As the summer approaches, most of the world is entering a year since the first lockdowns caused by the pandemic started. There are a lot of activities you’re supposed to see, but people are still mostly in lockdown, save for a few industries and sectors of society.
Some contractors have continued working, moving from mostly restricted crew to a partially full implement of men. There are those that are working on commissioning buildings while others are assigned for other work. It’s one of the many industries that managed to stay afloat during the pandemic while others were forced to close or were struggling with the lockdowns.
With the pandemic still in full swing, how should these workers protect their own? Here’s a look at what they should do to make the jobs stay and keep the pandemic away.
Preventing the Virus
There is a lot that goes into trying to stop the virus from infecting your employees. There are some rules that have only been introduced recently, with government contractors having to adjust to these. It’s easy to follow earlier laws, but rules that have been recently introduced might be hard to follow.
Each jurisdiction has a different rule for something. Contractors must take note of this to make sure they’re complying properly, or they’ll have to face consequences. Fortunately, almost everyone is doing the same precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If these orders are mandatory, there might be a few rules broken within the company’s requirements or stipulations on the contract. This may be an issue with the company, but completely worth it if it’s to prevent the further spread of the virus.
Have the Safety Manager lookout for protocols
The safety manager has the toughest job of all the people working to prevent the virus. While they’re trying to keep the site safe, they also have added work in trying to keep the virus away from the people working on the project.
Social distancing is a must, and so are PPEs on the site. This can be an easy job for the safety manager. Since everyone is basically outside and doing their work, there are very few chances for mingling, as well as coming into close contact with each other.
To make things easier, safety managers can include these as ‘added guidelines’ for workers to follow.
Keep an eye out for positive cases
If indeed, a positive case occurs in the site, contractors should pull all the stops to bring the infected person into the hospital and away from the crew. Quarantine protocols have already been in place for a year, and they should follow these when dealing with a sick employee. It could spell the difference between halting work for a short time and suspending it for an indefinite period.
Aside from imposing a quarantine on the suspected person, they should also make sure that the site is disinfected. They should make a trace of all those crew members who have come into contact with the infected person and see if the virus did spread.
Create a team that handles the pandemic response
Contractors shouldn’t wait until an infection occurs to create a team to handle cases of infection. A pandemic preparation and response team is a good idea, especially when there’re no cases yet of COVID-19 infection occurring.
These should compose of representatives that are armed with the knowledge of handling infected cases. It should also contain people from the human resources and operations department, not to mention people from the health and safety and communications sectors within the company as well.
Considerations for continuation or halting operations
Let’s face it: one infected person can seriously jeopardize the operation if not caught in time. If the team has already isolated an infected team member, they should decide whether to continue operations or to stop it for a few days or a longer time, if need be.
Consider business operations during an actual pandemic. There are a lot of contractors that had packed up operations when the pandemic first started, but a lot managed to continue as well. What matters is whether there are enough safety measures to continue operations.
If the site can continue with a reduced workforce, then that should be a solid answer toward continuing the work until completion.
There are a lot of considerations to make to keep your operations rolling during the pandemic. If you know what to do, and what precautions to take, then you can continue to focus on worrying about the projects to finish. Your workforce will know how to deal with the virus.