Mar 19, 2020
The Construction Industry Takes Precautions to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus
BY AsphaltPro Staff
As COVID-19 continues to have a major impact on our economy and our daily lives, various organizations within the construction industry have stepped up to prepare useful resources for how our industry can best handle the pandemic.
The National Asphalt Paving Association (NAPA) has prepared resources for our industry, including:
- A health and safety page providing information about coronavirus symptoms and how to prevent its spread
- A page for legislative updates regarding coronavirus bills and disaster assistance for small businesses
- A business impacts and continuity section of resources for your business.
A simple way to remember what precautions to take is to “Do the five”:
- HANDS: Wash them often
- ELBOW: Cough into it
- FACE: Don’t touch it
- FEET: Stay more than 3ft apart
- FEEL sick? Stay home
NAPA also reminds us of COVID-19’s symptoms, including fever (especially if greater than 100), cough (often dry), body aches/headache, shortness of breath, runny/stuffy nose, chills, and general fatigue. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, call your healthcare provider.
The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) has worked closely with NABTU and our research, government, and other industry partners to prepare a COVID-19 resource page. The resource page aims to answer questions about the spread of this disease and provide guidance for both employers and employees in the construction industry. This advice includes:
- Create at least 6 feet between workers by staging/staggering crews to prevent droplet spread.
- Plan for office staff to have the ability to work from home.
- Provide soap and running water on all job sites for frequent hand washing. If that is impossible, provide hand sanitizer.
- If you work in healthcare facilities, train your workers in Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA). For information on CPWR’s ICRA training program, visit: https://www.cpwr.com/training/infection-control-risk-assessment-icra
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces on job sites and in offices frequently — such as hand rails, door knobs, and portable toilets — per CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html
- Do not go to work if you are feeling sick.
- Do not shake hands when greeting others.
- Try to stay six feet away from others on the job site, including during morning gatherings, meetings, and training sessions.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with tissues if you cough or sneeze or do so into your elbow.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- Clean hands after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
And CPWR reminds us that individuals over 60 and those with underlying health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease are more at risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19.
Here are additional links from federal government partners:
- From OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
- From NIOSH: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/emres/2019_ncov.html
- From CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- From CDC for employers about getting their businesses ready: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html