The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. Whether your construction company was able to continue with its ongoing projects while most other industries in the state were shut down or you're facing a return to the new normal, it's important to set up each construction site the right way.
Of course, safety for workers has always been an important element of every construction site. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, added another, unique layer of necessary protection.
Setting Up a Safe Construction Site
A construction site provides a unique setting when it comes to providing protection from coronavirus for workers. Depending on the project and the type of construction company involved, there could be only minimal contact between employees or there could be a great deal.
Use the following suggestions as a guide for developing a safe place for them to work:
Provide Hand Sanitizing Stations
Hand sanitizing stations are a good idea for any construction site at any time. Providing them enables workers to clean their hands before eating and after using the restroom. This could potentially reduce the number of times they get sick.
In the age of COVID-19, though, hand sanitizing stations are a must. The key is to locate them where they are most convenient. It's also necessary to keep them clean and well-stocked.
A good place to locate hand sanitizing stations is at the entry and exit points of the construction site. Some ideas for additional locations include near the restroom facilities and close to any areas that have been set aside for eating and taking breaks if this is applicable to your particular construction site.
Require Face Masks
Whether the government of the state where the construction site is located has mandated the wearing of face masks in public or not, they should be required while workers on are the job. In order to ensure conformity and appropriateness, consider purchasing masks for all employees. Be sure to keep spares on hand to replace those that are forgotten, worn, wet, or contaminated.
Providing gloves -- especially for high-touch areas -- helps reduce the exposure for workers as well as the likelihood of transmission if someone is asymptomatic. Emphasize the disposable nature of gloves if this type is sufficient for the work. Otherwise, require that gloves be washed frequently.
Require Foot Covers
One of the most challenging parts of managing the spread of COVID-19 is minimizing the possibilities of transferring the virus from the worksite into the greater community or the worker's home. There is also the risk of workers bringing the virus to the job site as well. Disposable foot covers provide a layer of protection that helps keep contamination to a minimum.
Having stations where workers can get outfitted with their gloves, foot covers and face masks before entering or exiting the construction site builds this part of the routine into their regular workday. Locating these supplies beside or near the hand sanitizing stations encourages them to clean their hands during this time of transition.
Be sure to limit the number of workers who have access to these supplies at any one time. Staggering their start and end times to allow for social distancing is one recommendation for doing so.