COVID-19 & Bob Moore Construction
We all know that COVID-19 has changed our everyday lives. As of the date of this article, Dallas and Tarrant Counties have announced shelter in place orders for residents and businesses. Construction in both cases has been listed as an essential business and thus work on active construction sites will continue uninterrupted. However, the vast majority of our office staff have been asked to work from home beginning last week. All Bob Moore Construction personnel both in the office and in the field are required to follow all CDC and OSHA guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
According to OSHA:
“There is no specific OSHA standard covering COVID-19. However, some OSHA requirements may apply to preventing occupational exposure to COVID-19. Among the most relevant are:
- OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standards (in general industry, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I), which require using gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection.
- When respirators are necessary to protect workers, employers must implement a comprehensive respiratory protection program in accordance with the Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134).
- OSHA has issued temporary guidance related to enforcement of respirator annual fit-testing requirements for healthcare.
- The General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, 29 USC 654(a)(1), which requires employers to furnish to each worker “employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.””
The CDC has more direct guidelines for individuals and businesses to follow. While guidelines should be used as the rule of thumb, using common sense in any instance is always the best option and err on the side of caution rather than carelessness.
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home:
- Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home.
Identify where and how workers might be exposed to COVID-19 at work:
- Be aware that some employees may be at higher risk for serious illness, such as older adults and those with chronic medical conditions. Consider minimizing face-to-face contact between these employees or assign work tasks that allow them to maintain a distance of six feet from other workers, customers and visitors, or to telework if possible.
Separate sick employees:
- Employees who appear to have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home.
Educate employees about how they can reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Employees can take steps to protect themselves at work and at home. Older people and people with serious chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for complications.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Learn more about coughing and sneezing etiquette on the CDC website.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
- Practice social distancing by avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
We encourage all of our employees, clients, and partners to follow government guidelines so that we can beat this virus and return to normal everyday living soon. A complete list of CDC guidelines and information can be found here.