The COVID-19 outbreak has brought more questions than answers. The citizens of the United States and the world have found themselves adjusting to a new, unexpected normal that includes stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders. Amid the changes, many employees find themselves working from home, others have been forced to try their hand at homeschooling, and everyone is avoiding crowds and taking extra precautions. Like other industries, the building and construction industry has been faced with a dilemma as well, project completion and working employees versus health risks on the job for employees.
In most places, construction sites have continued to work, keeping employees on the job, and taking essential steps to ensure worker safety, as well as the safety of those they come home to every day. Construction project supervisors across the country have continued to move projects forward in light of the increasing number of COVID-19 infections. Even so, it is certainly no longer business as usual, as decision and actions take on an increased urgency in responsibility and accountability of employers to employees and vice versa.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has informed everyone that the coronavirus is spread quickly and easily, in as little as 46 seconds. It can be carried from work to home without the infected individual even aware he or she has contracted and may be spreading the virus. In addition, the National Association of Home Builders is concerned at the shortage of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (yes, the same one needed by healthcare providers on the frontlines) which are used on construction sites to protect construction workers from toxic matter and respirable particles. So, how are construction project supervisors keeping employees who working on construction projects during the pandemic safe?
Of course, construction project supervisors want to keep employees safe, but they also want to preserve everyone’s livelihood as well as their company safe and working successfully into the future. The task is not an easy one, particularly when information seems to be changing daily and continually evolving. And yet, project supervisors across the country are taking precautions to ensure the health and safety of their employees.
The building and housing industry hope to keep the economy as functional as possible in the unchartered territory of a global pandemic, especially given the need for new housing. Many cities have declared building endeavors to be essential services, and have allowed projects to continue while other businesses are forced to close to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. All this means project managers and construction supervisors are putting in the additional efforts to keep job sites safe and healthy for workers.
Among the safety changes are adjustments to shift schedules to limit the number of employees on a site at a given time, allowing social distancing measure to be adhered to, as well as adding masks and handwashing areas for workers. Cleanliness on the job has taken on new meaning, especially in the building and construction industry. The goal must be to look out for the well-being of the crew members, while maintaining safe and effective project completion. Across America, the mission is to keep people safe, keep them working where possible, and get others back to work as soon as safely possible.
Given the housing shortage, keeping construction crews on the job and safe from COVID-19 is a huge challenge. At Perillo Construction, we understand. We are actively taking precautions for our crew members while keeping projects going forward. Our goal is always safety first, along with the successful completion of your building project, on time and within budget.