How to Write A COVID-19 Construction Safety Plan

In interest of helping our readers we are getting this out with the understating that it will be updated regularly. If we wait for perfect it will take too long so please do your own research as well and share any critical feedback or good tips.

We have found that different States, Counties, Municipalities and/or Jurisdictions are requiring different information and differing levels of protection to maintain compliance so check with all of your Authorities Having Jurisdiction.

Photo by Scott Blake

To get you started here is some of what should be included a plan:

Project Details

Including: Address, Permit number, COVID-19 Officer (on-site person responsible for job-site safety and training), their phone and email.

Workers projected:  [NUMBER OF WORKERS EXPECTED ON THE JOB SITE EACH WEEK OVER THE COURSE OF CONSTRUCTION.]

Job Site Activities

List activities that are not possible to complete while maintaining the required 6’ social distancing. 

Identify alternative methods to complete those activities. 

When alternative methods are not possible, affected employees shall be supplied with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including face mask, gloves, and eye protection. 

IF SOCIAL DISTANCING IS NOT POSSIBLE AND APPROPRIATE PPE IS NOT AVAILABLE, THE WORK CANNOT PROCEED.

Cleanliness

Cleaning and Decontamination Procedures:

  • Hand washing stations will be operational with antibacterial soap and warm water where possible.
  • COMPANY is providing hand sanitizer (with a minimum of 60% alcohol) and wipes—if regionally available.
  • All high contact surfaces such as restroom/port-a-potty, hand-wash stations, offices, trailers, gates, common equipment, vehicles, ladders, etc. will be cleaned twice daily or more frequently if necessary to maintain sanitary conditions.
  • All cleaning will be performed with EPA recommended cleaning agents.
Excellent facilities on Dellbrook JKS Job-site photo by Rob Carson

Hygiene Protocols:

  • All staff are instructed to eliminate direct physical contact, including handshaking.
  • Employees will wash hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. 
  • Access to the field office or trailer will be restricted to authorized personnel only. [REMOVE IF N/A] 
  • Avoid face-to-face meetings as much as possible. When face-to-face meetings are unavoidable, the discussion shall follow social distancing. 
  • Do not convene face-to-face meetings of more than 10 people. 
  • Conduct all individual work crew meetings/toolbox talks outside and follow social distancing. 
  • Keep crews a minimum of 6’ apart, to the maximum extent possible, to reduce the potential of cross contamination. (See Job-site Activities.) 
  • Limit multi-person activities, as much as feasible. 
  • Be sure to use your own water bottle, and do not share 
  • To avoid external contamination, we recommend everyone bring food from home. 
  • Please maintain social distancing separation during breaks, lunch, and at the food truck. 
  • Cover coughing or sneezing with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash hands. If no tissue is available, then cough into your elbow 
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands 
  • To avoid sharing germs, please clean up after yourself. DO NOT make others responsible for moving, unpacking, and packing up your personal belongings 
  • All employees shall drive to work site/parking area in a single occupant vehicle. Contractors shall not ride together in the same vehicle. 
  • When entering a machine or vehicle, make sure that you wipe down the interior and door handles with disinfectant prior to entry.
  • Large gathering places on the site such as shacks and break areas will be eliminated and instead small break areas will be used with seating limited to ensure social distancing. 

IF YOU OR A FAMILY MEMBER IS SICK, STAY HOME! 

“No Congregation” Policy: 

[COMPANY] will implement social distancing by maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet from other individuals, including during work to the extent possible (See Job-site Activities). This policy will cover all group meetings, breaks, lunch, visitors to the site, subcontractors, and members of the public passing by the site, such as pedestrians and cyclists.

Signage and Equipment

Laminated Signs Posted On Site: 

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 / Stay at Home
  • Hand washing (at all bathrooms, eating areas, and job-site entrances)
  • Social Distancing 

*Signs shall be posted in English and other languages, as appropriate, to ensure messages are accessible to employees who speak English as a second language. 

Contractor Note: All site-specific projects without ready access to an indoor bathroom shall install hand wash stations with water and soap. Each restroom/hand wash station shall have posted hand washing instructions. All other projects shall provide ready access to alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 

Food Service 

During this COVID-19 Public Health Emergency – Public Health Agencies recommend all contractors bring their own food to the job site during this time. Should the work site receive food service from a Mobile Food Truck the site supervisor/project manager MUST: 

1. Advise staff of social distancing if waiting in line 

2. No self-service is allowed by construction employees. The Mobile Food Truck staff must provide the product.

3. Employees shall purchase and receive their own food i.e apprentices should not be taking orders and redistributing food to crew.

Health Monitoring and Reporting

Active Health Monitoring:

  1. Project will display a Daily Wellness Questionnaire posted on site to be answered by each worker at the start of each shift and recorded in the daily report (see below). 
  2. Prior to starting a shift, each employee will self-certify (create document) to their supervisor that they:
  • Have no signs of: a fever or a measured temperature at or above 100.3 degrees, a cough, or trouble breathing within the past 24 hours.
  • Have not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means: living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for about 15 minutes, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic.
  • Have not been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a local public health official.
  1. Workers in a confined space or inside a closed building envelope will be temperature screened by a medical professional or trained individual provided that such screening is out of public view to maintain the privacy of workers and the test results.
  2. Employees exhibiting symptoms or unable to self-certify should be directed to leave the work site and seek medical attention and applicable testing by their healthcare provider. They are not to return to the work site until cleared by a medical professional.
  3. If an employee is sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms including coughing, fever, or shortness of breath, they must not report to the job site.
  4. If an employee has contracted COVID-19 and has been on the job site, field office, or meeting attended by on-site personnel or an individual is suspected of having contracted COVID-19 and is exhibiting symptoms, including coughing, fever, or shortness of breath, the COVID-19 Response Protocol (below) will be initiated.

ON-SITE COVID-19 Response Protocol:

If an individual is suspected of having contracted COVID-19 and is exhibiting symptoms

including coughing, fever, or shortness of breath, the following protocol is in place:

• On-site Safety Officer will be notified.

• The individual will be quarantined and removed from contact with other workers

while they wait for transportation.

• If the individual is exhibiting severe symptoms, Emergency Response Services (EMS)

will be called.

If an individual exhibits signs of the flu or Coronavirus, has been to a level 3

country, or is in close contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19, the following

protocol will be initiated:

• The on-site Safety Officer will be notified.

• The individual will not be permitted to enter job site or field office.

• All on-site partners will be notified, including on-site trades, staff, and owner.

• The project will be suspended.

• The affected areas will be decontaminated.

Other items to consider

The Safety Report shall include a photo of these signs posted at all entry points to the work site.

Some municipalities are requiring daily reports, modified Job Hazard Analysis/Pre-Task Plan to address COVID precautions, and other requests so check with your local jurisdiction. 

Author: Joe Kelly

Website builder and podcaster for people who dig construction 🔨 🚧

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