Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. Our understanding of how the virus spreads is evolving as we learn more about it, so check the CDC website for the latest information and current list of symptoms.
In this section, we will talk about what construction workers should know about COVID19 and how they can protect themselves and slow the spread.
As a Construction Worker Actions, You Can Take
Notify your supervisor and stay home if you have symptoms.
Follow CDC-recommended steps if you are sick. You should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers, your employer, and state and local health departments.
Follow CDC-recommended precautions and notify your supervisor if you are well but have a sick family member at home with COVID-19.
Limit close contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet, when possible.
Limit the number of workers in small workspace areas such as job site elevators, trailers and vehicles, and spaces under construction if possible.
Practice proper hand hygiene. This is an important infection control measure. With appropriate hand hygiene, you do not need gloves to protect you from COVID-19. When possible, wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Key times to clean hands include:
- Before and after work shifts and breaks
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After using the restroom
- Before eating and before and after preparing food
- After touching objects which have been handled by coworkers, such as tools and equipment
- Before putting on and after taking off work gloves
- After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
- Before donning or doffing eye or face protection
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth and also use tissues when you cough, sneeze, or touch your face. Throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol if a sink to wash your hands is not available.
There are a number of other actions you can take, but those were the most common and required ones.
What Steps Should Employers Take?
Employers should have a COVID-19 response plan to protect workers, following CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, and share this plan with you and your coworkers in languages you all understand. Small construction businesses should review the CDC small business guidelines. Your employer should take steps to:
- Reduce transmission among workers
- Maintain a healthy work environment
- Maintain healthy business operations