Parker: Calgary construction industry builds a plan to keep working through pandemic

Parker: Calgary construction industry builds a plan to keep working through pandemic

Bill Black, Pres/COO Calgary Construction Association.

David Parker  •  Calgary Herald


The office of the Calgary Construction Association is normally a busy place, with members needing to visit for day-to-day business plus attendance at CCA education seminars.

President and COO Bill Black quickly realized that due to the COVID-19 pandemic he had to manage the constant flow of people — closing the office and having his staff work from their homes.

Those members needing documentation are given a two-hour window per week, by appointment only.

But Black knew there was more to be done as his industry was moving into unknown territory and, from a safety and health perspective, was going to have to develop new protocols and best practices.

He says the construction industry is great at fixing problems and finding solutions to any challenges thrown at them, but rarely brainstorm together.

Black communicated concerns to some of the senior members of the local industry about how the industry could approach the current situation and attempt to maintain business continuity. Thanks to Zoom, he was able to hold a meeting with a number of them; no agenda, just to discuss the principal concerns of health and safety on sites and in company offices.

The decision was to create a pandemic guide for all general and trade contractors, a collective of ideas shared by members available to any size company — many of the smaller ones do not have the internal resources to react to new government regulations to keep their crews working.

According to Black, the response by leaders in the construction industry