Keeping Construction – Demolition Workers Safe Through COVID-19
Many jobsites are starting to look different than they did before COVID-19. New safety processes are moving in place to ensure worker safety and help minimize the spread of the virus. Every construction project is different and unique, and what is feasible and appropriate for any one project will depend on its unique characteristics. That said, the prevention tips that construction contractors may want to implement.
Construction advocacy groups and construction businesses have recently issued new workplace guidelines around reducing the chances for exposure, and how to act in the event of an infection.
Association of General Contractors Organizes National Safety Stand-Down
The Association of General Contractors (AGC) has been one of the organizations advocating for construction work to be considered essential and allowed to continue despite the shutdown. Part of their efforts involves educating construction companies on best safety practices. It has also organized highly publicized demonstrations of how seriously firms are taking the recommended safety guidelines.
The following are some examples of the latest protocols being recommended and adopted to keep construction- demolition workers and the public safe.
The Rise of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Construction workers have long been weaning safety gear, like hard hats and reflective vests, but the pandemic has added new layers of protection to the mix. On many jobsites where construction work is still happening, workers can be seen wearing gloves, goggles, face shields, and medical-grade N95 masks.
Increasing Remote Work, Including Video Building Inspections
One of the expected long-term effects of the pandemic is an increase in the number of people working from home. In construction, many office jobs can be done remotely, but most actual on-site work can’t. Building inspection is an area of construction experimenting with remote work using video.
Construction Dive reported on a recent webinar hosted by the International Code Council (ICC) that highlighted building inspectors using inexpensive video conferencing options like Facetime and Skype rather than requiring an on-site walkthrough.
Keeping Construction Workers Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Employees are encouraged to minimize ride-sharing. While in vehicles, employees must ensure adequate ventilation.
- If practicable, each employee should use/drive the same truck or piece of equipment every shift.
- In line of using a common source of drinking water, such as a cooler, employees should use individual water bottles.
General Safety Policies
- Any employee/contractor/visitor showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to leave the jobsite and return home.
- Safety meetings will be by telephone, if possible. If safety meetings are conducted in-person, attendance will be collected verbally and the foreman/superintendent will sign-in each attendee. Attendance will not be tracked through passed-around sign-in sheets or mobile devices. During any in-person safety meetings, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people and participants must remain at least six (6) feet apart.
- Employees must avoid physical contact with others and shall direct others (employees/contractors/visitors) to increase personal space to at least six (6) feet, where possible. Where work trailers are used, only necessary employees should enter the trailers and all employees should maintain social distancing while inside the trailers.
- All in-person meetings will be limited. To the extent possible, meetings will be conducted by telephone.
- Employees will be encouraged to stagger breaks and lunches, if practicable, to reduce the size of any group at any one time to less than ten (10) people.
The guidance also requires every site have a point person designated to ensure the safety measures are being followed. We know this is not easy but is the best to do, all of us have to protect our employees and Construction – Demolition companies are not the exception.
We are ECG, We are safety first.
This field definitely needs some expert hands and skill. So, have you decided on what type of project you need? Make sure you research on this for a while before coming up with a decision.
We pride ourselves in providing Demolition, abatement and Environmental Services you can depend on.
Contact us to get started on your next project, Call us: 562-438-7999.