Review COVID-19 Guidelines to Keep Jobsites Safe
Adherence to COVID-19 guidelines is not just a social responsibility. It’s also good business. Keeping your workplaces and jobsites safe and your teams healthy allows projects to continue smoothly and to be completed on time. NYCA has consolidated COVID-19 resources from a number of organizations. These provide insight on everything from OSHA guidance on use of masks to CDC protocol for disinfecting work spaces.
The Construction Industry Safety Coalition’s customizable “COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan” for construction companies. This plan has been updated as of October 29 and should be reviewed, if your company has not done so already.
Follow the links below, and give your team a refresher. It can save lives.
NYS Designation of COVID-19 as “Highly Contagious Communicable Disease” Triggers HERO Act Protocols
Gov. Kathy Hochul and NYS DOH’s designation of COVID-19 as a “Highly Contagious Communicable Disease” has triggered HERO Act protocols requiring employers to promptly take steps to implement their exposure prevention plans.
All employers now must follow strict standards and put their prevention plans into action, in accordance with the resources linked below.
Educate Your Team on Exposure Prevention Plans, Vaccinations, and Mask Use
This new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic comes with as many questions as did the first wave: “What precautions must I take now that I’ve returned to the workplace?”
“What are the facts about vaccines?”
“Where do I need to wear a mask and where don’t I?”
Most people are frustrated by the lack of certainty regarding proper safety measures, so managers can help simplify matters for their team members by educating them on their organization’s Exposure Prevention Plan, as is required by recently triggered HERO Act protocols.
In addition to reviewing and updating Exposure Prevention Plans to reflect current federal, state, and local information, guidance, and requirements regarding the spread of COVID-19, employers must:
- Disseminate the new plan to all team members, post a hard copy of the plan in a prominently visible worksite or office location, and ensure that a copy of the plan is accessible during all work shifts
- Verbally notify all employees of updates to the plan and where on the worksite a copy of the plan can be found
- Designate a supervisory employee tasked with monitoring updates to federal, state, and local guidance regarding preventing the spread of COVID-19
- train all team members on all elements of the updated plan
Such a discussion is also the perfect time to reiterate facts about vaccination and guidelines for mask use. Here are some additional resources to explore with your team:
Within its section titled “Updated Guidance on Workplace Risk,” the plan states:
“For potential exposures to unvaccinated workers or who are otherwise at-risk, OSHA recommends implementing multiple layers of controls (e.g., implementing physical distancing, maintaining ventilation systems, and properly using face coverings or personal protective equipment (PPE) when appropriate).”
OSHA’s plan also “outlines inspection procedures to enable CSHOs to identify exposures to COVID-19-related hazards in non-healthcare settings, and to ensure that appropriate control measures are implemented.”
CDC continues to recommend taking precautions even as individuals receive their vaccination. Keep job sites safe by continuing to encourage your employees to follow these guidelines:
- Correctly and consistently wear a mask over nose and mouth in public spaces
- Stay six feet from others who do not live with you
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces
- Stay home when you are sick
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water