Covid-19 has turned out to be the biggest nightmare of the 21st century. In a small span, this virus has become a global pandemic affecting every part of our life. Since its inception, many industries have seen a downgrade and then the implementation of lockdown made them hit rock bottom. Some were affected more than the other but it was the construction industry that was among the worst-hit sector of the economy. Many projects were stopped in between causing a halt to the whole process. And making every level of authority from laborers to the contractor suffer the consequences.
After a tough few months like many sectors even the construction industry had to rise from the initial setbacks but in this industry, which is very much driven on manual execution with chances of maximum contact while working it gets very crucial to make sure that your construction site doesn’t become a hotspot of COVID-19. Though it is advised to delay any such projects which aren’t a priority but in the private market time is money and such delay causes a heavy burden on the pocket of the client and contractor. Lack of work makes it difficult for the workers especially at lower levels to survive through this pandemic. So, we have to look into it from every perspective and then approach with caution and per the guidelines set up by various health authorities.
There are numerous small and effective ways you can adopt which will not only ensure that the chances of transmission decreases and even if someone does get infected it will not affect other workers and the person can be diagnosed properly under guidance. COVID -19 is a big problem but proper procedure can be deal with without jeopardizing your source of livelihood.
Now, what does this means well for starters whenever you are hiring someone from lower to the upper level of work make sure that they don’t have any symptoms related to this infection, it is best if you can ask for a medical clearance but that is something a daily worker can’t afford so initial, thermal testing should be done every day before they come to the construction site. If anyone does emit the signs it’s best in everyone’s interest to send the person home. Or in self-quarantine so that proper medical procedures can be followed.
Once you have covered the initial set of rules and regulations you have to make sure that the construction site remains infection-free, make sure people avoid standing in a group, to make sure of that you can divide your workers into smaller groups of 2 or 3 that will ensure that even if one gets affected other groups remain safe. A minimum of 6 feet distance should be maintained between workers and proper distancing should be followed during meetings.
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Regular cleaning of hands and mouth should be provided if the site doesn’t have water taps. Then alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be put to work and made sure everyone is using them. Tools should also be cleaned properly so that they remain infection-free for the next time of use. And lastly, make sure everyone wears a mask because wearing a mask decreases the chances of transmission by 90% which is quite significant.
The guidelines you read earlier are based on people who are working on the construction site. But it is to understand that numerous other factors include people that can affect or get affected if proper safety measures are not insured. Now, we will especially look into those factors: –
Transportation and commute – A lot of material and services will be required on the site. Thus, a lot of incoming and outgoing will take place. In addition to that, the people working on the site will also move from home to the site and back. What you as a manager can do is to make put some guidelines like avoid shared transport. Or if you share make sure it is ventilated and you are wearing proper protection. Thus, will not only ensure the safety of people coming to the site but also those that are associated with them.
Visitors to the site – During the time of construction, it is to be made sure that the process is going smooth and under proper rules and regulations thus a lot of visitors may come depending upon the scale and priority of the project. From regular visits of client or development authority chances of people coming into contact increase. To avoid any outbreak at your site you can first make sure you maintain appropriate social distancing. Also suggest them to wear masks if they haven’t already, and make sure they get their hand sanitized.
Before you hire your next worker make sure you ask them a series of questions just in case to make sure that you hire people who are fit for the job and don’t cause a problem later on.
– History with the infection, if they have had it in the past or any of their known person?
– If they are having any respiratory issues and problems in breathing?
– Have you traveled from outside the country or state and other travel histories?
– Any other medical issues which can be influenced by the Covid-19?
Asking them these questions can be very critical. And important you can also add additional questions depending upon your surrounding situation.
These times may seem tough but it doesn’t mean the end of the world, things will move on and progress. And as the situation proceeds the construction industry should also adapt to these changes that are happening around it. Adapting to something new could be a difference-maker for many firms and sustain progressive growth. For the future while ensuring the safety of workers and associated people on the project.
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