COVID-19 Information for Construction Workers

Construction team of builders with medical masks on

What do I need to know?

At Planning2Build UK we want to keep everyone up to date with the latest knowledge about what’s going on in the world. We have put together some vital information about COVID-19 restrictions, rules and what we can all do in the construction industry to prevent the spread of the virus.

New lockdowns currently exclude construction

In the UK on the 5th of  November 2020, everyone in England must stay home, except for limited sectors, such as education, work (if you cannot work from home), exercise and outdoor recreation, medical appointments and emergencies, shopping for food or essentials, and care for vulnerable people. But there are different approaches for this in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said we would all be able to return to our normal day to day jobs and tasks from 2 December.

New lockdowns are in effect throughout Europe as well, whereas, in the UK, construction is set to continue as an essential service. So, that’s why we are still working and are here to give you this information to keep everyone safe!¬†

About the Virus

Coronavirus, known as COVID-19 is an illness that affects the respiratory system, which is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2.

We know that the spread of the virus has been growing and evolving as we are trying to learn more about it. The virus is mainly spread from person to person:

  • From people who are in close contact with one another.¬†
  • Respiratory droplets passed onto someone when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • It can be spread by people who are not showing symptoms, but they carry it and can pass it onto others more vulnerable.
  • Touching public surfaces and objects that can pass on the spread of the virus to unknown people.

We are all still learning about the virus but the main risks to people stay the same with older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions have a higher risk of getting COVID-19.

The video below gives you more information about What is a Coronavirus?, from TEDEd.

COVID-19 РSYMPTOMS 

  • Constance cough¬†
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • New fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Congestion or runny nose

How can I protect myself & slow the spread?

If you come into contact with a coworker or member of the public who is ill with COVID-19 who is, touching their nose, mouth, or eyes after touching surfaces contaminated with the virus or handling items that others infected with COVID-19 have touched.

You should do the following:

  • Notify your supervisor and stay home if you have¬†symptoms.
  • You can get a free test from your government website, a test kit that you can do from home. The results come back within 2 days after you send your test kit off.¬†
  • You should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, which in the UK is 10 days
  • Consult with healthcare providers, your employer, and state and local health departments, if your symptoms get worse.
  • Notify your supervisor if you are well but have a sick family member at home with COVID-19.

When returning to work:

  • Keep social distancing of at least 6 feet, when possible.
  • If you’re in a small space limit the number of people around you, such as in a workplace, lifts, trailers & vehicles when possible.
  • Wear face-covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. In most places face covering are required and you cant enter without with. This is to keep everyone around you safe unless you have a medical reason which restricts you from not wearing it.¬†
  • Clean and disinfect frequently. It’s important to clean at the beginning and end of every shift, and in between sharing areas and tools. And try and limit down tool sharing.¬†
Builders uniform
  • Use tissues when you cough, sneeze or touch your face. Throw the tissues away after and wash your hands after or use hand sanitiser.
  • Washing your hands. If you cant wear gloves this is very important to practice, and even gloves may protect you but can still pass on the infection. When possible, wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Key times to clean your hands are when:
    • Before and after work and breaks
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • Before and after going to the bathroom
    • Before and after preparing and eating food
    • After touching objects/tools by other coworkers
    • Before and after wearing gloves
    • Before and after wearing face coverings¬†
    • Before and after wearing eye protection

What should I do as an employer?

As an employer, you have a very important role in preventing the spread of the virus, and you need to put the correct procedures in place. Such as having a COVID-19 response plan to protect workers, following CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers, which is to be shared with your coworkers in all languages. And to follow these key steps.

Reduce transmission among workers:

  • If an employee is sick, encourage them to stay home and only return to work once they have been tested negative to COVID-19, and the isolation period for your area has ended.
  • Provide employees with accurate information in all languages, such as facts and protective measurements in place.
  • Be aware some employees may be at higher risk for COVID-19,¬† so implement specific policies to minimise face-to-face contact for these employees or assign work tasks that allow them to maintain a distance.
  • Train employees on proper hand-washing practices this may be useful and informative signs/posters.¬†
  • Provide employees with access to soap, clean running water, and materials for drying their hands. And hand sanitisers stations/locations for both employees and visitors.
  • Develop and implement realistic social distancing guidance for the workplace to maintain.
covid 19 poster

Maintain a healthy work environment:

Institute measures to physically separate and increase the distance between employees, such as the following:

  • Stagger the work to separate people and provide alternating workdays or extra shifts to reduce the total of people on-site at one time.¬†
  • Reduce the number of workers in enclosed and confined areas at one time.¬†
  • Install shields or barriers where possible.
  • Remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add signs in break areas to support social distancing.
  • Disinfect break areas between each group visits.
  • Maintain social distancing when visiting lunch trucks or construction site vendors.
  • Reduce the number of individuals at meetings from outsiders onto the site.
  • Place informative and educational posters¬†that encourage¬†staying home when sick, catching coughs and sneezes, symptoms of COVID-19, and proper hand hygiene practices where required.
  • Provide disposable disinfectant wipes for surfaces commonly touched can be wiped down.

Where can I get more information?

All key workers working together

Stay informed. Talk to your employer, supervisor, or union representative who is responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. 

Keep up to date and stay informed with us and many other platforms such as your local government news:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/c6ly3zw499nt/uk-government

 

Alternatively, follow our social platforms for more daily information updates

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