COVID-19 - Protocols & Policies

Last updated: Friday May 1st, 2020

TMG Builders is committed to the health and safety of its employees, as well as trade contractors, suppliers, consultants, owner representatives and others when they are at our head office or on our construction sites.


In light of ongoing events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, TMG Builders has established a COVID-19 Emergency task-force who have established specific protocols and policies and response plans if required that must be followed. Please be advised that given the unique nature of our business we have established protocols and response plans for both our sites and our head office should any situation arise that we must respond to. This task-force has implemented and continues to update protocols and policies for: 1) Preventative measures and 2) Emergency response in case of employee or site contamination.

TMG Builders Management continues to monitor the situation on a daily basis, relying only on reputable official organizations for information, which organizations are the World Health Organization, Health Ontario, Toronto Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Project Site Protocols

The following protocols and policies have been implemented and must be followed on each project site:
(** Note: each site has unique circumstances and setups and as such, the implementation of each must be evaluated on a project by project basis as to how it can best be applied).

1. Access to the Site Controls

  • Any employee who has travelled anywhere outside of Canada or has come into direct contact with anyone who has travelled outside of Canada, must self-isolate and avoid contact with others for 14 days;
  • Any person visiting, or attending a site to perform work, who has travelled outside of Canada or has come into direct contact with anyone who has travelled within a 14-day period prior to them attending to the site will not be permitted on any TMG Builders project site;
  • Non-essential visitors will not be authorized on any TMG Builders project site until further notice;
  • If a TMG Builders employee or a person they have come in close contact within the last 14 days is experiencing any illness symptoms, that employee must not come to work and must adopt self-isolation measures and follow the recommendations of Health Ontario in that regard. TMG Builders Management is to be notified within 24 hours if this does occur;
  • If any trade person or other person working on a TMG Builders project site is showing or indicating any symptoms of an illness, TMG Builders as the construction manager and Constructor under the Ontario Health and Safety Act has the full authority to order them to leave the site and direct them not to work on our project at this time. If such a situation does occur they are not to be permitted back to the site until they can ensure that they are cleared and are no longer showing any symptoms of an illness;
  • If any TMG Builders employee has come in close direct contact within the last 14 days with any person who has tested positive for COVID-19, that employee must not come to work and must adopt self-isolation measures and follow the recommendations of Health Ontario in that regard. They will be allowed to return to work once they have been asymptomatic for a minimum of 14 days;
  • If any trade person or other person working on a TMG Builders project site has come in close direct contact within the last 14 days with any person who has tested positive for COVID-19 they will not be permitted on any TMG Builders project site. The worker may be eligible to return once they have been asymptomatic for a minimum of 14 days;
  • Fever detection screening systems will be used at the site entrance to identify if anyone entering a site is exhibiting a fever. The system is designed to send an alert if it detects someone with a higher than normal body temperature. These workers will be advised as such and prohibited from entering the site in line with the protocols related to the exhibiting of any illness symptoms for all personnel entering a site;
  • TMG Builders will not accept nor allow any workers on site who had been performing work or had visited another construction site that has been closed due to any COVID-19 related matters;

2. Information, Communication and Records Controls

  • COVID-19 Warning signage will be posted at all entrances to a site. This will notify all visitors and personnel who are attending to site that if they have travelled within last 14 days and/or have possibly been in contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, and/or they are experiencing any symptoms of illness, they are not to enter the site;
  • All new workers reporting to a site must fill-in and sign a "New Worker Questionnaire". This questionnaire will be used as a COVID -19 screening tool and if the worker answers yes to any of the questions on the form, they are not to be permitted on site;
  • All visitors to the site must be identified and will be documented;
  • The Ministry of Health COVID-19 awareness and fact sheet posters are to be posted at the hoist (if applicable), all project safety boards, all entrances and by all main washrooms;

3. Hygiene Controls

  • TMG Builders will continue to ensure that appropriate and sufficient washrooms and clean-up facilities are available on each site;
  • All washrooms are to be cleaned and sanitized as frequently as possible;
  • All shared common areas and surfaces are to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular and daily basis;
  • Hand sanitizing products are to be made available in as many locations as possible and best efforts are to be made to maintain supply given current market shortages. Encourage all workers to bring their own personal sanitizer in addition to this to assist;
  • All workers must wash their hands (or use hand sanitizer where soap and water is not available) regularly and always after using the washroom, coughing or sneezing and before eating, drinking, or handling food (see further details under "Personal Hygiene Protocols" below);

