While employers should have protocols and procedures in place to keep construction workers safe while on the job, there are also many measures employees can take into their own hands to ensure their health and safety remains intact. Here are a few simple tips that anyone can implement:
- Avoid “bottlenecks” – and we’re not talking about traffic patterns. Large numbers of people gathered in one area can increase your chances of getting sick. The best way to ensure you’re staying clear of germs and high-risk situations is to be patient – let the group disperse before making your way through, or, keep a physical distance as recommended by the CDC.
- If you feel sick or are sick, stay home AND alert your employer. By telling a boss or manager you are under the weather, it provides them with time and information needed to potentially track what could be a Covid-19 case, as well as alert fellow staff members.
- Sign up for and take online training courses. Many construction positions require training and certification, and in this day and age, many of those courses can be completed online. From OSHA-10 construction training to fall protection awareness courses, those looking to re-certify or simply add to their skill set can do so from the ease of their home – at any time.
- Sanitize everything – before, during and after work. This includes washing your hands and using hand sanitizer, but also wiping down, tools equipment and products with appropriate disinfectants.
- Keep a stash of alcohol-based wipes on you. If you’re on a site where there’s limited accessibility to hand sanitizer or disinfectants, alcohol-based wipes will give you back-up protection.
- Think of the level of risk at hand. OSHA highlights four levels: low exposure, medium exposure, high exposure and very high exposure. These exposure levels are dependent upon number of people present, where the work is being conducted and what type of contact is occurring amongst people on site.
- Don’t carpool or ride-share. It’s best to avoid being in an enclosed space with others when risk factors are unknown. Stay safe by maintaining social distancing and not being in close contact with others.
- BYOB. Sorry, not booze or beer, but bottle. Bring your own water bottle(s) already filled so you aren’t sharing resources with others.
- Try to use the same equipment as you typically would. Sharing equipment means a constant need for disinfecting. While it can be nearly impossible to have a piece of dedicated equipment to yourself, if it’s possible, don’t share. And if it’s not possible, make sure to disinfect all touch points.
- Visit OSHA’s website for updated recommendations and protocols. With the ever-changing landscape of Covid-19, OSHA frequently updates its guidance. Make it a part of your routine to check on the latest news from the Association.
By being proactive about your health, you not only stay safe, but you’re helping those around you to do the same.