, breathing difficulties, sudden loss of the sense of smell ?
  • I just returned from a trip outside the country for less than 2 weeks ?
  • Is it that I am in contact with a person of the COVID-19 ?

Social distancing

  • The employer must do everything possible to schedule the jobs so as to respect a physical distance of 2 meters between the workers.
  • The employer must also pay particular attention to respect the social distance of 2 metres in the following situations : arrival at the site, break, meal and exit the construction site.

Hygiene measures

  • The presence of toilets
  • The presence of water for washing hands
  • Cleanliness of the dining room
  • Cleaning of tools

Source : CNESST

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