The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of construction sites in Utah to either minimize operations or pause completely. However, Wasatch County has allowed essential businesses and infrastructure, which include construction, to resume work. As always, the county health department recommends that you and your workers practice proper social distancing procedures. Before you start bringing workers in, here are some safety guidelines you should consider.
Create Staggered Shifts
An effective way to keep workers physically separated from each other is to stagger their shifts. This way, you’ll have a limited number of workers on-site every day. It will slow down your usual operations, so make sure to set expectations with your client. Tell them that you’re doing this to keep your workers safe.
Divide Your Indoor Work Sites
If your construction involves fitting out an office or remodeling residential property, you’ll likely have workers cramped in an indoor space. Make sure that they’re at least six feet apart from each other while working. If this isn’t possible, lessen the number of workers in the building. But if you don’t want to sacrifice productivity, try putting up plastic sheeting in between employees, especially for those who are in close contact.
Keep Your Meetings to a Minimum
Apart from those who will work directly on-site, you may also need your administrative team to meet up and discuss matters like budget, inventory, payroll, and more. If possible, hold these meetings via video conferencing applications like Zoom or Skype. If you need to meet for an emergency, make sure to wear masks. A surgical mask can block virus-carrying droplets from reaching your mouth and nose.
Create Policies for Purchases and Deliveries
You want to keep physical interaction to a minimum, so you want to skip on ordering directly from a brick-and-mortar location. If possible, buy steel and other components from a supplier that provides online ordering and payment. You should also assign a delivery spot where there’s zero foot traffic from your workers. This way, they’ll have zero interaction with the supplier’s delivery staff and prevent possible contamination between them.
Learn How to Handle Symptoms and Positive Results
If any of your employees start showing symptoms, have them take a three-day break to get tested. Most medical insurance companies may not cover COVID-19 testing, so you may need to provide compensation for your workers’ tests.
If an employee tests, positive, have them leave the site immediately, if possible. Suspend work for the day and follow the Centers for Disease Prevention’s contact tracing workflow to start identifying people who the positive worker interacted with and quarantine them. Sterilize all work areas. Again, set expectations with your clients and subcontractors to ensure they know that a crucial situation is delaying their project.
The recent pandemic calls for proper social distancing methods to prevent the virus from spreading further. These suggestions allow your employees to keep a safe space from each other as well as provide guidelines if there’s a possible positive case. While you may face delays with staggered schedules and other social distancing methods, they’re worth it if it means keeping your workers healthy.
Meta title: Construction Site Safety: Achieving It During the Pandemic
Meta description: Some places recently allowed essential businesses to resume their operations. Here are safety precautions to remember before letting workers back on site.