We are living in unprecedented times. So much confusion from a barrage of information that we don’t know what to think or how to feel at times. I, myself, am torn between feelings. Feelings of gratitude that I am able to keep working when so many others are not, and genuine fear of the unknown. There is a conflict between my need to provide for my family versus protect them and myself. I am sure many of you share the same thoughts. I consider myself fortunate that Baker has given us all the option to do what is best for me and my family. I can stay home without fear of job loss or come to work and continue to provide. You should also know that I consider everyone that works with Baker (employees and subs) as family. Just as deeply as I am concerned for your safety on the roof and on the road, I am concerned for your health while this threat exists. If you have made the choice, as I have, to continue going to work, I must urge you all to take that threat seriously. That being said, we have developed (and will continue to assess and develop) some guidelines for our protection that we want to implement immediately.
- If you are feeling sick, running a fever, coughing, or having difficulty breathing, then call your supervisor and seek medical attention. Do not come to work.
- No more than 2 people allowed in a service truck and not more than 4 in crew cabs. Sit in the same spot each time. Use hand sanitizer each time before getting back in the truck. A dime sized amount will do the trick.
- Keep your circle small. Limit your close contact to as few people as possible. Practice the 6’ rule on the jobsite. If a manlift is needed, have only one person in the basket when possible. Avoid crowded elevators or buck hoist. Wait for the next one. Try the stairs.
- Resist the urge to shake hands and avoid touching your face without first washing your hands for the recommended 20 seconds. The virus is contracted through the nose, mouth, and in some cases, rubbing the eyes.
- Try to bring your lunch and avoid visiting the food trucks on jobsites (wash hands first). People tend to congregate around the truck, and this should be avoided.
- Now is not the time to be switching up crews and moving people around. Stay put. Use your own tools or the same ones each day and on large jobs, try to keep to the same routine/tasks each day.
- PM’s should discuss with the GC to coordinate social distancing for work when other trades are in close proximity.
- We will be switching to bottled water and turning in the common drinking coolers. (It is not legal to use those to keep bottles inside). Soon, we will be distributing cases of water from our warehouse inventory.
- Limit the number of unnecessary places you go each day. Ie. Restaurant for take-out, gas station for a drink, the office (unless mission critical), limit trips to grocery stores.
- If travel is mission critical, then ask the hotel for a room that hasn’t been rented for the last 3 days. The virus cannot exist on most surfaces past this point. I carry a small spray bottle of Clorox mixed 1 part Clorox to 30 parts water. Yes, it’s labeled.
- Non-essential training is suspended. Class sizes will be limited. Attendees will be spread out and asked to wash hands after signing in and again as they leave.
- Daily huddles and Toolbox talks can be completed with social distancing and one person writing in the names. Foremen will continue clocking everyone in and taking their picture without passing the phone around.
- Service/repair crews that must do work on functioning hospitals or doctor’s offices where infected persons could be seen should wear Tyvek suits when possible or carry a second uniform to change into once the job is done
- Finally, protecting our loved ones at home is the most important piece here. Upon arrival home from work, try to place your work clothes in the washing machine and take a shower before having any contact with family.
We will be adding a few questions to the CSI safety inspection on the i-form regarding some of these procedures. If you perform safety inspections, please take these compliance questions seriously and coach behavior that does not follow the guidelines. With good hygiene and protocols, we will get past this, but we need everyone to commit. We are fortunate to continue working and no one in the construction industry wants to do anything to get us shut down.
If anyone has any other pertinent suggestions we could implement, please send directly to me.
Stay safe. Stay vigilant. Wash your hands often. We will get past this.
VP of Safety, Baker Roofing