A COVID-19 safety policy — What is yours?

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All Coast Construction, a residential contractor based in Westlake Village, has developed a COVID-19 policy, which the company believes is worthy of sharing both with its subcontractors and suppliers, and the larger community.

A memo signed “with urgency” by company president Michael Grosswendt outlines the policy.

Here it is:

March 26th, 2020

A Letter to My California Building Associates

It should be clear that the stay at home order will slow the virus and is critical to our National Security. It is also clear the California Residential Construction Industry is an economic engine that is also critical in powering the local economy and reducing dependence on a federal bailout.

At the same time, it is incumbent on us to provide a safe working environment for our employees. Although this virus is highly contagious, people can plan, prepare and work together in a manner that dramatically reduces the risk of exposure. Like everyone, I am seriously revising my Construction Safety Checklist for my team and my jobsites. I am confident through effective implementation and monitoring; it will allow a safe worksite.

Here is the crux of my dilemma and the purpose of this letter:

Although I am confident my employees will be effective with this plan, we are going to be compromised by our subcontractors when they arrive unless they have adopted a similar approach. It is not enough that subcontractors and others who visit the job site practice my checklist, they need to arrive at my site after departing a site that also has appropriate procedures in place. Any one jobsite is one part of what needs to be an integrated loop system.

Residential general and subcontractors have the unique opportunity to discuss and consider a common Code of Practice that will protect and preserve the craftsman and skilled laborers that are the foundation of our work. The foregoing will work well with the community of architects, designers, engineers, consultants, inspectors and homeowners who should also abide by our guidelines when visiting construction sites.

Here is my current evolving Covid-19 Construction Safety Checklist:

  • Reduced number of workers to allow effective “work” distancing
  • Superintendent office relocated outside of the structure
  • Mandatory non-contact thermometers applied to everyone on arrival prior to admittance (those with a temperature must go home)
  • Full time latex and/or work gloves and bandanas mandatory (masks are a medical shortage and that has higher priority)
  • Daily change of t-shirts and work pants mandatory
  • Arrive and depart only one person per vehicle
  • One person dedicated to job site check in and consistent portable toilet maintenance, constant handles and knob disinfecting, clean common surfaces, monitoring that safe practices are in place at all times
  • Mandatory hand washing for all site personnel multiple times a day
  • Breaks and lunches outside only with mandatory social distancing (provide shade and seating)

I realize there are other opinions on this and I would be interested in hearing them.

I am actively seeking more ideas.

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone.

I am just putting this out there to stimulate conversation and hopefully develop a consensus that provides the safety we all deserve.

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