COVID-19 and the Construction Safety

Health and Safety Practices at Construction Sites during COVID-19

5 Ways to Keep Your Site Crew Healthy and Safe Amidst the Pandemic

With its grip growing bigger across Asia and Europe, COVID-19 has now started showing some serious impact on the United States. Causing damage to the health and economy, the situation has turned to be a world pandemic.

Amidst all, the construction industry is facing severe consequences with the outbreak of the pandemic throughout the entire United States. From restrictions on activities to material supply shortage and worker’s health, things have become more complicated. Thanks to tools like Microsoft construction management software that helps to manage the data efficiently. Though authorities have permitted orders to continue the projects which come under the category of essential construction, the need for crew safety has become the most important concern.

In this concern, the federal agencies for health concerns like OSHA and CDC have released their guidelines to limit the contagion and ensure maximum work safety. But still, the need to understand the guidelines for the right implementation and ensuring effective health conditions for all.

Though following the rules like six-foot distance to practice social distancing and resisting any touch to the face could help, there are certain practices beyond these rules that can help to gain safety at the construction site.

Screening Past Medical Records for Employees

Medical Records for Employees

Since people who have any chronic health conditions like diabetes, cancer, cardiac problems, or even mental conditions like anxiety or depression are more prone to the risk of contagion, it is essential to filter the high-risk employees to attain employee health safety.

Moreover, keeping the safety of the employees is not just essential at moral grounds but for ensuring financial safety as well. Though, taking advantage of construction accounting software and ERPs based on modules like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can help in finances but health safety at the site is necessarily a bigger thing to check. Thus, health assessments could be promoted amongst the employees at all levels to detect any chances of risks.

These health assessments could be run under NHS, through a private practitioner or physician, or even under the employment provisions as medical check-ups from professional medical staff could help get a better grip on essential steps to prevention. However, employees must be reassured on the confidentiality of the results that may come out of the screening.

The Safety Gear

The safety gear of the employees

The next most important step which you need to take is to follow the CDC guidelines on wearing a mask. This will not only help to prevent the exchange of respiratory droplets between employees but reduces the chances to get the virus from one another.

It is very important to understand the possible chances of asymptomatic transfer of the disease and wearing masks and gloves is the only way that can help avoid the contagion.

Therefore, all the employees should be informed about the need for masks and gloves as well as an advisory must be issued to avoid any touch to the mouth or nose even with gloves on. Also, the hands, work gloves, and all the other equipment used in routine at the construction site must be properly washed or sanitized.

Make Provision for Temperature Logs

After the authorization of EEOC on taking employee temperature by the employers, make sure you implement the same at your construction site as a daily practice.

It is essential that employers should intervene and enforce the temperature check of employees at the start of the day and before the day ends. Besides, all the employees must be informed of the structure and the need for temperature checks to confirm the proper implementation.

Moreover, the areas which are considered to be the high-risk zones should consider recording the temperature three times a day. As a matter of safety, employers should avoid the use of oral temperature readings and should have infrared digital thermometers as they allow a check from a distance to the body.

Aggressive Social Distancing Rules

Every time a person sneezes coughs, or even talks, tiny droplets which are almost invisible come out of the mouth. This means, if you are close to an infected person, chances are high that you may inhale the droplets. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain six feet distance for safety.

Even if all the workers and employees at the construction site are wearing masks and gloves, maintaining a safe distance can help cut the risk more. Therefore, all the workers should be delegated to mark six feet distance at work areas by using tapes or cones. Moreover, common areas like restrooms should be used by one at a time while the use of water coolers should be completely prohibited.

Frequent sanitization and cleaning

The spread of contagion not only spreads through respiratory droplets but can also spread when a person comes into contact with the surface that has the impression of the virus. This is because droplets containing virus could stay active for hours or days even on the open surface.

Therefore, construction companies should consider the use of mechanical equipment like thermal fogger or mist sprayer that can help disinfect the air and every surface at the site. Using alcohol, bleach, and soap solutions could help clean the surface and reduce the risk of infection.

The process of disinfecting the surfaces does not need any strict medical procedures. The sites which are not able to avail of mechanical equipment could use spray bottles containing a mixture of soap and water to clean. Moreover, the help of the expert biohazard remediation company could be considered on a bi-monthly or weekly basis to ensure hygiene.

Conclusion

Usually, construction sites do not have any special guidelines apart from the safety essentials that are required to avoid hazards. But still, these may vary according to the nature of work on the site which may include engineering and administration both at the same time, depending on the employer’s idea of risk assessment. Also, the employers must understand the need for billing software for a construction company to ensure that workers must be provided essential wages.

Concerning COVID-19, one of the biggest risks which could fear the construction companies in the spread of contagion through respiratory droplets while talking, coughing, or sneezing. With an extreme chance of person-to-person spread at sites, the spread is more common between people who have close contact with each other.

Therefore, construction firms must understand responsibility towards their employees and follow all the shared guidelines to ensure wellness and safety for all while maintaining the business continuity through construction budget management software.

At ProjectPro, we aim to maintain a sense of safety and good health for all. We encourage all the construction firms to enforce all these guidelines strictly to maintain work safety at the sites.  

Take Care! Stay Safe!

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