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Construction Sector should actively monitor and respond to Corona threat as well be prepared to combat COVID-19

  By : , Visakhapatnam, INDIA       20.6.2020         Phone:8374340999,0891-2551699          Mail Now
  Door. No. 47-10-15(9),3rd Floor, AG Avenue Building,2nd Lane, Dwarakanagar, VISAKHAPATNAM-530016, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA

Construction sector should be actively monitoring the situation and responding to corona threat. Almost 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites across the world. As per Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthy worksite and protect the workers during COVID-19 Pandemic.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets from an infected person through sneezing, coughing and talking.

Maintaining a healthy worksite

Employer must implement all measures of protecting employees and prevent corona spread such as:

1.Modify work schedules by providing alternating workdays or extra shifts to reduce the total number of workers on a work site.

2.Limit and reduce the number of workers in enclosed and confined areas (eg: small rooms and tanks under construction, toilets) at a time and the time spent for working in such enclosed spaces should be minimized.

3.Ensure that workers can stay at least 6 feet away from other workers.

4.Disinfect and sanitize the lunchroom areas used by the groups while maintaining social distance in the lunchrooms.

5.Social or casual conversations should be limited that normally occur at work

6.In-person meetings/trainings should be cancelled whenever possible. Even if it’s necessary a distance of 6 feet or more between attendees should be maintained.

7.Posters and pictures should be placed that explain and encourage staying home when sick, signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and hygienic practices at all necessary areas of worksite where they are likely to be seen.

8.Clean and disinfect the touched surfaces regularly and clean them prior to disinfection if the surfaces are dirty.

9.Frequently touched surfaces such as shared tools, machines, vehicles and other equipment, handrails, ladders, doorknobs, and portable toilets should be cleaned and disinfected at the beginning and end of every shift.

10.Worksite should be provided with soap and water and alcohol-based hand rubs at multiple locations and in common areas to encourage hand hygiene.

11.Workers should be trained how to properly put on, use/wear, and take off protective clothing and equipment (Donning and Doffing procedures).

12.Workers should be enforced to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.

13.Workers should be provided with tissues and waste bins lined with a plastic bag so that they can be emptied without contacting the contents.

14.Workers should be encouraged to report any safety and health concerns.

15. It is essential to guide the workers in proper use and disposal of nose and face masks:

•Ensure that the masks should fit properly, completely covering the face from bridge of nose to chin.
•Instruct the workers to clean hands properly before putting the face mask on or taking it off.
•Advise them only to touch the cord or elastic at the back of the face mask when removing it, not the front.
•Ensure they follow proper disposal procedures and be sure to dispose in proper containers if the face mask is disposable.
•Instruct them to wash the face mask with detergent in hot water if reusable as soon as possible after use.

16.Provide alternative ways to promote hand hygiene if any difficulty in with hand sanitizing and running water is unavailable on site. This may include:

•Temporary or mobile hand washing stations should be installed making sure there is an adequate supply of water, soap, and single-use paper towels.
•Providing a large bucket of water with a lid and tap that can be used a source of water for hand washing. If this method is installed, the water tap should be regularly cleaned and disinfected. Fresh water should be provided daily.
•Multiple hand washing stations should be made available to accommodate the workforce depending on the size of the worksite while maintaining social distancing.

As a construction worker, he/she is responsible to slow the spread

Construction workers are more likely to get infected with COVID-19 through close contact with co-workers or public who are ill with COVID-19 and touching their nose, mouth or eyes by touching surfaces contaminated with virus or handling and sharing tools, items with infected persons. Therefore these are the recommended actions for workers that include:

1.Workers should Inform the supervisor and stay at home if they are sick

2.Workers should follow all recommended health guidelines if they are sick. They should not return to work until they are advised by state and local health departments.

3.Workers should avoid Tool sharing if possible.

4.Workers should maintain proper hand hygiene practices as a means of an important infection preventive measure:

Proper hand hygiene practices should be maintained:
•Before and after work shifts and breaks
•After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
•After using the restroom
•Before eating and before and after preparing food
•After touching objects which have been shared and handled by coworkers, such as tools and equipment
•Before putting on and after taking off work gloves
•After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
•Before donning or doffing eye or face protection (safety glasses, goggles, etc.)

Maintaining healthy operations at construction site

Safety and health officer should be designated at each construction site responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Workers should know who this person is and how to contact them. Provide information on whom to contact if an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection and employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace maintaining confidentiality.

Employer should establish ongoing communications to facilitate access to relevant information before and during a local outbreak by reaching out to local public health officials.

TAGS: Safety precautions from corona at construction work,  

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