Your COVID-19 Construction Safety Plan

21 July 2020

Create your COVID-19 Construction Safety Plan 

Your COVID-19 Construction Safety Plan

Construction sites around the U.S. and Europe are dealing with the constant threat of COVID-19. We’ve learned that this virus will be around for longer than expected, and as a result, both project and safety managers need to create and enforce a lasting COVID-19 safety plan for construction sites.

Even in places with a low number of newly reported COVID-19 cases, construction sites are closing due to workers onsite testing positive for the virus. New York City construction inspectors have cited nearly 50 stop-work orders in the U.S. to sites with COVID-19 related safety violations.

What we cover:

In this article, we show you how to create and enforce a COVID-19 safety strategy that’s built to last. We’ll cover how to choose the right digital platform to carry out your safety protocols, the training materials you need, how to ensure your employees and subcontractors onboard, and effective communication to ensure easy adoption and continued safety on the job site. 

The first place to start when building a lasting COVID-19 construction safety plan, is to choose a digital platform to manage this safety plan.

Select a digital platform to manage your COVID-19 worker safety plan

How will you ensure all of your workers are trained and continue to practice the safety measures necessary to prevent an outbreak of COVID-19 on your job site? How will you prevent safety violations by workers or managers on the job-site that put you at risk of receiving a stop-work order?

A digital platform to manage your worker safety is essential to the productivity and success of projects operating amid the current pandemic. 

When considering a digital platform, there are a lot of options out there. Tools like GoContractor help manage and automate the safety training of your workforce. Rather than provide an exhaustive list of the pros and cons of each option available today, we’ve included the top aspects to look out for when considering a digital tool or training method that’s right for you and your job site. This should make selecting an option a lot easier. 

Your digital platform to manage construction worker safety should:

Manage itself: Yes, you read that right. Any platform you choose should effectively manage itself and automate work for you. When selecting software to help manage your construction workforce, look for options that provide ‘set it and forget it’ functionality. This might mean self-registration for workers, automatic reminders for safety documentation, like certifications and orientation or orientation completion, auto-renewed daily screening checklists that appear to workers before they begin each shift, and more. Your digital platform to manage your construction worker safety during COVID-19 should be simple, straightforward, and easy to use for both you and your workers. 

Be customized for your unique workflow: Although similar, not all construction projects operate in the same manner. Any technology for administrative management on the job site should quickly adapt to your existing workflows, processes, and requirements specific to the project. Ask yourself, can this technology be customized to work on my project? Can you customize your orientation training, select particular qualifications or certifications for workers to submit, ask site-specific safety questions, either in orientation or in a daily screening questionnaire?

Integrate with your existing construction software: Your digital platform will need to integrate with the current construction tech you use on the job site. If you’re managing your worker administration and compliance, can it integrate with your site access control? Going back to the ‘set it and forget it’ mentality, remember that tech should make your life easier. This means integrations are essential–either for automating your site access control functionality, maximizing productivity data, or more. Find out which integrations are possible before choosing a digital platform. Your tech tools should work seamlessly with one another. 

Provide multilingual options: Subcontractors speak different languages, and any piece of tech workers use should cater to their first language. This is essential to ensure the workers on your site are clear on what is expected of them. Learning safety information in a native language can make a massive difference in the enforcement of safety practices on the job site. 

Be accessible for construction workers and employees to use: A digital platform to manage your worker administration and safety, which can be automated, should be simple for your employees and workers. Be sure to look for platforms with excellent customer reviews. GoContractor is proud to have a 96% satisfaction rating among our users. 

Once you’ve selected a tool to manage the administration side of your COVID-19 safety training, it’s time to curate and utilize different media for your safety training. 

Select your training materials:

When it comes to training materials, there are plenty of formats out there to choose from. Some sites may opt for a PowerPoint to relay information in a chapter format, with custom quizzes following each chapter. Other sites may choose to utilize a safety training video to educate workers on their job site. Sites can also use a hybrid of the two. 

Construction worker taking an online training on a laptop

As part of our COVID-19 resources, we’ve created COVID-19 specific safety training to implement into your safety programs. Below are our complimentary COVID-19 specific training materials:

Complimentary COVID-19 specific training materials:

COVID-19 Safety Training PowerPoint Free COVID-19 safety training PowerPoint for your subcontractor orientations.Includes: General site access procedures, including parking, transportation, entry, and exit, Hygiene guidelines, Common area guidelines, How to handle tools and equipment, Smoking precautions, and more.
COVID-19 Safety Training Video This professionally created video provides a professional COVID-19 safety training video without all the work and costs to create your own. This 9-minute video is available in English and Spanish and presents COVID-19 best practices on construction sites, including sections on COVID-19 transmission, hygiene, social distancing, transportation, use of common areas, and much more.
Screening Questionnaire

Many government bodies have recommended COVID-19 specific screening questions to ask your workers before entering the job site. Click here to view the most commonly used questions to comply with CDC requirements, in English and Spanish. Your screening questions should be a straightforward way to determine who should and should not enter your job site.

Get your team and subcontractors onboard with your COVID-19 Safety Protocols:

For continued safety on the job site, your employees and workers need to adapt and become comfortable with the tools and training you’re providing. It’s important to communicate what’s expected of them throughout work on the project. 

Select your enforcement team and get your subcontractors comfortable with your new system:

Selecting a COVID-19 Officer or administrator on your projects is essential to continued safety and productivity on construction sites. Managers should identify who on site is responsible for COVID-19 specific compliance and safety measures. 

Managers should also select who will handle the administration aspect of any digital tools used on the job site. This means someone should be responsible for setting up, customizing, and ensuring all workers and employees utilize and adopt any digital tools used on the job site. When you do not identify a key operator for your digital administration, you risk a poor adoption of these tools. A digital administrator for your construction tech ensures smooth adoption and continued productivity on projects. 

Provide clear communication:

Continued communication of COVID-19 safety protocols on construction sites is key to ensuring safety and compliance. Reminders keep safety top of mind and the danger of COVID-19 present. 

Managers should ensure proper communication between their workers and employees, both internally and publicly throughout the job site, or even on the company social media platforms. 

Posters like the below ensure your workers know what you expect of them and remind them to follow daily procedures you’ve put in place to create a safer job site:

covid19 construction screening

Creating imagery to use on social media is now easier than ever before with tools like Canva, an easy to use graphic design platform. Canva offers COVID-19 specific templates that you can customize for use on your social media platforms or posters around the job site. Creating social media posts for your corporate accounts helps remind employees of your commitment to safety and COVID-19 practices.

We know the COVID-19 pandemic will need a long term safety solution. That’s why project and safety managers see the need to enforce lasting COVID-19 protocols for their projects. Construction projects need to keep moving forward, despite the global obstacles. 

Sonya Sikra

Sonya is the Brand Strategy Manager at GoContractor. She specializes in communicating how implementing tech in construction can drive productivity and profit.

Show me more!

Take a look at how GOCONTRACTOR can save you thousands of hours