Note: This guest post is by Kevin Dandridge, OSHA Certified Instructor and Owner of 1 Life Safety. He has certifications in OSHA 500, Asbestos, Lead, CFM, NFPA 70 arc Flash Instruction, Disaster Workers Instruction, MEWP, Scissor Lift, Forklift and First Aid / CPR / AED Instructions, as well as others.
Good morning. I hope you and your workers do their utmost to stay safe during the current pandemic. OSHA has also released another mandate to stay safe during the crisis.
I have had many conversations about what we should do during this crisis; What extremes we must take to continue safe practices during the pandemic.
In this regard, I have continuously reviewed OSHA and CDC materials for guidance. Most companies want to do their best to protect their employees but also keep their businesses running. I have been asked what security PPE should be added to combat COVID-1
Keeping as much social distance between employees as humanly possible in a workplace is important. We all know that social distance in construction can be extremely difficult to do in cramped neighborhoods. Train employees to recognize illness and understand that if they do not feel well for any reason, not to come to work. If you have the fixability, provide safer options; work from home or in shifts that make the workplace less crowded. When it comes to construction, it can be an extremely hard decision not to come to work because you will not get paid.
Setting up and maintaining the right PPE and rules required to be in a workplace are crucial to keeping your workers safe – as well as their families. Introducing mandatory temperature controls to enter a workplace as well as halfway through the day to monitor and potentially limit exposure is another important factor for workplace safety.
If an employee is infected with the virus, employers should require a two-week quarantine at home and a negative test for the employee to return to work. Fortunately, I have not yet met an employer who has lost an employee to the virus. They have all recovered.
OSHA has always followed the CDC's rules to keep us safe:
- Make sure you do social distance.
- Always wash your hands number three masks.
- Avoid sharing tools and work equipment.
- Disinfect these items before and after use.
Other Things to Consider in the Workplace:
- Make sure you give plenty of breaks to workers who have to wear masks in the workplace. Masks reduce oxygen during physical exertion – and working in a workplace is definitely physical exertion. For each hour of work where there is increased or excessive heat and humidity, a 15-minute break should be added.
- To help maintain the social distance rules, ensure that tasks with other industries are evaluated and time adjustments are made to ensure that other industries are not underfoot.
- Make sure there are plenty of hand washing stations in the workplace so that workers can keep their hands clean.
- Make sure that PPE face masks, goggles and gloves are easily accessible.
If you ever have any questions regarding safety at work, whether it is related to pandemics or just public safety, always contact 1 Life Safety . We are here to help you protect yourself.