How the Construction Industry is Safely Going Back to Work Around the Planet

How the Construction Industry is Safely Going Back to Work Around the Planet

26th May 2020

While the coronavirus outbreak has caused the construction industry to grind to a halt all over the world, there are now signs of it getting back to normal again.

We can see how this is working by taking a look at some of the places where safety measures are being used to allow workers to get back on-site. Many of them have the same issues as UK sites, while others have unique issues to deal with.

South Africa Goes Back to Work

The easing of restrictions in South Africa means that the building business gets back to work at the start of June. They now plan to re-start those sites that have been lying idle, in a move which could save some of the companies that have been badly affected by the lockdown.

Strict health and safety measures are to be used to ensure that workers avoid getting contaminated. Employers have been encouraged to be self-regulating, rather than relying upon authorities to monitor all of the country’s sites.

The use of personal protective equipment and good hygiene practices are among the main points covered in the government’s guidelines.

Ontario Workers Are Concerned About Safety

In Ontario, Canada, a survey of the local construction industry found that workers are concerned about how work can safely resume following the pandemic.

It is reported that over 30% of contractors think that it will be extremely difficult or even impossible to sanitise sites effectively. 83% of them think that sanitation procedures will now change permanently.

Another big concern is over how people will be able to keep their distance from one another while working. There is also some uncertainty over the impact that the new safety measures will have on productivity and costs.

British Columbia Sites Are Accused of Being Non-Compliant

Also in Canada, there are reports that not all construction sites are fully compliant with the new rules. The local trade council is asking for a public enquiry to be held into the way that work is being carried out.

Among the complaints received are a lack of washroom facilities, no hand sanitisers on site, workers having to share tools and no possibility of sticking to physical distancing measures. Workers who are ill aren’t being asked to go home either.

Naturally, existing health and safety rules aren’t to be ignored. The use of safety gear and accessories such as an aluminium walkway should continue alongside the new regulations.

Massachusetts Has Zero Tolerance on Sick Workers

In the US, this state is imposing 6 feet of physical distancing, and hand-washing facilities among their broad guidelines for the return to work in all industries.

For the construction sector, the specific rules include having a Covid-19 officer on each site and carrying out a risk analysis for large projects. There is to be zero tolerance for sick workers, who need to stay at home.

In addition, workers are to avoid handshaking, wash their hands regularly and not carry out any face to face meetings.