Construction sites are not designed to support social distancing. Projects large and small hinge on collaboration to get the job done efficiently. As a result, construction workers at every level remain vulnerable to COID-19 transmission. Cases have surfaced at high-profile sites, such as the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project in midtown Toronto.
To protect yourselves, your workers, and your business, consider these common-sense steps:
- Update your policies on fit for duty and sick leave to address diseases and hygiene protocols. Include procedures if someone develops symptoms on-site, and protocols for workers returning from travel or reporting exposure to someone with COVID-19.
- Implement safety measures and hygiene best practices. For example, enforce routine hand-washing and social distancing, add temporary washing stations across the job site, and reduce the number of workers on-site. Prevent the sharing of personal protective equipment between workers.
- Ensure your workers do not alternate between shifts. If one worker catches the disease, this will minimize transmission to the rest of your team.
- Communicate clearly with your workers. As this crisis evolves, they must know how to find information, how to report information, and how to ask questions. Set up consistent communication channels for the duration of the pandemic—and consider repurposing them when it passes.
- Establish an on-site COVID-19 task force. Members of this group ensure that new health and safety protocols are implemented immediately and continuously being followed. These task forces are becoming the key communication conduit from corporate office to job site.