As renovation and construction worksites reopen, some sanitary measures will need to be taken to ensure the good health of employees and clients. What are the recommended preventative measures? We’ve scoured through recommendations provided by health organizations and the government to provide you with what you need to know.
1 – Instill social distancing measures
The best way to limit risks is, to no one’s surprise, to practice social distancing on worksites. Make sure workers can work 2 meters from one another. Clients must also respect this measure when they visit the worksite to monitor its progression. Do your best to provide the technological tools at your disposal to limit visits in the space being worked on. If that isn’t always possible, provide the necessary protection equipment needed.
2 – Distribute masks, gloves, and visors to employees
Although masks do not provide an 100% effective barrier when it comes to droplets that carry the virus, they certainly help reduce risks. According to the Government of Canada, a mask is only effective if it:
- Is composed of 2 layers of fabric (like linen or cotton)
- Completely covers one’s mouth and nose without leaving gaps between skin and fabric
- Is properly fixed to one’s head with ties or elastics that loop around one’s ears
- Allows one to breathe easily
- Is comfortable and can be worn without frequent adjustments
- Is changed as soon as it becomes dirty or humid
- Keeps its shape after having been washed and dried
It is important to know how to properly put on and remove masks according to government officials and follow all other related sanitary measures (click here for Quebec Government suggestions). Employees can also wear plastic visors as long as they can operate safely.
3 – Assess your employees’ health at the beginning of every shift
To ensure the health and safety or all, be sure to ask your employees questions at the beginning of every work shift. Here are examples of questions to ask them:
- Do I exhibit some of these symptoms: cough, fever, difficulty breathing, loss of smell?
- Did I come back from travelling less than 2 weeks ago?
- Have I been in contact with someone that has COVID-19?
Taking your employees’ temperature is another preventative measure to take. Though, make sure it isn’t the only measure you take. Taking your employees’ temperature on outdoor worksites isn’t as reliable.
4 – Provide contact-free bathrooms with running water
For bigger worksites, it’s important you provide as many restrooms as possible to your employees. Provide disposable towels that can be thrown out in a bin not requiring contact (i.e. without a lid). Make sure that bathrooms are disinfected at least twice per shift. Also, put up posters to sensitize your employees about proper 20-second hand washing.
For worksites that do not have access to running water, make sure you provide sanitizing gel with at least 60% alcohol composition.
Download this poster to put up on your worksites:
5 – Hand out hand sanitizer to all your employees
You can encourage employees to really follow sanitary measures by providing them with a pocket-size hand sanitizer. By doing so, your employees will each have their own bottle and can sanitize as often as they like without having to go to a bathroom or sanitation station. Provide them with sanitizing wipes as well so they can sanitize equipment or trucks once they are done with them.
6 – Sanitize worksites at the end of every shift
If your worksite has a dining room, a conference room or any other room in which people gather, all surfaces should be sanitized regularly. Remember to also encourage people to stay at least 2 meters apart from one another or to enter these spaces on rotation if social distancing isn’t possible. Surfaces like dining tables should be made of easy to sanitize materials like plastic.
7 – Disinfect tools and shared vehicles at the end of each work day
If possible, avoid sharing of tools among employees. If that isn’t possible, you’ll need to sanitize all shared tools and equipment at the end of every shift. Don’t forget that vehicles like trucks should also be sanitized if multiple employees share the same one.
Download our memory aid:
For more information on worksite preventative measures, contact your respective organisation:
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|Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development|
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