The hallmark of an efficient construction company is its ability to adapt to modern changes. The construction industry, much like many others, has had to adapt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And while many have managed to incorporate proper PPE and assess risk levels effectively, we need to ask a bigger question: can construction sites be more hygienic? As the pandemic has gone around the world, many workplaces have had to evolve. Arguably, the construction industry has done the least to evolve. But what are the lessons we can learn to make sure that construction sites are more hygienic, pandemic, or no pandemic?
Conducting regular hazard assessments doesn’t just minimize injury or illness, but it provides a route to incorporating more hygienic practices throughout the life of the construction site. Contaminants are common, depending on the area, and, depending on the location, this may result in additional acquiring of materials and resources to minimize hazards. In industrial areas, sewage is a massive problem. Machines such as the industrial reverse osmosis system can help with contaminants, which will reduce the need for protective equipment. Many organizations use personal protective equipment as a priority. But if we were to ascertain the hazard levels before undergoing work, we may be able to outsource certain practices and benefit in other ways.
Stringent Sickness Procedures
On a very simple level, if someone is infectious, they need to stay at home. But in the construction industry, where numbers are crucial, illness is rampant. It is crucial to encourage workers to stay at home, depending on the extent of their illness. For the most part, working outdoors has reduced the spread of Coronavirus. But it’s also important to recognize that, if an individual is unwell in other ways, will they greatly impact the work on the construction site? You have to consider the overall health of a worker. If they are unwell, especially during cold and flu season, are they going to infect many other workers? Conducting regular health and well-being checks is another thing to consider. It’s important, especially in overly masculine environments, such as construction sites, that men are free to speak about any health concerns. This is something that may take a long time to rectify. But it’s important to lay the groundwork as soon as possible.
The Importance of Training
We cannot underestimate providing comprehensive training. One of the greatest oversights in construction sites is the fact that workers are only skilled in one area. Ensuring that our workers have a holistic understanding of the bigger picture means that they are able to protect themselves and others more efficiently. This means educating them on the impacts of poor hygiene, especially in construction sites with sewage and contaminants, but it also helps to provide morale for workers. When they understand how they, as an individual, can impact the building sites through small practices, it can give them greater clarity.
As far as construction sites are concerned, hygiene should take pride of place. While COVID has forced us to rethink this, hopefully, we can go in a whole new direction.