AWMAC board approves best practices for GIS inspections during COVID-19 crisis
According to AWMAC, the recommendations are intended to help inspectors, AWMAC members, general contractors and owners stay safe while continuing to work towards project completion.

EDMONTON --  The  Board of Directors of the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) approved best practices for Guarantee and Inspection Service (GIS) inspections during the COVID-19 crisis.   According to AWMAC, "the recommendations are intended to help inspectors, AWMAC members, general contractors and owners stay safe while continuing to work towards project completion.  At no time will an inspection take precedent over the health and safety of any person. The Inspector has the right to refuse an inspection based on health and safety concerns. All inspections must comply with local municipal and provincial regulations. Download the recommendations for best practices.  The recommendations are as follows:

AWMAC's COVID-19 Best Practices for Guarantee and Inspection Service (GIS) 

All physical site and mock-up inspections should be delayed if possible.  If a site or mock-up inspection cannot be delayed, it should be prioritized based on urgency and may continue at the discretion of each Chapter subject to local municipal and provincial regulations.
Any site inspection for facilities where the risk of COVID-19 may be prevalent (high density, multi-family, care homes, etc.) or where COVID-19 has been identified, should be deferred until there are no health-related concerns.
  • The inspection will be limited to one (1) additional person besides the Inspector.
  • The inspector will call before attending the site to ensure no one is ill, traveled recently or is self-isolated. If the response is yes, the inspection shall be deferred until there is no health-related concerns.
  • The inspector will become familiar with the site specific regulations put in place by the General Contractor.
  • Utilize physical barriers (doors, windows) for conversations when appropriate.
  • Take only the necessary equipment into the structure to complete the inspection.
  • Follow the site specific PPE including gloves, mask (equivalent to an N95) and safety glasses at all times while on site
  • Dispose or disinfect PPE after each use.
  • Maintain a distance of two (2) metres between individuals at all times.
  • Practice proper cough and sneezing etiquette (into the bend of your elbow).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Wipe down tools / equipment before and after the inspection using a chemical cleaner.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.Avoid touching any materials or surfaces on site when possible.
Virtual inspections may be used for mock-up inspections while under the threat of COVID-19.
If a physical site inspection cannot be performed safely and the inspection absolutely cannot be delayed, the AWMAC member may request (through the local Chapter) a special consideration from the GIS Committee to perform the final site inspection virtually.
  • The virtual inspection may only be conducted under permission from the GIS Committee (through the local Chapter).
  • The virtual inspection must be conducted thoroughly, all proper documentation completed and photographs taken for the record.
  • Conduct the inspection using video conference software or smartphone apps as selected by the individuals involved with the inspection.
  • The camera will be operated live by an individual familiar with the project and site.
  • No pre-recorded videos are allowed.
  • The camera operator will be explicitly directed by the Inspector.
  • The camera operator should be able to answer questions regarding the millwork, confirm measurements, sizes, tolerances etc.
  • Proper temperature and humidity readings must be taken.
  • A guarantee may still be issued under the special circumstances of a virtual inspection.  At the Chapter’s discretion, the guarantee may be subject to confirmation by physical site inspection once there are no health and safety concerns.
This report was based upon a virtual inspection and only the items listed (if any) were visibly noted as non-compliant.  This virtual inspection is intended, in good faith, to assist the project as a whole in moving forward during the present extraordinary circumstances.  This virtual inspection in no way absolves the Manufacturer from any liabilities should future or final physical inspections identify any standards compliance issues not previously noted.
If you have any questions, please contact your local Chapter.

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Harry Urban

Harry Urban is the retired publisher of the Woodworking Network. Urban spent more than 30 years working in business-to-business publishing, trade shows, and conferences. He has travelled extensively throughout North America and overseas visiting and reporting on major manufacturing facilities and trade shows. In retirement, he's still following the woodworking industry, but he plans to do a lot more fishing.