COVID-19 Game Plan: Construction Site Health and Safety Guidelines

Posted: 2020-12-08

The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected nearly every business on the planet, and the construction industry is no exception. Most companies put their operations to a halt to help minimize the spread of the virus. But the work stoppage cannot be permanent. Workers have families to feed and bills to pay, and so they have to get back to work.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established essential guidelines for employers in the construction industry. It is vital to have a COVID-19 plan ready to ensure the health and safety of every worker.

Here are some of OSHA’s recommendations.

Stay on top of changing guidelines.

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, meaning, it is a newly-developed virus. Therefore, scientists and researchers are still trying to figure out the virus’s behavior, life cycle, and how to beat it. With that in mind, governments are setting regulations in accordance with the latest scientific data. No one wants to be infected by this virus, that’s why authorities warn businesses that in case of a spike in cases, there will ask non-essential jobs to shut down again. It’s important to have a person whose job is dedicated to being up to date with the latest announcements from authorities. This individual will alert the management about COVID-19 trends and news so the organization can make the necessary adjustments.

Evaluate the risk of exposure.

A worker’s exposure to the virus depends on the nature of work and the job site itself. According to OSHA, job sites can be categorized into three types:

•                    Low risk - these are job sites that permit workers to keep a physical distance of at least six feet.

•                    Medium risk - these are job sites that allow workers to be within six feet of each other. If workers are allowed to interact with the general public, a physical distance of six feet is required.

•                    High risk - these are indoor job sites where there is at least one person who is suspected to have COVID-19.

Train your workers.

To effectively protect your workers, it is essential to provide them with COVID-19 awareness training. Discuss the common symptoms of COVID-19 with them and talk about how the virus is transmitted from one person to another. Instruct them to observe minimum health standards such as the proper wearing of masks, maintaining physical distancing, proper handwashing, and pay attention to respiratory etiquette. Provide them with personal protective equipment if necessary.

Workers should be well informed on protocols to follow in case they or their family members get infected. For the time being, handshaking should be avoided. Encourage non-contact ways of greeting. Encourage workers to stay at home if they exhibit symptoms.

Set schedules wisely.

To ensure physical distancing on the job site, you should consider staggering start times, breaks, and lunches. Also, restrict the number of people in their work areas to help minimize the risk of spreading the virus. If you have to hold meetings, conduct them outside or in a large space to make sure physical distancing is observed.

Disinfect the workplace.

COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person through close contact, including at work. It’s one thing to demand workers to maintain the cleanliness in their worksites, but it is imperative for your organization to conduct regular on-site sanitation.

Disinfect commonly touched areas such as lunch tables, door handles, tools and equipment, lifts, and site trailers. It’s best to provide your workers with sanitation items such as soap, alcohol, or hand sanitizers. To remind everyone in the workplace to stay safe, post signages on hygiene in English and the common language of your workers.


Because of COVID-19, the world had to make adjustments in nearly every facet of life. Construction is an important part of the economy and operations must continue. However, it is necessary to ensure the safety of workers to stop the spread of the virus. Having a clear COVID-19 game plan is a step toward remaining productive amid the pandemic. But guidelines won’t help without everyone’s participation. It only takes one person to infect an individual or two. But if every worker consciously adheres to your health and safety regulations, your company can beat COVID-19.