If you ask any professional construction firm about their primary priority, their answer almost always would be “safety.”
As businesses grapple with the myriad of issues posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for sanitising job locations—whether construction sites or indoor offices—and keeping people safe from infections, has grown. In order to protect workers and keep projects going, proper sanitization and maintenance of workplaces necessitates vigilance, education, and rigorous adherence to the newest regulations and norms.
There is a lot you can do to maintain workplaces as safe as possible, from engaging outside cleaning crews or forming dedicated internal teams to implementing tight protocols and adequately disinfecting high-touch areas on a regular basis and utilising modern technologies to reduce physical contact.
While our knowledge of the novel coronavirus is still developing, it is obvious that the virus can stay on specific surfaces for hours or even days after being exposed.Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, such as workplaces and companies, demands that you “develop your plan, implement, maintain and revise it,” according to the medical authorities. While precise requirements may vary over time, here are some general recommendations for keeping your workspace clean and your team safe.
Establish a materials policy for the jobsite
You can reduce potential exposure and spread of the virus by explicitly defining who can touch certain crew’s equipment and supplies. Additionally, using technology to handle paperwork and other tasks can help in reducing the number of physical touches on a jobsite.
Set up a sanitization schedule for high-touch, common places on a regular basis
Since many different people would come in contact with areas such as toilets, wash basins and more, increasing the frequency of cleaning can help minimize the risk of spreading germs.
Follow construction-industry-specific norms
OSHA, for example, has issued COVID-19 recommendations for construction workers to ensure their safety. Aside from urging workers to stay at home if they are sick and reporting any health or safety issues, the following are some of the suggestions:
- Allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.
- Continue to use other normal control measures, including personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to protect workers from other job hazards.
- Advise workers to avoid physical contact with others and direct employees/contractors/visitors to increase personal space to at least six feet, where possible and all workers should maintain social distancing while inside work trailers, if used.
- Train workers how to properly put on, use/wear, and take off protective clothing and equipment.
- Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
- Promote personal hygiene. (If workers do not have immediate access to soap and water for handwashing, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol.)
- Use EPA-approved cleaning chemicals.
- Provide and instruct workers to use alcohol-based wipes to clean any shared tools, equipment before and after use, consulting manufacturer recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions.
- Keep in-person meetings (including toolbox talks and safety meetings) as short as possible, limit the number of workers in attendance, and use social distancing practices.
- Clean and disinfect portable job site toilets regularly.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers should be filled regularly.
- Frequently touched items (i.e., door pulls, toilet seats, electronics) should be regularly disinfected.
Maintain cleanliness, social distance and be safe. We will get through this soon.