Susceptibility to COVID-19 transmission increases as more business and industries resume their operations after the Philippines is placed under more lenient quarantine restrictions. In a recent survey, 90% of respondents who are immunologists, infectious-disease researchers, and virologists believe that the virus will become endemic in the long run.
For the construction industry, this only rationalizes the reality of accepting -a “new normal” by enforcing key measures that will guarantee safety and limit the transmission for smoother operations.
Here is a brief rundown on important measures to be implemented:
- Limiting Exposure
Observance of good hygiene plays a big role in controlling viral transmission, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The placement of proper handwashing, sanitizing, and disinfecting stations around the site is required.
Tool sharing should also be limited unless necessary. For tools and equipment that need to be shared, disinfection must be done before and after use. Cleaning and sanitation of common and shared areas should be done regularly to ensure public health safety.
Crowd management must be done efficiently to limit face-to-face interactions. This can be done by communicating remotely via mobile or radio devices. To remove further exposure while commuting or travel, providing barracks to house workers on site is seen as an effective alternative. If the space does not allow this, contractors are encouraged to provide shuttle services to the workers.
- Personnel Protection
In line with standards and protocols implemented by the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases), wearing a mask is required in addition to the personal protective equipment that includes fall protection, hard hats, hearing protection, and other necessary gear.
Depending on operational need and hazard assessment, wearing a face shield is an effective layer of protection that workers can opt to wear. Signages must also be stationed around the site to remind of proper hygiene, handwashing, appropriate physical distancing, and other pertinent safety reminders.
- Planning Ahead
Preparation is always key in the face of any crisis or challenge. Developing a COVID-19 Exposure plan is a proactive approach in ensuring that clients, managers, and workers are briefed and aware of their roles.
In dealing with the pandemic, having the right information can also save lives. Educating managers and workers to monitor and detect signs and symptoms of COVID-19 will stop outbreaks or a possible transmission.
It is also important to always have a Safety Officer present on the site. The number of safety officers needed at a time depends on the number of workers on the site at any given point.
Lastly, conducting regular health and safety audits on-site can help monitor possible issues and come up with solutions to resolve it. Coordination with local government units is also important as COVID-19 construction guidelines may vary depending on the location of the site.
Beyond the threats of the pandemic, the wellness and safety of workers on-site should be of utmost priority. The professional management and handling of operations will definitely help in assessing the risks and ensuring smoother conduct of projects.
For excellent project management services, contact Lana Kier at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (+63) 2-7971-0238.