How Are We Keeping Jobsites Running Safely?by Nina Penson
Job site safety has been closely regulated for decades. Construction professionals are among some of the most ready and able to implement new solutions to address COVID-19.
Continuing an industry - and company - culture of safety
Driving past a construction site you may see a crane lifting a giant structural beam into place, see people driving construction equipment or see workers up on rooftops and scaffolding putting the finishing touches on a building. You may even think construction sites look dangerous.
OSHA would agree with you, which is why regulations were put into place and have been updated and enforced since 1970. Having safety awareness, practices and protocols in place is critical to ensure workers are protected and is the key focus of La Macchia Group’s Vice President of Safety, Mark Sikora.
Mark has been responsible for keeping workers safe for over 35 years and has the new task of addressing health and safety in the face of COVID-19. “It is important for our superintendents and project teams to take extra steps to ensure the health and safety of our jobsites, says Mark. “Although some of the specific actions we’re taking are new, the fact that worker safety has always been our top priority makes us confident that our teams can navigate this successfully.”
The focus on safety may also be one of the reasons construction work can continue and be considered an essential activity in many states. According to La Macchia Group President Tom Kennedy, “Safety is highly regulated in construction, intensely monitored by OSHA and has been deeply ingrained in the construction industry for decades.’ He goes on to say, “La Macchia Group quickly adopted OSHA’s guidelines on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, amending our safety manual and making them part of our standard operating procedures. La Macchia Group continues to adapt to these new guidelines to ensure an always safe environment for our contractors and construction teams.”
What extra steps are you taking to ensure the health and safety of construction teams?
“Keeping social distancing at the forefront during construction sounds like a difficult task but our crews are putting in the extra effort to do work individually whenever possible,” says Mark. Construction workers were already required to wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while on site and are heavily trained on what this entails. PPE includes hard hats, eye protection, long pants, protective footwear and gloves, along with task-specific protection.
Additionally, our construction teams and subcontractors are treating jobsites much like their homes:
- Team members disinfect common surfaces often
- Additional wash stations and hand sanitizing stations have been provided
- We’ve introduced separate entrances for contractors and encourage regular hand washing before entering job trailers
- No outside visitors are allowed onsite or in job trailers during this time
- Job site safety meetings, daily safety huddles and toolbox talks, are now done on conference calls or sent via email to the contractors whenever possible
As situations and procedures continue to evolve, La Macchia Group will grow with these changes. We look forward to continuing to partner with our customers to keep business moving forward. We know these are uncharted waters and taking extra precautions to have safe jobsites and keep people working is our highest priority.