In some workplaces, it's more difficult to follow physical-distancing rules
HALIFAX -- People who work in the construction and fishing industries are facing some special challenges.
Their jobs and workplaces make it difficult, if not impossible to practice physical distancing. The impact of COVID-19 on the industries is being evaluated daily, says Geoff Irvine, the executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada.
"We don't know what we don't know," Irvine said. "This is all new ground."
Irvine says strict guidelines are being deployed to keep workers as safe as possible.
"It's all around sanitation, it's around distancing, it's around reporting if you're sick," he said.
Irvine says most who work in the lobster industry supply chain are worried about the impact COVID-19 will have on the lobster marketplace.
Workers also have concerns about workplace and public safety and bringing COVID-19 into their homes.
"They're concerned about their own safety on their boats -- working with their crew," Irvine said.
The construction industry is also adapting to new realities and guidelines.
Construction Safety Nova Scotia executive director M.J. MacDonald says questions that are being asked daily are: does the job need to be done and are there other ways of doing it?
The practice of applying basic hazard assessment tools is more important than ever before.
"I think the narrative is figuring out how we can do certain tasks safely, while maintaining that six feet of distance," MacDonald said.
In New Brunswick Worksafe NB has posted guidelines on its website for trades and construction workers to follow.
- consider other ways the work can be done with flexible hours and staggering start times.
- leaders should be regularly communicating with staff the importance of protecting themselves and others from COVID-19.
MacDonald says construction work has been ongoing and progress is being made on major projects, but it's not business as usual.
"There has been some slowing down as people understand what they need to do to retool," MacDonald said.