How to Prevent Covid-19 in Work Zones


Safety & Security

Screen capture from ARTBA Covid-19 safety video.

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association has produced a video that shows contractors how to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as Covid-19 in work zones.

The 7-minute video acknowledges that a work-zone is not a “high-risk” area for the spread of infectious diseases, but in light of the current pandemic attempts to provide guidelines to ensure worker safety. The video lists three processes for protection: Job site screening, social distancing, and sanitation.

Questions to ask to screen construction workers for Covid-19

Job site screening prevents someone who is sick from working on the site. For Covid, ARTBA suggests someone on the site ask each worker the following questions before they are allowed to begin working:

  • In the last 14 days, have you or anyone you know been in direct contact with a person who has a confirmed case of an infectious disease, including Covid-19?
  • Have you, or anyone in your family, been in direct contact with a person who is currently being tested for a disease?
  • Have you traveled internationally, been on a cruise, or in an airport in the last 14 days?
  • Have you had symptoms of the disease in the last 72 hours, without the use of medication?

The second process, social distancing, addresses the occasional instances when workers on a job site need to be in contact with one another. Current recommendations are to maintain a 6-foot distance and keep groups less than 10 people. ARTBA’s video provides tips on how construction sites can maintain social distancing.

  • For meetings such as tool box talks, use small groups with individuals six feet apart. Use a megaphone or other amplification tool if needed.
  • Keep in-person meetings short if there is no option for telephone or other communications. Maintain the 6-foot guideline.
  • Take turns viewing construction documents or plans if there is not a digital version or hard copies for all who need it.
  • Eliminate community food options, such as lunch buffets and donuts.
  • Remove community microwaves and coffee pots.
  • Provide single-use water bottles.
  • Expand break surfaces as much as safety allows within the traffic patterns of the job site.
  • Stagger shifts and break times to allow fewer workers on the job site.
  • Restrict access to confined spaces such as job-site trailers.

How to sanitize construction sites

Construction site sanitation tips offered in the video include:

  • Provide hand-washing stations when possible.
  • Wash hands consistently during transitional moments, such as before and after breaks.
  • Properly sanitize all shared surfaces.
  • Use personal protection equipment that is issued, such as a face mask, and learn how to use it properly.   []
  • Change clothes before and after work, and keep the two sets separated.

Source: ARTBA