4. Social Distancing and Prevention Controls

  • Social distancing protocols as recommended by the government are to be implemented and followed. No workers are to be working within 6 feet of each other at any time, unless a specific safety need or trade task or activity is required that overrules this distancing protocol.
  • All site offices are to be closed for all non TMG Builders staff access with the exception of those necessary for our first aid and safety requirements. Social distancing rules to be maintained inside of the office as outlined below;
  • Only 10 workers or less are to be performing work in any given area and they must be able to maintain at a minimum a distance of 6 feet apart at all times. If this distance cannot be maintained between workers in any given space then the total number of workers in this space must be reduced to meet the 6 feet distance requirement;
  • Non-essential meetings are not to be scheduled and held. If a meeting must be held, all social distancing protocols are to be implemented and more preferably, alternative means (conference calls, virtual meetings etc.) are to be utilized where and whenever possible to avoid gatherings;
  • The number of workers entering and utilizing an elevator or hoist must be restricted to only the amount of people that can enter and maintain proper social distancing measures.
  • Where possible, staggered start and finish times are to be implemented for each trade to limit the number of workers entering and exiting the site together at any one time; and
  • No Saturday or after-hours work is to occur unless approved by the TMG Builders Senior Vice President of Construction

5. Use of Masks and PPE

  • Where a trade task or activity cannot be performed while maintaining 6 feet of separation for either a safety reason or because of a trade's inability to perform a required task properly, then the workers may work in closer proximity only if the following is adhered to:
    • Each worker who must perform a task with less than 6 feet of separation from another worker must wear a mask during this operation.
    • The trade who is requesting to perform a task with less than 6 feet of separation between workers must provide a safe working procedure ("SWP") to the Superintendent indicating how the task is to be performed and how the use of the mask will be implemented;
    • TMG Builders will not be responsible for, nor will it provide any masks to any trade workers. If a mask is required trades must provide their own.
    • The use of any non-certified mask is done at the workers' own risk, and not all masks may be effective in preventing the spread of, or protecting the worker from the risks associated with, COVID-19;
    • Any mask that is used should be worn in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Note that this includes the worker ensuring the mask is in good condition and that a proper seal can be achieved wearing the mask. If a mask becomes damaged, soiled or breathing becomes difficult, it must be replaced. Workers must also have their own individual masks, and masks are not to be shared;
    • If a trade supplies re-usable respirators to its employees, it is the responsibility of the trade to ensure that:
      • their workers understand and adopt the proper use, care, and cleaning procedures for these respirators;
      • their workers have all received training on cleaning and disinfection procedures;
      • their workers may express questions and concerns about the use of their respirator; and
      • ensure cleaning and disinfection supplies are adequate and available to their workers.
    • Each worker must understand that non-medical masks have limitations and need to be used safely. Based on the Government of Canada guidelines, TMG Builders recommends that if a worker chooses to use a non-medical face mask:
      • They should wash their hands immediately before putting it on and immediately after taking it off (in addition to practising good hand hygiene while wearing it);
      • The mask should fit well (non-gaping);
      • The mask should not be shared with others;
      • Masks can become contaminated on the outside, or when touched. Thus, workers should avoid touching their face mask while using it;
    • Workers must dispose of masks properly in site garbage bins. Workers must not leave discarded masks in any other area on the project site;
    • The ability to wear this mask and not adhere to a minimum of 6 feet of separation is only permitted during the time(s) it takes to perform the specific task that requires less than 6 feet of social distancing protocols as outlined in the provided "SWP". Immediately upon completion of the task, and at all other times, the worker(s) attending to the project site must adhere to and follow the social distancing protocols as recommended by the government and maintain at minimum at least 6 feet of separation. This policy applies whether the worker continues to use and wear the mask for purposes not related to the specific task it was required for or not;
    • For clarity, the use of a mask to eliminate the necessity to maintain 6 feet of separation is only permitted for approved trade tasks where a "SWP" has been provided. Upon completion of the specific task, 6 feet of separation between all workers must adhered to, regardless of whether an approved mask is being used or not.

6. Tool Sharing

  • It is essential that all workers who share hand tools diligently practice proper hand washing and hygiene protocols;
  • All hand tools that are shared between workers (among TMG Builders employees or among trade workers) must be cleaned and sanitized before and after each individual use;
  • All unshared tools should be cleansed daily;
  • Trades and TMG Builders, as applicable, to provide a label with cleansing instructions at the toolboxes where hand tools are stored, and have cleansing supplies available for that toolbox; and
  • The use of gloves is recommended, where possible, when handling shared hand tools (but it does not dispense with the cleaning protocols above).

