When it comes to the construction industry, all that are involved are told from day one on that what separates the great workers from the lazy ones is their devotion to their jobs and whether or not they are willing to work even on their hardest day (ie. Covid-19 stricken work field).
This concept is somewhat of a motto for the industry’s tireless workers. Therefore, when duty calls, every hardworking individual is there with a smile on their face and a pep in their step. So, what happens when a pandemic strikes and construction is still considered an essential part of keeping the countless cities and states of our fine country functioning? Well, the answer is simple. The workers that live by this motto come to work with the same tenacity that they would any other day.
However, tenacity only gets you so far with a virus that can be easily contracted and spread from worker to worker. This is where safety protocol and knowing how to protect yourself from the virus comes into play. In order to know more about how to stay safe on the job site during a pandemic, we must first look at what the virus actually is, how dangerous and viral it is, and then determine what steps can be taken to mitigate the risk moving forward.
What is Covid-19?
According to the Center for Disease Control, “Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that can spread from person to person.” So far, in the United States alone, there have been 1.06 million cases and 61,472 deaths caused by this virus. Perhaps, one of the most concerning facts about the virus is that many of the individuals that have the virus are asymptomatic. This means that you could very well have it and not know thus making everywhere you go and everything you touch a potential hazard for others.
The main ways in which the virus is spread is through sneezing/ cough droplets, and touching a surface that an infected individual previously touched. Immunocompromised individuals are more likely to get the infection as well as children and the elderly. However, this has not stopped the virus from also attacking perfectly healthy individuals and leading to their untimely demises.
Because the virus is so dangerous, many states have enforced lockdown protocols, reduced the hours in which stores are opened, closed down all restaurants, parks, and other public settings, and encouraged individuals to practice social distancing when in public. However, these protocols simply can’t apply to a job site such as a construction zone for obvious reasons leaving countless workers unsure of what to do and how to stay safe despite their job descriptions.
Fortunately, we here at Sawcutting Specialties recognize this problem and have worked to come up with a solution for all of our amazing industry workers and customers alike. By following the five steps below, you are sure to stay safe no matter what happens at work.
The Top 5 Ways to Avoid Becoming Infected on the job Site
Considering just how vital it is that your health is preserved on the job site, the best way to ensure this is to be prepared, know the right protocol, and to take this virus seriously. While some may continue to protest the lockdowns, this is something that affects us all and the more we choose to deny the distancing requests, the longer it will take for our country to recover. Having said this, here are our top five picks for ways to help and not hinder the cause on the job site.
1) Practice Social Distancing as Much as Possible
One of the first ways to avoid contracting or spreading the virus on a job site is to practice social distancing when you can. For instance, if the job requires individual projects, it would be best to perform said projects at least six feet apart. While this may be a tad bit isolating, it is sure to keep you safe on the job site.
You can also practice this social distancing during lunch breaks and after work. While you may be used to eating together or talking about your day together, it is best to keep your distance and ensure that none of you spread the virus in the long run.
2) Clean Your Hands in Between Projects
Whether you are working with raw materials or operating machinery, every single thing you touch should be considered to be dangerous. Because of this, every time you finish a project, the best way to ensure the safety of others on the site that may now need to fill that space is to wipe down everything, clean your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds, and try to clean any kinds of fabric materials such as fabric gloves that may have come in contact with the virus on the job site every single night before the next day at work begins.
By doing this, you can remove the vast majority of the potential threats and safely say that your work area is virus-free.
3) Ensure That the Entire Team has Been Tested
Although this is one of the more inconvenient options on the list given the average time it takes to get tested at a site, by testing your entire staff, you can keep your job site clear of all carriers which is a very big step in the right direction for obvious reasons.
In order to make sure that the staff actually does get tested, you may want to schedule a time for the whole team to go together during the workday. Although this may take precious time out of your day, it will ensure the health and safety of your entire team thus actually helping you to be more productive in the long run. After all, missing team members makes a work site run far slower than it would otherwise.
4) Adhere to the Same Safety Guidelines as Usual
During a pandemic such as this, you may see more individuals not coming to work and the job site becoming a bit more relaxed because of it. However, do not let the laid-back nature of your new site affect the safety of said work.
If you are performing work that requires a mask such as dry cutting concrete or are moving sheet metal that would normally require industrial gloves, do not remove the mask or gloves simply because they are cloth or may contain the virus. Instead, simply bring your own gloves and masks to the job site to ensure your own safety and to also ensure the safety of all at work during this Covid-19 pandemic.
5) Do not Ignore Possible Symptoms
Lastly, although it may be hard to simply stop working for a small cough or fever, if you begin to show potential signs of having the Covid-19 virus, your best bet is to leave the worksite, get tested, and move forward from there depending on the results.
Fortunately, many sources have provided information regarding the virus symptoms and what to look for before heading to the hospital including this incredibly useful Covid-19 virus self-checker.
However, if you simply don’t have the time to do all the research on your own, the main Covid-19 signs to watch for are:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of these symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
If you are facing any of these signs, it is best to rush to the hospital for testing and medical assistance without fail.
In the end, it’s no secret that this pandemic has changed quite a bit in our current society since the start of the year but the best way to get back to normal is to simply adhere to the protocol, stay safe no matter where you are, and never ignore the signs. The fortunate part of all of this is that we at Sawcutting Specialties are still there to provide you with every one of your construction site needs and products including safety glasses, gloves, and more! Our store is locked but by simply calling us, we will have your items ready for pick up in no time!
To all of our amazing customers, friends, family, and neighbors, stay safe out there and know that we love you all and can’t wait to assist you once more with all your diamond blade and construction needs!