Jobsite Safety During COVID-19
Keeping up with the rapidly changing requirements for health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic has been anything but easy. Since the beginning of the pandemic, C.D. Smith has been dedicated to a health and safety first mentality. "We are committed to doing everything we can to keep our people and our communities safe and healthy," Justin Smith, President and CEO, assured employees and stakeholders. "We intend to keep the projects moving forward while being compliant with health and safety guidelines as established by our local, state and national leaders. "
Morning clock-in routines look much different now, beginning with a temperature scan and a daily health questionnaire before admittance to a jobsite. Controlled sign-in sheets and daily logs also help avoid cross-contamination.
Project budgets have new cost codes added to accounts for COVID-19 measures, including increases in PPE and cleaning supplies. While construction workers may be known for getting their hands dirty, now spaces can never be too clean. All trailers, break areas, right down to toolboxes are disinfected two or more times a day.
Our Superintendents have always loved showing off their jobsites and hosting school and community tours. However, the need to keep our employees, partners, clients, community members and students safe and healthy made it necessary to eliminate all site tours. To minimize the number of people entering a jobsite, our team learned to adapt quickly and began holding virtual meetings with clients, project managers, architects and third-party vendors through video conferencing technologies.
Even daily routines like taking lunch breaks and eating in groups have dramatically changed. Employees have been encouraged to eat their lunches spread out on the jobsite or in their cars. Breaks are taken in smaller shifts, ensuring the number of people is less than 10. Even morning commutes look different, with employees commuting individually rather than carpooling.
Job trailers at sites look different now as well. Where possible, tables and chairs were eliminated, reducing the number of surfaces to sit and set items. Morning meetings are held in open spaces instead of in the confines of a job trailer.
Following the CDC's recommendations, employees traveling on mass transit are required to quarantine for 14 days before returning to a jobsite. Furthermore, anyone who is sick is required to stay at home until their symptoms are gone for 72 hours without medication.
Policies, procedures and protocols are continually evolving to adapt to the latest health standards. Our safety department and COVID-19 Rapid Response Team frequently meet to review the latest information provided by CDC, OSHA, state and local health agencies and ensure C.D. Smith is adhering to the highest standards.