An Occupational Safety Handbook: Construction Safety amid COVID-19

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During normal times, safety should be the priority if you’re running a construction site. The area is ripe for many accidents to happen. If you’re not careful, should an accident occur, the site will be closed down, and you’ll need to adjust your work calendar to fit the work stoppage.

In the pandemic, safety in construction work got a slightly different tone. The COVID-19 virus made things a little too complicated for everyone concerned. Whether it’s something as simple as installing partitions for bathrooms or constructing a building from the bottom-up, there are different procedures to be followed on top of the strict standard safety measures that are already in place.

This list aims to help construction workers and companies alike who are still confused by the many construction dos and don’ts today. Take a look and see if it’s something that’s a fit in your construction site or could be a variation of an already existing practice you’re doing.

Indoor Construction Sites Should Embrace Separation

There are lots of construction sites where people need to work indoors. In this case, employees should be educated about how to keep safe during the pandemic. In this environment, people should keep themselves away from each other.

There are work environments where employees are kept well away from each other. If possible, the company should consider plastic barriers and similar divisions so that workers wouldn’t be close to each other.

The transmission of COVID-19 requires very little distance between the workers. If someone is suspected of having a deadly virus, the office should take the necessary protective precautions to prevent the virus from spreading to the whole workforce.

Keeping Employees Educated

The administration should use its power to keep its workforce safe. Apart from keeping the risk of exposure minimized, they should also update policies to reflect the importance of safety during the pandemic.

If you’re having trouble searching for what protocols to follow, they are already available on the Web. There are also the rules that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had compiled. It’s a matter of letting your employees know what these are.

Training should be done so that they can understand what to do in case one of them gets infected. This should be standard practice if you’re hiring new people so that they know all the rules of the position they’re applying for.

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Task Assessments that Are COVID-19 Optimized

It cannot be stressed how new hires and current employees should be properly briefed about COVID-19. Consider the scenario of having a hazardous situation like a breakout at the worksite. It’s important to know how to move forward from that situation—if a single employee could complete a job that’s worth a team of three or more people, or if the job site should be shut down.

If that’s not possible, you should also know how to work around having the site continue to operate despite the risk of infection. Securing PPE (personal protective equipment) and other gear should be part of this.

Work Schedule Assessments

If there are conflicts to work schedules, then there should be solutions provided for it. Implementing different shifts and fixing schedules so that there is personnel available all the time should be one of the priorities of working during the pandemic. This should cover for any untoward incidents of employees taking extended time off if they’re infected.

This should also help the remaining workforce get more time to rest, making their immune system the best it can be. Breaks should also be staggered to minimize interaction between employees. If there are non-essential personnel, they should be given a chance to complete their work hours from home.

Regular Work Meetings

If possible, meetings should be conducted online and treated as a part of non-essential chores that can be done from home. If there are meetings that require people to be on-site, you should strictly implement the CDC rules. You should still aim to minimize the interaction between people.

The gatherings should be lessened to about ten people or even lesser. If you could do this, then you’d find it easier to implement the six feet apart rule during the pandemic. Having fewer people means you’ll have an easier time preventing your workforce from getting the deadly virus.

During the pandemic, everyone should do their part in making sure that the virus is contained or kept out of the worksite. Construction sites—just like every worksite—should adjust to the precautions set forth by the government. It’s for everyone’s safety.

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