Head Office Protocols

The following protocols and policies have been implemented and must be followed at our head office:

  • Staff have been equipped with the ability to work remotely and only approved staff members on designated shift work schedules are to attend to head office until further notice.
  • Any employee who has travelled or has had direct exposure to any person who has travelled anywhere outside of Canada, must self-isolate and avoid contact with others for 14 days;
  • If a TMG Builders employee or a person they have come in close contact within the last 14 days is experiencing any illness symptoms, that employee must not come to work and must adopt self-isolation measures and follow the recommendations of Health Ontario in that regard. TMG Builders Management is to be notified within 24 hours if this does occur. Management must also be notified if an employee who is working remotely is experiencing any symptoms of an illness.
  • If any TMG Builders employee has come in close direct contact within the last 14 days with any person who has tested positive for COVID-19 that employee must not come to work and must adopt self-isolation measures and follow the recommendations of Health Ontario in that regard. They will be allowed to return to work once they have been asymptomatic for a minimum of 14 days;
  • Non-essential visitors will not be authorized to enter the office until further notice;
  • All essential visitors to the office must be identified and will be documented;
  • COVID-19 Warning signage will be posted at all building entrance-doors and at the 2nd floor office entrance door. This will notify all visitors and personnel who are attending to the office that if they have travelled within last 14 days and/or have possibly been in contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, and/or they are experiencing any symptoms of illness, they are not to enter the site;
  • The Ministry of Health COVID-19 awareness and fact sheet posters are to be posted at the office safety boards, all entrances and in visible areas throughout the office
  • All hand sanitizing dispensers throughout office to be fully supplied and operational as best as possible and additional hand sanitizing and disinfectant wipe products are to be made available in as many locations as possible and best efforts are to be made to maintain supply given current market shortages. Encourage all workers to bring their own personal sanitizer in addition to this to assist;
  • Protective face masks, disposable latex gloves and Lysol disinfectant wipes have been made available for use for any person who must attend to head office. These items are located at the front desk and will be restocked as necessary. Any items that are used are to be removed from the office or properly disposed of in garbage bins by the person who used them.
  • Fever detection screening systems will be used at head office to identify if anyone entering the office is exhibiting a fever. The system is designed to send an alert if it detects someone with a higher than normal body temperature. Every attendee to head office must have their fever screened. If anyone has a higher than normal body temperature they will be advised as such and must immediately leave the office in line with the protocols for any TMG Builders staff member exhibiting any illness symptoms;
  • Social distancing protocols as recommended by the government are to be implemented and followed. No employees are to be working within 6 feet of each other at any time, unless a specific safety need is required that overrules this situation;
  • Only 10 employees or less are to be performing work in any given area and they must be able to maintain at a minimum a distance of 6 feet apart at all times. If this distance cannot be maintained between workers in any given space then the total number of workers in this space must be reduced to meet the 6 feet distance requirement;
  • Non-essential meetings are not to be scheduled and held. If a meeting must be held, all social distancing protocols are to be implemented and more preferably, alternative means (conference calls, virtual meetings etc.) are to be utilized where and whenever possible to avoid gatherings;
  • Employee office access fobs will have an automatic door opener feature turned on for use at the back-exterior door to enable employees to enter the office without having to make contact (physically touch) the door handle;
  • All Internal office doors (back stairs doors, washroom hall access doors, supply closet) will be propped open and remain open throughout all normal business hours to enable employees to move freely without having to make contact and physically touch these common area surfaces;
  • A designated delivery table with instruction signage has been established in the outer lobby for all deliveries and mail that is being delivered to, or picked up from, the office. The office front door will remain closed so that all delivery people utilize this system and do not enter the office space;
  • The entire office including all washrooms are to be cleaned on a daily basis by professional cleaning crews. Employees are asked to maintain clean working areas and to clear their desk at the end of each day so that the cleaners can thoroughly wipe and clean their desk areas. Employees are also asked to support these cleaning efforts by using either personal or company supplied disinfectant wipes to frequently clean any areas that they have been working in.

