Worksite Safety During COVID-19 Outbreak
Worksite Safety Tips from Your Friends at Walz Scale
So far, 2020 has brought many unprecedented challenges to the workforce and economy of countries all over the world, and the United States is no exception. While many people are working remotely, imposing self-quarantine, or have been furloughed, much of the nation’s construction and agricultural operations continue stalwartly on. In the midst of this global health crisis, Walz Scale continues to provide the scale weight systems and customer service that you need to be successful and productive.
We’ve done some research and compiled a helpful resource for our customers to help implement proper safety processes and procedures to keep their employees healthy during this uncertain time. We sincerely hope that you find these tips useful, and we look forward to continuing to support the hardworking industrial, mining, construction, trucking, and agricultural enterprises that continue to work through this epidemic.
Risks of Not Preparing for COVID-19
While this is not the time to panic, it is the time to take action in order for there to be as little disruption to your day-to-day operations as possible. Failure to implement a concrete plan could result in disruptions like:
- Absenteeism: Should one of your employees get sick or contract COVID-19, they will be absent from your worksite. It is also possible that an employee may be needed to care for a family member who has contracted the virus. Family members who are at-risk or immunocompromised could also be put at risk by a failure to implement preventative measures. You may find that some workers outright refuse to come to work out of fear of exposure should there not be any actions taken to reduce the risk.
- Changes in Commerce Patterns: A failure to adapt procedures to include contactless interactions could significantly impact business-to-business and business-to-consumer relations. At this time, the less direct interaction that is possible, the better, especially for wary customers.
- Interrupted Supply & Delivery: Shipments and deliveries can change, be delayed, or be cancelled altogether without much notice, as more geographic areas are impacted by the spread of COVID-19.
Beneficial Processes to Implement
OSHA has compiled a very helpful and timely resource for workplace safety and best practices. In addition to the previously mentioned admonitions, they’ve put forth several procedures to keep workers safe, including:
Establishing an Assembly Point & Screening Process
At the start of each day, worksites are encouraged to establish an assembly point that complies with social-distancing norms so that important news can be clearly communicated, as new information from the federal level is released nearly every day. This can also be the appointed time for an established screening process for arriving workers that is meant to prevent infected staff from working.
Designate a Site Safety Representative
There should be a designated or volunteer on-site COVID-19 safety representative appointed to ensure that all proper procedures are being followed on a daily basis. It should be the responsibility of this representative to work with site supervisors to alter or halt any activities that jeopardize the health of all workers. This person should be given proper authority to maintain sanitation materials and assure that all workers are following decontamination, handwashing, and social distancing protocols.
To maintain a healthy jobsite, implement these regular practices:
- Routinely clean and sanitize all trailers, bathrooms, and other enclosed or otherwise restricted areas
- Limit the number of individuals allowed on lifts and elevators to accommodate social distancing
- Establish a thorough decontamination procedure for workers at the beginning and end of their shifts
- Set up cleaning and handwashing stations throughout your worksite
- Inasmuch as you are able, provide easy access to parking, as public transit has been severely compromised
What follows is a list of practices and procedures that are recommended in the event that an employee becomes sick or could potentially spread this virus:
- Should any employee feel sick, especially if they are exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if any employee has been in contact with an infected individual, they should stay home. Employers may require a negative COVID-19 test result to allow the individual to return to work, or to have spent 14 days self-quarantined with no symptoms. This is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Regular handwashing of at least 20 seconds with soap and water is advised, and everyone should avoid touching their faces or other commonly interacted with surfaces.
- Whenever feasible, maintain a distance of the recommended 6 feet from other workers, and avoid unnecessary direct contact.
- Do not carpool with anyone who is not in your immediate family or live in your household.
- Waste receptacles should be able to be changed safely and with as little contact as possible.
- Do not share smartphones, food preparation appliances or other group equipment.
- Employees should be responsible for cleaning personal tools prior to and after use.
- Never cough or sneeze into your hands. Make every effort to cough or sneeze into a tissue, or at the very least, the crook of your arm at the elbow.
- Prior to arriving home and interacting with other individuals, workers are encouraged to change clothes and shoes, and launder them separately from other articles of clothing.
Take Care of Each Other and Stay Safe! Walz Scale Will Be Here For You
If we can all work together to make our worksites safe, the amount of time spent having to enforce these strict procedures will be reduced. You can rest assured that our staff at Walz Scale is following the same safety precautions so that we can continue to provide you and your operations with the equipment you count on. If you have any questions regarding our scale systems during this time, we are available when you contact us via our contact page, or call us to speak to a scale systems expert! Take care of each other, and before you know it, we’ll be back to business as usual. Thank you for taking the time to consider these practical safety procedures, and the whole team here at Walz wishes you the best in your endeavors!