During the COVID-19 pandemic, construction sites are rolling out new protocols for various safety measures. Safety efforts include hand washing stations, open air safety briefings, mass temperature readings, face masks, health-related questions at check-in, and several others.
So what happens when someone on site does get sick?
It’s essential for project sites to have tactics in place for contact tracing. If action plans are in place, when someone goes home with virus symptoms, or receives a positive test, contact tracing data will be available and can be acted upon accordingly.
Contract tracing is a fundamental public health tool for containing infectious diseases and will play a huge part in getting our lives back to normal. The World Health Organization provides 3 steps for proper contact tracing:
Construction companies can do their part by using tools to support these steps on their projects. In order to accomplish any personnel management on a construction site, it is imperative to understand who is on your site at all times and why. The registration interface on the Eyrus Platform enables you to enter the information of all workers, who they work for, as well as their role on the site.
Let’s break down the WHO’s contact tracing steps and how to execute them on a construction site:
#1 Contact Identification: Who got sick? And who were they in contact with?
First, the site needs to identify the infected person before identifying the contacts. This can be answered in various ways, but in the end something must identify the symptomatic, or infected person. Real-time information from the field will be fast and effective.
Use a daily communication platform to ask critical protocol questions about your teams. Using a cloud-based platform like Axon, allows everyone to submit answers from their own devices to stay in accordance with social distancing. Within Axon, you can customize questions to ask your foreman such as:
Did anyone go home with a fever?
If so, where were they working today?
Has anyone on your team called in sick with virus symptoms?
#2 Contact Listing: Who were they in contact with? Create the list
This is where it gets tricky, as construction sites are in constant motion. The infected person’s foreman may be able to fill in a few blanks as to who the infected person was around. However, real-time tracking of all personnel on site will give you data on who was in what zone at what time.
Tracking solutions such as Apex, give you the power to create zones on site in order to see attendance activity per zone. Using this data, you can easily see who else was working in the same zones the infected person was in at that time. This feature also allows you to set density parameters so if a zone gets too crowded for necessary social distancing, you will be alerted.
#3 Contact Follow up: Team Communication
Once you have your list established of potential contacts, it’s your responsibility to make sure those people are aware of the situation so they can take the appropriate next steps set forth by your action plan.
Communication to everyone on the contact list is key, so choose a method that gets the word out immediately. Within Apex, the mass text messaging tool can be helpful to send messages to contracts or teams on site.