Tools of the Trade podcast advice for construction sites (and trades workers)Posted on April 3, 2020
With construction being listed as an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak, building will continue. That means work sites will still be bustling with workers in close proximity to one another, so it’s time to consider the implications of what this means.
Colin Toop from Tools of the Trade podcast suggests analyzing areas of the job site with common touch points and offers this advice:
- Catering Truck – Companies should evaluate whether catering trucks should still be allowed to visit since they go to multiple sites in one day, making cash transactions with hundreds of people.
- Smoking Areas – Workers who huddle in the smoking area to chat and stay warm should be encouraged to spread out or go for a walk alone during their smoke break.
- Site Trailers – Management trailers and lunch trailers will still be used heavily for work and breaks so cleaning regimes should be put in place. Along with providing cleaning supplies for use during entry and exit, consider rotating lunch breaks so that less people are accessing the trailers at the same time. In between those breaks, use a service to disinfect the trailer. If no cleaning staff is onsite, inform workers that should be diligent in handwashing and taking care of themselves.
- Portable Washrooms – Workers may be used to utilizing a washroom that does not come with a filled sanitizer dispenser or a working sink, but it’s more important than ever to have these items supplied. If they are not available, workers should be encouraged to carry these products with them.
- Site Trucks – Clean trucks between uses and do not put multiple people in a truck to transport them. Anyone who can walk right now, should.
- Man Lifts – Limit the need to share equipment like man lifts. Separate people onto different tasks as much as possible.
- Tools – Encourage workers to keep their toolbelt close and not share tools with others. If assigning company tools, designate tools by person and ensure that they are cleaned in between uses.
The benefit of construction being essential at this time is that workers are still being employed and progress is being made on much-needed facilities. But maintaining these services means higher risk for keeping employees safe. Companies should work diligently to clean what they can and when cleaning products are not available, workers should be encouraged to bring their own supplies from home.
“It is up to us to come together as a construction community. Everybody has to do their part. Companies are trying to be transparent and are looking to get supplies. When they can’t access those supplies, take it upon yourself to keep yourself safe, your coworkers safe, your family safe.”