November 4, 2020
Keep your job site safe with these guidelines
The second wave of COVID-19 is here and it's important not to let your guard down when it comes to keeping your workspace safe. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOH) has published safety guidelines specifically for construction sites. Here are some great tips to keep in mind and implement for your work crew.
Protecting yourself and others
Here are some general rules to remind your employees of:
- Practice physical distancing by working more than 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others.
- Stay home if you are sick or might be sick. Follow the Public Health Agency of Canada's steps for self-assessment: https://www.canada.ca/coronavirus
- Wear gloves and do not touch your face.
- Wash your hands at the start of your shift, before eating or drinking, after touching shared items, after using the washroom, and before leaving the site. Remove jewellery while washing.
- Do not share communication devices, personal protective equipment, cigarettes, or vaping equipment.
- Do not spit on-site.
- Remove work clothes and wash them as soon as you get home.
As an owner or manager, it is your responsibility to provide the following to make sure everyone can practice safe sanitization on the job site.
- Provide access to handwashing stations (even if it is a spouted water container, catch bucket for water, soap, and paper towels) or provide hand sanitizer. If hands are visibly dirty, they must be washed with soap and water.
- Clean offices, washrooms, lunch/break rooms and/or trailers, and other workspaces every day. Focus on commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs, handles, handrails, tables, chairs, pens, tools, radios, vending machines, and kitchen equipment.
- Regularly clean shared tools, phones, and other devices with alcohol or disinfectant wipes.
- Assign one driver per vehicle or clean shared vehicles between driver changes.
Here are a few of the tips the CCOH recommends to keep your site safe.
- Minimize the number of workers at one time on-site. Stagger trades and their work locations, meetings, breaks, tool cribs, safety toolbox talks, and orientations.
- Ask everyone to check-in. Do not allow people on-site if they are sick or might be sick.
- Control site movement to reduce gathering at scaffolds, hoists, washrooms and other high traffic areas.
- Designate travel paths so workers do not have to pass each other closely (e.g., one set of stairs for up, another for down) or have workers call out before entering a shared space.
- Hold meetings in outside or large space to allow for physical distancing of at least 2 metres (6 feet) between people.
- Hold verbal orientations to avoid touching papers.
For a full list of all the guidelines recommended by the CCOH, go to: https://www.ccohs.ca/products/publications/covid19/