Keeping Construction Workers Healthy
Workers on a construction site are exposed to dust and debris on a regular basis and proper care should be taken to protect them from health and safety risks and injury. Besides wearing hard hats, gloves, eye goggles, visors, boots, ear muffs and overalls for their protection, they also need to don face masks to keep their faces protected. The masks must be of very high quality to keep the face well covered without compromising on their mobility and ability to communicate with each other.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for this has been greatly emphasized. According to the Construction Dive, inspectors in New York are showing up to sites unannounced and issuing fines to anyone found without their face masks, not only while working but also during breaks. Brad Hammock, an attorney and co-chair of Littler’s Workplace Safety & Health Practice Group went on to say that “measures for noncompliance could include fines or penalties.”
To ensure that employees comply with company face covering policies, Hammock and Jim Goss--a senior safety consultant at HCSS Construction Software--recommended the following steps:
- Set clear, company wide expectations about the use of face coverings. “There should be no ambiguity,” Hammock said.
- Communicate the importance of all types of coronavirus prevention, said Goss. Have managers talk about it during toolbox talks and other meetings. “The key here is training and educating our workers to understand what the potential issues are,” he said.
- Ensure that managers, supervisors and foreman wear face coverings. “If you don't have that from your leadership there is virtually no way you’re going to get full buy-in from employees,” said Hammock.
- Make it easy for your employees to obtain and maintain masks.
Remind workers that the virus is fast spreading and invisible. A seemingly safe area one day could become a hotspot the next week.