Safety standards have always been of utmost importance in the construction industry, but now, more than ever, safety protocols are increasingly crucial as COVID-19 changes how contractors are working. By employing these seven tips, contractors can keep teams secure and ensure workers feel confident on the jobsite.
Provide the proper tools for employees to practice good hygiene. Everyone on the jobsite must follow CDC guidelines for hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette. Be sure to provide hand washing stations equipped with disposable towels and touchless trash receptacles. If soap and water are unavailable, provide hand sanitizer.
Practice social distancing throughout the entire jobsite. Limit work in occupied areas to tasks that are necessary. Take breaks in shifts of 10 people or less. Elevators should be limited to five people or less, and workers should be encouraged to take the stairs, if possible.
Ask screening questions. Before allowing employees on the jobsite ask screening questions and designate a trained and qualified individual to take employee temperatures.
Do not share tools, mobile devices or office supplies. Make sure all workers have their own tools and supplies to perform work. Mobile devices should be limited to one per user. If workers need to share tools they should be disinfected prior to use.
Create a schedule to disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Clean jobsite offices and break rooms at least two times per day. Make sure leasing companies disinfect jobsite toilets at least two times per week. Any employees performing cleaning tasks need to have proper personal protective equipment (PPE) as specified by the disinfectant. Make disinfecting wipes available to all employees for cleaning in between.
Do not use a common water cooler. Because COVID-19 can live on surfaces for several days, limiting cross-contamination on common objects can decrease the likelihood of spreading the virus. Provide individual water bottles or instruct workers to bring their own water bottles.
Instruct workers to consider changing their clothes before returning home. It is estimated that COVID-19 can live on fabrics for around 24 hours. Encourage employees to change into a different set of clothes before returning home and wash jobsite clothing in hot water and soap. Footwear should be specific to the jobsite and not worn at home.
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