Today, our world looks very different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses are closed, and we’re doing our best to stay isolated at home. But the construction industry is generally considered essential, so many projects have continued during this outbreak. And construction workers don’t have the luxury of working from home. So, we have some advice for reducing coronavirus risk at the construction site.
Precautions to Help Prevent COVID-19 Infections at Construction Sites
- Never assume that anyone (yourself included) doesn’t have the virus because they seem OK; remember, people can be infected and infectious for weeks without having any symptoms.
- Management should stagger scheduling with an eye toward limiting the number of people working closely together as much as possible.
- Wear a mask at all times; this helps reduce the risk of contracting the virus, and of spreading it to others.
- Keep as much distance between you and other people as you can (a minimum of 6 feet), as much of the time as you can.
- Avoid congregating in break areas, trailers, discussion groups, etc. as much as you can.
- Minimize meetings, their duration, the number of attendees, and practice social distancing.
- Don’t use other people’s phones, tools, or other equipment if you don’t have to.
- When possible, disinfect tools, materials, machine controls, and other surfaces before use.
- Refrain from touching your face.
- Wash your hands frequently throughout the day. Carry hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol for use when you can’t wash your hands and after handling items recently handled by other people.
- Take appropriate steps to increase ventilation and air filtration at the job site, including in trailers and other structures.
- Stay home if you feel unwell; for management, stress the importance of workers staying home if they’re sick.
- Make sure frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, handles, phones, desks, sink faucets, etc. are disinfected regularly throughout the day.
- Cover sneezes and coughs to help reduce the risk of spreading the infection to others at the site.
- Be sensitive to workers’ needs for sick leave or to care for an ill family member; remember, they may have difficulty getting in to see a doctor right now, so it’s best not to require a doctor’s note for the time being.