3 Strategies to Prevent COVID Infection During Construction
by Evan Hill | August 2, 2021
As scientists continue to study and learn new ways to combat the spread of COVID-19, businesses and organizations worldwide are taking voluntary mitigation steps to ensure the continued survival of their companies.
This trend has been a particular challenge in the construction industry, which requires in-person interaction for most project production to occur. Project managers and other back-office positions have been able to work remotely. However, projects still require contractors, architects, subcontractors, and suppliers to work together in person to make progress on projects.
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As most construction professionals are considered essential personnel, the industry has been under particular scrutiny to ensure safe working conditions for all involved on the job site.
As most construction professionals are considered essential personnel, the industry has been under particular scrutiny to ensure safe working conditions for all involved on the job site. To prevent COVID-19 infections and control the spread of the virus during healthcare construction projects, construction managers have found ways to prioritize staff health while also sustaining project progress.
3 Steps to Take to Ensure Construction Site Safety from COVID-19
After many conversations with leaders throughout the industry over the past year and a half, we’ve compiled 3 of the most effective mitigation strategies:
1. Staggering contractor schedules:
One of the most proven ways to combat the spread of viruses is limiting the number of individuals in a confined, enclosed space. Thus, staggering the schedules of contractors (and their subs) to ensure proper social distancing is essential in preventing the spread of a viral infection.
2. Diversifying entry points to the job site:
Building off the first recommendation, providing multiple avenues of access to the job site instead of a centralized entry point can allow for additional workers on the job site without compromising the health and safety of those on-site.
3. Limiting tool sharing:
Construction workers are known to share tools, and for a good reason -- it’s cost-effective and efficient! But during a pandemic, project leaders need to encourage the different use of tools to ensure that the virus isn’t spread through this practice.
Construction managers and leaders may also want to consider working towards an ICRA (Infection Control Risk Assessment) Certification, which is “a formal protocol used to identify potential healthcare construction risks and create mitigation strategies to reduce or eliminate them.”
Regardless of when the COVID-19 pandemic officially ends, healthcare construction leaders must be prepared and ready to combat future pandemics. Ensuring both the health and safety of construction workers while maintaining project timelines is possible but requires significant resource investment and preparedness from project leaders, owners, and executives.
Key Topics Covered: Construction Project Management, Social distance restrictions