Are you active in the construction industry? Protect your employees from the coronavirus with these extra measures
Work continues on many construction sites, even in the time of Corona. But what about the health of your employees? With the necessary measures and the right guidelines, you as the construction promoter, contractor, or site manager, will be able to limit the risks.
First and foremost: the general precautions against contamination with the coronavirus obviously also apply to the construction industry. Read more about the general measures on our FAQ page.
But it’s not always easy to strictly observe precautions such as social distancing on a construction site. Nevertheless, with a number of adapted measures and guidelines, you can ensure that your employees are optimally protected from the coronavirus.
Safe distance between employees
Those who work in an open space can, in principle, stay at the recommended distance of 1.5 metres from their colleagues. Wearing mouth masks is not necessary under normal circumstances. Ensure that your employees maintain the safe distance rule, even during transport to and from the site. Provide additional vehicles if necessary.
As an employer, you can take extra measures for enclosed spaces, i.e. in addition to the imposed distance rule:
- Provide mouth masks for employees.
- Ensure adequate ventilation. Of course, this rule always applies, but it is now more important than ever.
But what if this safe distance of 1.5 m can’t be guaranteed? Then the activity may not be carried out as long as the coronavirus measures are in force. Exceptions are urgent works or interventions, provided that the necessary preventive measures to prevent contamination are foreseen.
Thorough hygiene on the construction site
Regular hand washing with soap is the basic rule. But this is not always self-evident in the construction industry. These are some of the basic requirements for the necessary hygiene on each site:
- Employees should always wash their hands after going to the toilet, before eating and smoking, and before going home.
- Provide a water container with sufficient fresh water if employees on the construction site do not have access to tap water. Also provide enough soap in dispensers and rolls of paper to dry hands.
- Work gloves currently have a double function: they protect your employees’ hands against mechanical and chemical damage and they help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
- Personal protective equipment (hard hat, earmuffs, dust mask, etc.) are personal items more than ever before. Employees clean protective equipment with an alcohol wipe after use and then store it safely in a personal storage area. Hard hats for visitors are also best cleaned after each use.
Traditional toilets with water flush are the most hygienic, but are not present on every construction site. Moveable chemical toilets are an acceptable alternative. In any case, make sure that the toilets are cleaned at least once a day and that employees can wash their hands properly after each toilet visit. This poster explains how.
Eating and meeting without worries
In times of social distancing, the lunch break is a moment many employees look forward to, even if they have to be on their guard. Because colleagues come into close contact with each other while eating, it is important to take some measures for those moments as well:
- Make sure there are enough ventilated dining areas. Ideally, they should be as large as possible so that colleagues can keep a safe distance.
- Is the infrastructure on your construction site limited? Then set up a schedule to have employees eat in small groups at different times.
- Have all floors, tables, and other surfaces in the dining area thoroughly cleaned daily with soap and water.
The same measures apply to meetings: provide well-ventilated rooms, clean them thoroughly, and always keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres.
Mensura supports your organisation in the time of Corona
We’ve put all the frequently asked questions and free tools on this site.