UPDATE – COVID-19 and the Construction Industry

posted in: Industry Advocacy, Safety | 0

In our effort to continue to provide MBI members with the most up to date information on issues pertaining to COVID-19 in the construction industry, we have updated our MBI Blog.

Last week, MBI compiled a list of guidance and informational websites for your team to review. This site will serve as our main communication link throughout the COVID-19 crisis and will include all new information going forward.

Since our post last week, the AGC of America has offered additional information on their site. Again, it is recommended that you reference this site often as it is being continuously updated: https://www.agc.org/coronavirus-covid-19

Sharing of Best Practices

As mentioned last week, one of our roles during this crisis is to be a portal for sharing of best practices. Below is a document provided to us by Story Construction. It is a comprehensive procedural document that outlines best practices and expectations for all within a company, as well as subcontractors doing work on a project and for suppliers making deliveries to a respective project. We appreciate Story’s willingness to allow us to share such information: COVID-19 Procedures

Going forward, we ask that all members consider sharing their best practices to the benefit of the entire Iowa commercial construction industry.

Owner Questionnaire Requirements

We are getting reports that owners are asking questions similar to the following:

Name / Company / Date

Please answer “yes or no” to the following
1. Have you travelled internationally recently (especially to any of the major hot spots)?
2. Have you come in contact with anyone that has COVID-19 (coronavirus)?
3. Are you experiencing a cough or respiratory issues?
4. Are you experiencing any fever of 100 degrees or more?

Comments on any “yes” response:

It is pretty standard information, but it is good to know what owners may ask you and your employees prior to entering a job site.

Message from CSSI – MBI’s Exclusive Safety Provider

Moving Forward on Your Construction Project, Knowing COVID-19 May Be Near

By now you are caught up on the news, have heard the virus has now community spread and wonder how this will affect your job site.  Below are guidelines to help provide a healthy job site, suggested SOP’s for employee projection and how to be proactive preventing impacts to your production schedule.

  • A healthy job site – This begins with educating your employees and trade partners to understand what COVID-19 is and how to protect themselves.
    • COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a respiratory virus with no current vaccine. Some employees are at a higher risk; older adults, heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
    • It is spread person-to-person (close contact within 6 feet), through respiratory droplets from coughs / sneezes and touching contaminated surfaces.
  • SOP’s for protecting your job site – have a pre-shift meeting to discuss the following items:
    • If an employee has a fever, severe cough or other respiratory symptoms recommend they stay home and isolate themselves from other family members and pets. If the symptoms continue, have them contact their healthcare provider.
    • Protect yourself by washing hands with soap for 20 seconds, especially after using public places or after you blow nose, cough or sneeze. If soap is not readily available, use a hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol or higher. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick or at higher risk, especially if COVID-19 is spreading in your community
    • Provide hand sanitizer, tissues and no-touch receptacles for employees to use. Also provide washing stations with soap and encourage frequent hand-washing.
    • Perform routine environmental cleaning – Routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces (workstations, tables, door knobs, equipment controls, etc.)  Provide disposable wipes for keyboards, remotes and desks and have employee clean before each use.
  • Protecting your schedule
    • Anticipate delivery interruptions for key equipment, material and supplies. Arrange for early deliveries and additional storage areas.
    • Labor shortage – Plan work schedules for employees being sick. If hours need to be increased, plan accordingly in advance to prevent large ramp up that creates unsafe work conditions.
    • Take the time to review your contracts.Review all notice procedures in contracts and time requirements. Pay special attention to deliver dates, key completion dates and inspections. Use the specified communication method outlined in contract.
    • Documentation – Start now and document your attempts to complete work. If issues arise from owners, subcontractors or suppliers and affect your work make sure to log all issues, take photos and communicate the issues.
    • Force majeure – clause can relieve parties from their contractual obligations when certain circumstances beyond their control arise, which make performance impossible.
    • Be proactive, not reactive – putting the recommendations in place now, may help you in the future.

Additional resources for your job site or office can be found at:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

Informational Video from The Iowa Clinic – https://www.iowaclinic.com/coronavirus/

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