COVID-19 and Social Distancing - How to Maintain Social Distancing at Construction Sites
The terms such as “social-distancing, “self-quarantine” and “flattening the curve” is emerging in the media of late. What do these terms mean? How far is it relevant to you, your family, and your community? Now, it is considered that social distancing will deliberately increase the physical gap between individuals in order to prevent the spreading of the COVID-19. Staying at least six feet away from other individuals can decrease the risk of getting COVID-19 infection.
The goal behind social distancing is to ensure that COVID-19 doesn’t spread rapidly so that we could lower the danger of the pandemic. It is time for everyone to consider stipulating norms to maintain social distancing. We need to run the industry including the construction industry where sizeable numbers of people are employed. Maintaining essential building projects going through this pandemic involves a full overhaul of workflow in the industry and developing appropriate procedures for the workforce. Besides PPE supplies, every worker needs to be provided hand sanitizers or touchless portable handwashing stations at the premises to further reduce the chances of COVID-19 spreading in the industry. Here, we summarize a few vital points with reference to the construction industry.
Steps to implement social distancing at construction sites
- Introduce staggered breaks, start and end time to reduce congestion and contact at all times
- Control site access points to require social isolation – we may need to adjust the number of access points to either increase to reduce congestion or decrease to allow monitoring
- Allow adequate space between people (at least six feet) to access the site (if possible, consider installing six feet spacing lines – equivalent to those used in retail environments
- Reduce the number of people attending site inductions and propose having them outdoors wherever possible (no more than 5 people per induction, with a minimum of six feet if possible)
- Non-essential physical works involving direct interaction between workers need not be carried out. Plan all other work to eliminate interaction between employees
- When an employee is deemed to be a vulnerable person, (due to age, underlying medical condition or pregnancy) or they reside with someone who is vulnerable, you can address what plans you should put in order to ensure that their personal workstation is at a reasonable distance from others (at least six feet)
- The site gates need to be locked and staffed by personnel from the site team
- Both personnel and visitors should sign-in on upon entry and sign out as they leave the site. This will cover all delivery drivers, site-inspectors, site contractors, manufacturer’s services, etc.
- All staff members need to be informed of the site operating procedures aimed at securing employees, families, and other people
- When appropriate, workers can move to the site on their own transport and sites will consider the facility to park extra vehicles
- Touchless portable Handwashing station at entrances and exits. Keep hand soap and water and hand sanitizer wherever practicable if the water is not available.
Portable handwashing stations are available for rent from PRLCo in order to provide hygiene and safety in your sites. PRLCo is located at West Los Angeles in California serving the construction market with PPE supplies, safety, and hygiene products such as N95 masks, hand gloves, hand sanitizers along heavy equipment rental services. The products and services can be purchased through its https://prlco.com/website and delivered to their construction sites.