What are safety measures for construction during COVID-19?
- Screen High-Risk Employees
- Implement Social Distancing
- Protective Equipment
- Educate Your Employees
- Strict Sanitation and Hygiene
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has clearly transformed the way companies and industries are performing their operations. Under more relaxed quarantine implementations, construction projects and sectors are already being allowed, but with particular limitations. To prevent placing the construction businesses and their workers at high risk for safety during this time, safety measures for construction during COVID-19 should be strictly implemented. To assist you, this article will provide you guidance for the construction industry – from the workplace to its employees.
Screen High-Risk Employees
As an employer, it is vital that every employee and worker’s health risk is assessed individually. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people of any age who have serious underlying or pre-existing medical conditions might be at higher risk to COVID-19 and more prone to serious health complications. Having a screening done to workers and employees will recognize if they need alterations to their job to reduce their health risk to not only COVID-19 but to other diseases as well. Since medical records are a part of the pre-employment hiring process, go through your worker’s and employee’s information. Or, to be updated on their latest conditions, a professional can have their health data risk reviewed. With this, you will be able to determine your worker’s sustainability and safety to continue working in the current environment.
Implement Social Distancing
Social and physical distancing is one of the biggest implementations for all workplaces right now. Applying this may mean slower-paced work for construction projects, but this will ensure ultimate safety for everyone. Practicing social distancing in construction sites can be done by carefully scheduling work between groups and individuals. Carefully evaluate your sites and spaces to determine how you can maintain physical distancing. Make sure that all individuals are at least 6 feet apart from each other. If deliveries are to be made on-site, it’s best to have a specific laydown area for deliveries. Use signages and marks to remind them where they can stand.
You may also revise your work schedules by implementing alternate days of work or dedicated shifts to workers to reduce the number of people in one location. If feasible, allow non-essential workers and employees to work from home.
Lastly, limit any unnecessary visitors and third-party individuals to enter the site.
Workers must be provided with the necessary personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks inside the workplace when working. Those may even need masks, gaiters, face shields, and goggles if they work in close quarters with others. Remember that this personal protective equipment must also be decontaminated or sanitized.
Since the virus can remain active on surfaces for hours, take action with the tools and equipment that workers are handling. Surfaces and equipment be decontaminated with bleached-based products, sanitized, and cleaned whenever possible, especially high touched areas like knobs and handles.
Educate Your Employees
Even though everyone is most likely aware of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, it wouldn’t hurt for your employees to be more well-informed. In line with implementing workplace protocols, your workers and employees should also be reminded of how to perform decent social and physical distancing (even outside the workplace). It’s also best to remind them to report to management immediately if they ever feel unwell or if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally, put up reminders and signages on steps for disinfecting and hygiene details. Place these along with the entrances, hallways, job boards, and break areas.
Strict Sanitation and Hygiene
Sanitation and hygiene should be strictly executed in the workplace. Practicing proper hand hygiene is one of the most important infection control measures today. Even if workers are wearing gloves during operations, proper hand hygiene can go a long way in killing and getting rid of bacteria and germs. To ensure that they don’t forget to sanitize their hands, have handwashing stations and hand sanitizers easily accessible on site. Make sure that bathrooms and portable toilets are cleaned regularly. It is also highly recommended to limit the sharing of tools and equipment. Make sure that you provide your workers with their own equipment. If in the case where sharing is needed, provide gloves or sanitizing products.
The construction industry is faced with a new challenge regarding the safety of workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, safety measures for construction during COVID-19 can help you and your workers navigate through the new normal and keep everyone safe.