Creating “COVID-secure” job sites

Creating “COVID-secure” job sites

Two surveyors in the field wearing face masks and high-visibility vests

Photo © 2020 Patrick McLaurin

Construction and engineering firms continue to face unique project circumstances as the coronavirus outbreak persistsConstruction in North Carolina was deemed essential at the onset of Governor Roy Cooper’s shelter-in-place orders in late March 2020. The challenge of creating safe spaces and routines on job sites is evolving as constantly as the daily case counts. Some key considerations when managing the logistics of job site personnel are maintaining social distancing while on location, disinfecting equipment, and travel.  

Some options for maintaining a six-foot clearance between workers include the following:

  1. Staggering breaks to reduce the volume of people gathered in the same area
  2. Limiting the number of people attending site meetings
  3. Strategicallyplaced signage per OSHA guidelines
  4. Close monitoring of visitor sign-ins
  5. Continuous team communication

Health monitoring and sanitizing gear is essential to job site safety during the pandemic as well. Utilizing temperature guns and providing individual hand sanitizers as well as disposable masks will allow staff to self-check potential symptoms and minimize exposure to the virus. Assigning rotating sanitation shifts and creating a daily log will be useful and should include the disinfection of all door handles, machinery, tools, equipment, taps, soap dispensers, etc. Installing touchless foot door openers is also a strong method for reducing the spread of germs or bacteria.

Reducing the travel of workers to only one or two occupants per company vehicle is also a sound precaution during this time. Monitoring symptoms daily will reduce anxiety from team members. Some firms are beginning to inquire about autonomous robots or machines that can perform construction tasks without the need for human operation. The future of development is upon us. 

For more information on establishing safe work policies, see the OSHA’s COVID-19 – Control and Prevention for Construction Work.

If you would like to know more about WithersRavenel’s specific policies and procedures to keep our employees, clients, and vendors safe, please contact Senior Vice President of Operations Chan Bryant at (919) 535-5202 or cbryant@withersravenel.com.