Protocols Applicable to Sites and Head Office

1. Personal Hygiene

All TMG Builders Staff is also to employ and practice the following personal hygiene protocols:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and wash your hands afterwards. If either occurs due to illness symptoms then you are to follow other protocols in place for any personnel exhibiting any symptoms of an illness;
  • Avoid commonly touched areas or ensure you clean your hands afterwards;
  • Open doors and touch elevator buttons with gloves, the back of your hand, or other body part or activate the wheelchair accessibility button with the back of your hand, elbow or knee if possible;
  • Avoid common greetings that involve any contact such as handshakes;
  • Maintain proper social distancing protocols;
  • When working at head office or a site office, regularly clean and sanitize your work space and surfaces such as devices, screens, keyboards, desk, chair arm rests and telephones and;
  • Wash your clothes as soon as you get home.

2. Handling Correspondence and Paperwork

  • Use technology for communication rather than having in-person conversations or exchanging documents as much as possible;
  • Use scanning and electronic signature to send and receive paperwork as much as possible;
  • Do not share pens, styluses or electronic devices but if required to share, use disinfectant wipes to clean pens and styluses.

3. Communication

Communication between the TMG Builders Management, the TMG Builders Task Force, and all TMG Builders employees as well as trade contractors, suppliers, consultants, owner representatives and others must be coordinated and consistent. The TMG Builders Task force and all staff are expected to ensure TMG Builders health and safety policies including these COVID-19 policies are updated, communicated and posted to all personnel involved on a project as mandated and/ or required. Any updates or revisions to these protocols are to be communicated via phone or email to all employees and trade representatives.

In the event of any COVID -19 related matter occurring on a TMG Builders project, TMG Builders management will advise all trade contractors, suppliers, consultants, owner representatives and others associated with this project of the event in question. Such communication will include the advisement of any possible indirect exposures and/ or any direct exposures if they become known. Indirect exposure is considered any situation where a person who has attended to a TMG Builders project site or head office has reported that they have had direct exposure to another person outside of the TMG Builders project site or head office workplace who has tested positive for COVID-19 (for example an employee's spouse or immediate family member). If there is a direct exposure situation, whereby a person who has attended to a TMG Builders site or head office has reported a positive test for COVID-19 this will be immediately communicated in accordance with the "Responsive Actions in the Event of Site Contamination" section of this policy.

4. Employees / Trade-Persons Rights

No TMG Builders employee will be penalized for absenteeism related to controlling the spread of COVID-19. On a case by case basis, we will ascertain eligibility for paid and unpaid leaves of absence in line with our corporate policies and the Employment Standard Act. Please note that if you contract COVID-19 and you are ordered to self-isolate for an extended period of time, you may be eligible to receive EI and/or WSIB financial support, depending on the circumstances.

Each employee, trade or tradesperson has the right to refuse work in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, if they believe that their work conditions are unsafe. If any person exercises their right to refuse work, this must be reported to TMG Builders Management and an investigation will be carried out in accordance with the TMG Builders Health and Safety Policies. No worker will be expected to work during this investigation. A trade or trades person may refuse to perform work due to COVID-19 related matters of their own accord and such intentions must be communicated to TMG Builders Management as well as adhered to and respected by TMG Builders personnel.

Workplace harassment, including disparaging comments about a person's ethnic origin, whether or not arising as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, will not be tolerated and the terms of our Workplace Harassment Policy will be firmly enforced.

5. Responsive Actions by TMG Builders in the Event of Site or Office Contamination

  • Notification of the situation to be provided via phone call and email to all employees, trade representatives and project owners as soon as possible and post this information for all workers to see;
  • In case the affected individual is a trade employee, reach out to the employer to confirm measures being taken and adoption of TMG Builders health and safety protocols for the site;
  • Remove employee from the workplace and conduct a risk assessment for workers or office employees who have worked closely with the potentially affected individual, to the extent possible:
    • Duration of potential contamination;
    • Identify employees in direct contact during period of contamination;
    • Employee's whereabouts at workplace during period of contamination;
    • Any tools or equipment recently used by the potentially affected individual;
  • Request that employees who had direct contact with the affected employee or trade employee to work remotely (to the extent possible) and self-isolate until asymptomatic (minimum 14 days);
  • Ensure safe and secure office/site evacuation and shutdown, if required;
  • Arrange for disinfection of the impacted workplace;
  • Communicate to authorities, as required; and
  • Take all reasonable measures to monitor return to work after confirmed full recovery only, where applicable.

If a member of TMG Builders site or head office personnel finds or believes that any of the above policies and protocols have been breached, are not being followed or applied they should immediately notify Management.

For more information, please contact us.