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Understanding COVID-19 Protocols in Commercial Construction

When it comes to commercial construction, you might be wondering how it all ties in with keeping your community safe with COVID-19 still being a threat to staff members and residents. It’s important to remember that safety measures and health protocols should remain in full effect, both at your place of employment and at the construction site. If you are wondering what protocols commercial construction sites have to keep COVID-19 at bay, here are the top three things to keep in mind:

Your Company’s Plan and Protocols for COVID-19

The CDC continues to provide information on how employers can keep their employees and residents safe at work. They recommend wearing a cloth face covering as a measure to protect other people from the wearer’s respiratory droplets.

Some protocols that your company may have in place might be:

  1. Maintaining social distancing while in public

  2. Common areas should be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis

  3. Increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible

  4. Modify seats, furniture, or workstations to maintain at least six feet distance

  5. Encourage staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home until testing

  6. Consider stagger shifts or break times to reduce the number of employees in common areas

  7. Ensure proper hand washing

  8. Consider limiting the number of people that can ride in the elevator at one time

Each company will have their own unique set of challenges when it comes to a COVID-19 plan. Making sure everyone is on the same page before comparing your protocols with your general contractor’s plan will help for smoother communication between everyone involved.

COVID-19 Protocols from Your General Contractor’s

The United States Department of Labor provides recommendations for construction workers and employers with potential occupational exposures to SARS-CoV-2. Your general contractor will be evaluating the hazards their construction workers will be exposed to. Risk levels will be assessed by conducting a job hazard analysis.

“All contractors must continue to comply with all relevant rules and regulations concerning workplace safety and health… Contractors should regularly evaluate their health and safety procedures, as well as the specific hazards at their job sites, consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to determine the appropriate job hazard analysis and safety procedures for the project/task as it relates to the spread and/or transmission of COVID-19.”

Some COVID-19 Construction Site protocols might include the same as your own company’s plan, such as: wearing personal protective gear, staying home if experiencing any COVID symptoms or having a fever. Social distancing should also be maintained at the construction site, as well as routinely disinfecting and cleaning common areas.

In addition, some protocols for the worksite might include the following:

  1. Using separate materials and tools if possible

  2. Temperature scanning at the work place at a regular basis

  3. A screening process may be put in place where construction workers answer questions concerning COVID-19 risk exposure as a precaution

  4. A single point of contact should be delegated by the General Contractor for COVID-19 protocol

  5. Restricting the number of visitors on the job site

It’s important to question what plans and protocols your General Contractor has when it comes to COVID-19. Understanding what they do and their safety priorities will allow you to determine how well their protocols will mesh with your own plans for keeping your staff, residents, or clients safe.

Being Flexible with Changing Guidelines

Lastly, it’s understandable to note that COVID-19 has guidelines that are constantly changing as we learn more about the disease. The CDC provides a summary of recent changes for COVID-19 guidelines. Make sure you check the updated CDC guidelines so your community and workforce can have the latest information to keep everyone protected and well informed.

In conclusion, your construction plans don’t have to come to a screeching halt due to COVID-19. Being flexible is key, things change on a daily basis! With proper protocols in place, both at your workplace and with your General Contractor, things can proceed with caution so that your business or community can continue to be remodeled or reconstructed for the wellness of your staff or residents.

If you would like more information on our COVID-19 protocols in commercial construction, give us a call at: 877.708.5501, we would love to help!

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