Most of Pavement Maintenance & Reconstruction's readership — including power sweeping contractors — are running essential businesses. After all these months, it’s easy to get ‘COVID fatigue.’ Don’t lose sight of the actions you need to be taking in order to maximize the health and safety of your workforce.
As you read through the following, which was gleaned from a number of reputable websites, remember that if an employee tests COVID-positive that will impact the availability of all of your other employees they have been in contact with throughout their resulting quarantine period away from work. Keep that fact in mind when you schedule employees and allocate their tools and other resources.
- Consider checking employee temperatures as well as having employees affirm before every shift that they: haven’t tested COVID-19 positive or been around anyone who has; have not had any symptoms of respiratory illness; do not feel sick at the moment.
- Have approved sanitizer widely available and encourage its usage.
- Conduct safety and other meetings by telephone or Zoom-type connections whenever possible. If you do have in-person meetings, conduct them outdoors if weather allows. Also, don’t pass around sign-in sheets. Rather, have a central person handle the form you use to confirm attendance and require social distancing throughout the meeting.
- Stagger arrival times as well as breaks and lunches in order to reduce the number of people in any one place in your office.
- Mandate the use of gloves and eye protection at all times, as well as masks whenever possible.
- Provide some type of alcohol-based wipes and/or disinfectant for any shared tools. Ideally, have the same people use the same equipment every shift.
- Minimize ride-sharing and whenever two or more are in a vehicle be sure to maintain adequate ventilation.
- Rather than using a shared source of water like a water cooler, have employees use individual water bottles.
As the owner of an essential business you have a serious responsibility for the health and welfare of your employees, as well as the same for your customers. It is your duty to keep up with the latest recommendations about combating the virus. Your life, as well as the lives of those around you, depends upon it.