COVID-19 is a disease that attacks the respiratory system caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. It’s extremely important to employ prevention measures so you can keep both your employees and clients safe. As a construction business owner, it falls on you to educate your team and customers on proper virus prevention. It’s also your job to establish prevention policies and measures across all your business operations.

This matters beyond doing the right thing. It’s also important so your prospects and leads feel comfortable enough to contact you and do business with you amidst a pandemic. 

General Measures

  • Provide your team with access to clean running water, soap, and materials for drying their hands. Educate them on the importance of frequent handwashing. If soap and water aren’t available, supply them with hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Encourage sick people to stay home and measure everyone’s temperature as they’re coming to work.
  • Make sure all your team members have the necessary PPE available on the job site.
  • Implement flexible and supportive sick leave policies and practices.
  • Reach out to local public health officials/offices to obtain relevant information about the local outbreak conditions.

Measures Specific to the Construction Industry

The main goal while working on a construction site is to limit the possible exposure to the virus, as well as to spot the early signs of having an infected team member so they can be isolated. Here’s what you need to do as a construction business owner/manager:

  • Provide accurate information about how COVID-19 can be contracted and what prevention measures everyone should take both during and outside of work. This can take the form of posters spread around the job site.
  • Make sure all team members keep at least 6 feet distance from each other. If that’s not possible, limit the number of people within that saturated area. These typically include trailers, site elevators, and vehicles. 
  • Supply enough cloth face coverings and PPE (personal protective equipment) for all team members. Wearing these masks is important to prevent the spread of the disease, including by people who don’t know are infected and/or have no symptoms.
  • Identify sick team members and isolate them from the rest of the workers. Follow the CDC-recommended steps for people who have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Apply strict measures of disinfection. Educate your employees on how to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. These include shared tools, vehicles, doorknobs, handrails, ladders, portable toilets, and other pieces of equipment. If possible, limit the use of shared tools and supply each person with their own set. This disinfection should take place at the beginning and end of each shift, as well as after each use of the objects.
  • Make sure to identify the employees that have a higher risk of getting infected. These are older workers, employees with existing health conditions, especially heart- and respiratory-related. Do your best to keep those workers as safe as possible.
  • Provide plastic dividers or temporary walls on job sites where it’s mandatory for your team to be working in close proximity to one another.   

Measures for Concrete Contractors

Concrete projects can vary greatly from repairing a patio to constructing garage floors, building foundations, and hardscaping designs. The most important thing is to focus on avoiding tool sharing and disinfecting new supplies as they come in. Carpooling should also be reinstated for the time being to limit unnecessary contact between your team members. Estimates and invoices should be handled electronically as much as possible to limit the exposure to coronavirus.

Measures for Tile Contractors

Tile work is a vital part of construction. Aside from the general measures for construction workers we have described above, it is important to focus on your interactions with other contractors on the same building project (if applicable). Be sure to wear the respective PPE (personal protective equipment) and keep at least 6 feet away from other workers. If the property owners/clients are at the job site, ask them to limit their visits as much as possible and to refrain from getting in unnecessary contact with others. Just like you, they too should wear protective gear. 

Additional COVID-19 Resources

If you want to stay updated on the spread of the virus, make sure to regularly check the CDC and World Health Organization websites. You will find various resources about small businesses (check COVID-19 Guidance: Businesses and Employers) and prevention measures there. Don’t forget to update your Google My Business information if COVID-19 has forced you to make changes to your daily work schedule, or make a dedicated coronavirus post about it. Keeping people informed about the state of your business during this crisis is crucially important if you are to keep them as customers.