We are living and working in unprecedented times due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the recent update by the Government has encouraged those who can work to start working once again, social distancing guidelines must be adhered to to protect the health of workers across industries.
Take a look at our 5 key tips to keep your workers safe and working effectively on construction sites.
Travel to Site
Wherever possible, encourage workers to travel alone using personal means of travel. This could be via car, walking or cycling if at all feasible. It is important to support workers by providing suitable parking arrangements on-site that fulfil the social distancing guidelines and limit physical contact between staff.
Site Access Points
Taking the initial step of temporarily disabling site entry systems that require skin contact, i.e. fingerprint scanners, and limiting access to essential workers is crucial to managing numbers on-site. Utilise technology for meetings and virtual walk-throughs using online video conferencing, this will avoid the need for meetings on-site. It is advised to implement staggered start and finish times to further limit site congestion and potential physical interaction between workers.
All-access points should be equipped with essential sanitation facilities, that require workers to wash their hands before and after leaving the site. Workers must be aware of and understand the guidelines being implemented, it is important to roll-out guidance and informational materials to further clarify what is to be expected on-site.
Construction sites are required to provide site accommodation to heat food and make hot drinks, however, in these exceptional times these facilities should be removed if they cannot always be adequately sanitised. Designated areas for eating only should be in place. These areas should be equipped with the appropriate sanitation equipment to ensure that workers can wash their hands before entering, before and after eating and on leaving the area.
Mass congregations at break times should also be prohibited and can be easily avoided using staggered break times. All break and eating areas should be intensely sanitised regularly, this will include disinfecting all surfaces, chairs, door handles, vending machines and payment devices. If possible, workers should be encouraged to pay via contactless and pre-prepared food and re-usable bottles should be encouraged to be brought on-site rather than workers leaving for food.
It is important to still provide the necessary welfare facilities for workers, whether that be changing facilities, showers and toilets. Sanitisation of this site accommodation is paramount, especially during the pandemic. Limiting the number of workers that are permitted to use the facilities at one time, is crucial to adhere to social distance guidelines and will help to implement enhanced cleaning regimes.
Staggering start and finish times will limit facility congestion, and this can be helped further with the introduction of more facilities on site. Where possible, portable toilet facilities should be reduced and sanitisation should be focused on door handles, door locks and toilet flushes.
Above all, handwashing should be prioritised. Many handwashing facilities should be available throughout the site, providing hand soap and fresh water. If the site does not have access to fresh water, hand sanitiser stations should be available. As with all areas, these facilities should be regularly cleaned and replenished with soap and sanitiser whenever necessary.
We have a range of products and services designed to make it easy for your construction site to be Standard Operation Procedure (SOPs) compliant. Head to our Covid19 Solutions page to discover how we can help you and your workforce to continue to work safely during the pandemic.