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Set aside 56-minutes of your day for COVID-19 prevention

May 14, 2020  By Anthony Capkun

May 14, 2020 – “ECA did a survey of its own members of the time involved to undertake many of the prevention activities required to prevent the spread of COVID 19,” said Bob O’Donnell, and, “The results of our survey was 56 minutes per day for these activities, which is just over 12% direct impact on productivity.”

By “prevention activities”, he is referring to additional measures such as jobsite screening, physical distancing, regular handwashing, sanitizing tools, equipment and PPE… all of which “are important activities that and must be done to ensure the safety of workers,” but also “factored into the cost of the work”.

O’Donnell is the executive VP of the Greater Toronto Electrical Contractors Association, and he was commenting on Electri International’s recently published research, which determined that the electrical contracting industry’s response to coronavirus had a 12% impact on productivity, and that profitability was subsequently affected by up to 100%.

“The detailed findings of the Electri study confirms the views of many electrical contractors in the [Greater Toronto Area],” O’Donnell said. “The Electri study was a much deeper dive, as it tracked actual hours worked, but the results are similar to the survey done in the GTA.”


“Contractors and their clients must be aware of the productivity impacts of these measures, and that cutting corners is not an option,” O’Donnell warns.

O’Donnell suggests tapping the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA) for its guidelines and procedures for the construction industry to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, so that “projects can keep operating and keep skilled tradespeople working in a safe environment”.

The GTECA represents about 400 electrical contractors in the Greater Toronto Area who work in all sectors of the construction and maintenance industry. It is also a member of Electri International.

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