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The COVID-19 pandemic might no longer be at the forefront of the public’s attention, but the emergency has not yet abated. The President recently stated that he is not yet in favor of ending the national emergency declared in 2020 in response to the pandemic. The coronavirus continues to present a serious threat to employees across the country, and it’s important to continue to maintain appropriate safety protocols. It’s certainly telling if employers were not maintaining proper safety protocols during the height of the pandemic and there were coronavirus outbreaks among employees.
If you are working on a construction site, make sure your employer is utilizing proper safety measures to keep you and your coworkers safe. Below, we discuss a few important safety measures that worksites should be maintaining during the coronavirus pandemic. Call a knowledgeable NYC construction injury attorney if you have been hurt or lost a loved one on a New York City construction site
Workers should be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Construction already has much in the way of PPE–helmets, gloves, eye masks, etc. Workers who are not already wearing face masks for a given task should be provided with face coverings, such as cloth masks or bandanas, to cover their noses and mouths.
Workers who have tested positive for coronavirus should be kept home from work. If a worker is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should be asked to leave the job site and should proceed to take a COVID-19 test.
Workers should be required to wash their hands thoroughly and regularly, before and after any operation. Hand sanitization and hand washing stations should be present throughout the worksite. Workstations, tools, and equipment should be regularly cleaned and sanitized.
If a worker is sick, they should stay home. They should only return once it has been at least seven days since their symptoms began, they either never had a fever or have not had a fever for at least three days (without the advantage of fever-reducing medications), and their overall illness has improved.
Physical distancing was especially important at the height of the pandemic. It’s still important to maintain physical distancing where possible, including by staggering schedules for job functions that put workers close together. Lunch breaks and rest breaks should be staggered, and in-person meetings should be limited. Workers in vehicles should minimize ridesharing and, if they are in the same vehicle, ensure adequate ventilation. Temporary barriers or reliance on mechanical means for performing a task may be helpful in ensuring adequate social distancing.
Worksites may wish to use no-contact thermometers to take workers’ temperatures before letting them on the job site.
Construction workers deserve to have their health and their rights protected. If you or someone you care about has contracted an illness on a construction site in New York City, find out if you’re entitled to compensation for your injuries by contacting the experienced and trial-ready New York construction injury lawyer Leandros A. Vrionedes for a free consultation at 212-889-9362.