Maintaining a safe construction site is always a priority for any successful real estate investor.
It goes without saying that eliminating potential hazards from your job site will pay dividends in workplace efficiency and contribute to a healthier bottom line. If you can prevent accidental injury and illness from befalling your crew, you not only contribute to their overall health and wellness (which is an admirable goal in itself) but also reduce potential liability claims and absenteeism.
And, while traditional safety advice still holds, the coronavirus pandemic has created new challenges.
Most site supervisors know the importance of keeping a construction site free of debris, supplying the right tools for the right task, and ensuring that workers know how to properly operate the machinery they are using. But many are now scrambling to address the added concerns that relate to infectious disease.
We have found some resources that will help you navigate the current circumstances. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has put together some valuable information addressing the unique COVID-19 related concerns of those in the building industry. Their Coronavirus Preparedness and Response web page includes free webinars, insightful articles, and interactive maps.
In addition, The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put out some guidelines which specifically address the unique hazards facing the construction industry during the pandemic. You may find a copy of their guidance here but we’ve highlighted a few points below to keep workers safe on the job site.
Implement Social Distancing
Reducing exposure to the virus and, ultimately, slowing its spread is the goal. Therefore it is recommended that employees, contractors and visitors maintain a distance of six feet apart whenever possible. And, of course, sick employees should be instructed to stay home altogether.
Provide PPE and Training
Workers should be provided the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and instructed how to put it on and take it off. If PPE is not available or necessary, cloth masks should be encouraged.
Encourage Personal Hygiene
Remind workers of the importance of frequent and proper hand washing, and provide cleaning stations on site if possible. If this is not possible, it is suggested that employers make available alcohol based hand rubs (at least 60 percent alcohol). And, of course, have employees cover that sneeze.
Wipe down shared surfaces, equipment, and tools frequently. Use Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from the Environmental Protection Agency’s List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus. Discourage workers from sharing tools, if possible.
A little foresight and common sense will go a long way toward keeping employees safe on the job site. We know that our borrowers are committed to safety and so are we. We will get through this together.
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