As America starts to reopen and people begin to return to work, business owners and workers will return to a different environment. Though it appears that the number of COVID-19 related illness and deaths are flattening, now is not the time to stop being vigilant.
In fact, businesses across the country will now need to adhere to an increased level of safety measures, social distancing, and personal hygiene protocols. Many states and counties have outlined an overwhelming list of items that need to be met to help minimize the risk and keep the level of infections down.
Construction sites are no different.
United Alliance is committed to protecting the health and safety of America’s workers and workplaces during these unprecedented times. To that end, we are providing up to date information from multiple sources to give you the information you need to ensure a safer workplace.
Here are six ways that COVID-19 has altered the construction job sites:
- Jobsites will be cleaner and safer
As jobsites begin to reopen, workers will be subject to temperature checks when entering the jobsite. Social distancing will need to be adhered to and large group gatherings will need to be minimized.
Steps will be taken to sanitize common areas and direct work places. This includes all on-site bathrooms facilities, any break facilities, and any other common areas on the job site that may have been in close contact with the infected worker. Handwashing stations will be added so workers can adhere to the worksite guideline.
2. Heightened enforcement and oversight of safety
A site-specific COVID-19 Officer will need to be designated for every site. Large projects will need to develop and submit to city or town officials, a site-specific risk analysis and enhanced COVID-19 safety plan.
In some states, cities and towns will be able to enforce safety and distance protocols. Failure to comply may result in a pause of construction activities until a corrective action plan is prepared, submitted and approved by the city or town.
3. Worker health will be monitored
Along with temperature checks, workers may need to self-certify to their supervisor that they have no signs of a fever, a cough or trouble breathing within the past 24 hours and have not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.
4. Infection protocols will be enforced
Many states have guidelines and protocols Any worker showing even mild symptoms of respiratory infection (cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) or fever should stay off the jobsite. Construction owners should enforce this rule. Employees exhibiting symptoms or unable to self-certify should be directed to leave the work site and seek medical attention
and applicable testing by their health care provider. They are not to return to the worksite until cleared by a medical professional
5. Projects will take longer
As noted in a recent article from Construction Drive, many of the major safety changes on construction sites will add to the time it takes to complete projects. While crucial to keeping workers healthy, techniques such suiting up with PPE, only allowing one trade on a site at a time and staggering work shifts will slow down progress.
6. Some workers may continue teleworking
While skilled construction workers were limited by the impact of COVID-19, back-office management was able to utilize technology tools such as web conferencing for meetings, emails and text messages, to keep many projects afloat.
In these challenging times, the risk of exposure on your job site is more prevalent than ever.
We offer two Safety Service Options:
COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.
COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.
If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.