New safety standards, equipment, and technology continue to get introduced around the construction industry in hopes of protecting workers during the pandemic. Here are some of the latest COVID innovations and updates in construction regarding jobsite safety.
Disinfecting Job Sites
A big challenge facing construction firms during the pandemic is how to efficiently disinfect high traffic areas and common touch surfaces around jobsites. Rosendin Electric might have found an effective solution by using an industrial-grade cooling unit to blow mist made up of disinfectant and water over empty job sites. A growing number of construction leaders are investing in the $4000 Power Breezer machines to keep their workers safe.
Face Covering Efficacy
Studies are still questioning the effectiveness of neck gaiters, bandanas, and other homemade masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through respiratory droplets. Some lab tests have indicated that they do provide some degree of protection, while another test that used optical imaging technology contradicted them by finding that they offer about the same protection as wearing no mask at all. But according to one expert, face mask efficacy is based on how well they fit and the type of fabric that they are made from. Be advised that two layers are better than one when it comes to fabric face masks, and they should fit snugly with no gaps. Here are the top five masks for keeping droplet spray to a minimum:
- Fitted N95 mask
- Surgical mask
- Poly/cotton mask
- Polypropylene mask
- A swath of polypropylene material
Even though construction leadership can recommend, or even require the use of personal protective equipment on job sites, it’s still important to consider the drawbacks that face masks can have on employee safety. For instance, construction workers are already exposed to extreme weather conditions, especially during the summer and winter months, and wearing masks can make them feel even hotter, make it difficult to breathe, fog eyeglasses while operating heavy equipment, etc. Investing in effective and well-designed masks is a priority for safety and comfort.
Emergency Safety Standards
Virginia became the first to issue state-level safety regulations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency safety standards are set to expire in six months and stipulates that employers across the state must follow specific guidelines for protecting workers including encouraging self-monitoring for signs of COVID-19, developing reporting procedures, offering flexible sick leave policies, and training employees about ETS.
Current events like this are important to know because they can help you avoid fines, lawsuits and keep workers safe.
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