If you’re in the construction industry, you’re luckily one of the 16 essential industries that are able to remain open during the Coronavirus pandemic. This is good news for your construction company, but it’s crucial to follow the guidelines set forth by OSHA and the Department of Labor (DoL). Although these guidelines aren’t specific to the construction industry, if a construction site wants to remain open it’s critical to follow the newly imposed standards.
These are all enforced and checked routinely by local law enforcement. All regulations are set forth on a state or local level, so it’s important to monitor local news for any updates on guidelines. Despite the fact that these differ by state, we’re listing the standard regulations to follow to avoid being shut down. These guidelines are based on the World Health Organization (WHO) use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommendations:
- Have employees stay home if they’re sick. Anything from a persistent cough to a more serious fever are reasons for workers to stay home and away from the site. If these symptoms dissipate, once workers return to the site it’s important to take their temperature and look out for a reappearance of symptoms.
- Enforce social distancing. As the site safety manager or superintendent, it’s your job to make sure employees are six feet apart at all times.
- Provide all employees with PPE. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a mandate requiring all citizens to wear a mask at all public spaces. According to the Miami Herald “the order defines a mask as a “covering which snugly covers the face and mouth” and which is secured with “ties or ear loops.”
- Practice hand hygiene. Employees should all carry hand sanitizer to use regularly. Soap and hand wash stations should also be at every jobsite to allow safe hand washing techniques.
- Routinely clean and sanitize all equipment, construction areas and frequently touched surfaces. Avoid sharing tools with other employees.
- Always cough or sneeze into your arm or a tissue.
- Avoid touching your face while at project sites. Only do so right after hands are washed.
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