As we get used to post-pandemic life, habits like remembering your mask, 2 meters of personal space and constant hand washing all become part of the new normal and for good reason. During the shelter in place orders that were enforced during the coronavirus outbreak, these types of rules and regulations were all simple enough to follow. However, as we return to the construction sites and workplaces we must retrain ourselves and adhere, now more than ever, to the new set of government guidelines.
The latest CDC Guidelines are here to stay, so let's take a look:
- Maintain social distancing (6 feet apart).
- Wear cloth face coverings when possible.
- Avoid sharing frequently touched items.
- Make sure you have great hand hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly.
- Lastly think ahead to fall and winter, be over-prepared and have a flu vaccination to combat the extra challenge of influenza.
It is clear that there is going to be a period of adaptation and even more so on the construction site. Construction guidelines during COVID-19 are here to help the industry with project restart and so the most important training for personnel can be found in the form of the OSHA Guidelines:
- First and foremost, stay at home if you are sick.
- Be aware of all the usual hazards of the job so take all the normal safety measures and wear PPE.
- If using a work trailer remember to maintain social distancing of 6 feet apart.
- Remember your respiratory etiquette and cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Obsessively wash your hands using plenty of soap and warm water, since coronavirus is a protein and fat coated virus and so a little tougher to destroy.
- Use hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of 60% or higher.
- Tools and equipment must be cleaned with alcohol-based wipes and you should check the manufacturer’s recommendations for thorough cleaning advice.
- Keep essential meetings short with limited numbers and social distancing and remember that cloud-based solutions are more important than ever now that fewer people are being allowed on the jobsite.
- Clean and disinfect portable jobsite toilets, paying special importance to those most frequently touched surfaces.
- Since we are all in this together, collecting and sharing field data is important and OSHA gives guidance for recording COVID-19 cases and plans for onsite inspections.
Things are not going to be easy. There will be setbacks but by following the guidelines and with a major focus on awareness, the labor force will be able to return to work and more importantly, return to work safely. “The direction of the pandemic is in all of our hands, so let’s wash those hands.” - Dr. Jay Butler, CDC.