COVID-19 And Construction: Workplace Health Safety Best Practices

We find ourselves in trying times these days – afterall, who would have thought that we would begin 2020 with a global pandemic? And given the health climate, it is important that everyone does their part, in order to help prevent the transmission of the Coronavirus, best they can.

At a personal level, people are washing hands, wearing face masks and distancing themselves socially. While professionally, many businesses have begun working from home to prevent the spread.

Most construction businesses are continuing to work forward during this time and don’t have the option to practice Safe At Home guidelines, so it is vital that those, especially in management levels, practice safe protocols in order to protect their vendors, clients and employees. Don’t stress; we are here to help.

Here are some key factors to consider if you’re still managing projects.

COVID-19 Basics

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent COVID-19, is to avoid being exposed to this virus and person-to-person contact is the most common way the virus is transmitted.

The virus can be spread through respiratory drops when a person talks, sneezes or coughs. Unfortunately, not everyone who has the virus appears sick, and it can even take 2 to 14 days after exposure to have symptoms. There is no vaccine yet, nor any medication approved to treat COVID-19, so the best way to prepare ourselves, is to look at what we know for certain – the signs. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (or any other contagious illness for that matter) should self-isolate at home in order to best prevent spreading the illness.

Keeping a Construction Work Environment Safe

OSHA recently released “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19,” to help businesses prevent the spread. Keep in mind, some local communities have separate guidelines and it is up to your business to stay on top of any regulations that are being handed down. If your business is to continue being operational, you should be proactive in mitigating the spread of Coronavirus, by at the very least, doing the following: 

  • Ensure your staff and contractors know to stay home if experiencing symptoms.
  • Ramp up your hygiene procedures. Clean surfaces with a disinfectant that combats the virus after contact – and regularly. 
  • Establish a screening protocol at every work site to make sure that infected personnel don’t enter.
  • Limit people at each work site – avoid large gatherings.
  • Make sure each person at the work site washes their hands often or uses hand sanitizer.
  • Have a daily briefing to go over protocols. Give people time to follow decontamination procedures and make sure that distancing is being followed.
  • Track who comes and goes each day in case someone is symptomatic. You will need to contact everyone who was exposed.
  • Have a plan to shut down a work site if an employee or contractor does become infected. Take steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to prevent a complete shutdown of your business.

Get Help Implementing COVID-19 Procedures For Your Workplace

Learn more about COVID-19 workplace safety when you contact Construction Safety Experts. We are a construction safety training and consulting company that can help you keep your team safe. Contact us online or call our office at (919) 463-0669 today!