NEW OSHA Guidelines aimed at job site safety
Acknowledging that construction workers face unique challenges in workplace safety during the coronavirus pandemic, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration has released a set of guidelines specifically for contractors to help them protect worker health.
Safety + Health, published by the National Safety Council, says the alert specifically asks construction contractors to take steps that, while inconvenient for the job site, will create a safer environment for crews reporting to work. Core among those steps is for employers to create a workplace in which it is expected that team members stay home if they are ill or know they have been exposed to the coronavirus. The OSHA guidelines also ask workers to report workplaces that they feel are unsafe. “The alert calls on employers to encourage workers to report any safety or health concerns and stay home when sick,” the article says. “Additionally, the agency recommends that in-person meetings, including toolbox talks and safety meetings, be kept as short as possible. Organizations should limit the number of workers in attendance and make sure they remain at least 6 feet apart from each other at all times.”
Further, the guidelines outline hygiene steps intended to mitigate the spread of the virus, including protocols for cleaning shared tools and job-site community spaces like break areas or construction porta-potties. Also part of the protocols and procedures that construction firms need to address is worker education regarding safety measures, the article says, so that they can do a better job protecting themselves from illness as well as protecting the crew working around them in case they may be unwittingly shedding the virus.
Read the article, including the OSHA guidelines HERE. The National Safety Council also provides a host of other articles aimed at improving the safety of all kinds of workplaces, construction job sites included.