Pandemic Planning for Residential Construction | Best Practices & Procedures
With the current threat of COVID -19 to our worksites, below are some best practices that we are implementing with immediate effect, to all areas where we carry out work. This will help us to maintain business continuity despite the situation. The contents of this document must be reviewed with your team before accessing the worksite. Failure to comply with these practices will result in immediate removal from the site. A zero-tolerance approach will be in effect.
If you or any of your team members are experiencing any of the following symptoms, or have been in close contact (definition below) with a person with COVID-19 while they were ill, site access is not permitted, and you should self-isolate for 14 days as directed by Health Canada:
- Fever, cough, sneezing, or sore throat
- Mild to moderate shortness of breath
- Inability to lie down because of difficulty breathing
If you are experiencing these symptoms you should also conduct the COVID-19 assessment, as direct by Health Canada and follow their recommendations. Also, if a worker believes that they have been exposed at the work site, a PSI (potentially serious incident) report must be completed/reported to OH&S by the employer and the Jertyne H&S Manager must be made aware as well.
Site supervisors will exercise the right to send home anyone who is showing obvious signs of illness, this will include all members of the Jertyne team (employees, contractors and sub-contractors). As COVID-19 is considered a harmful substance under the OHS Act (Section 40(5) and as such the employer must establish procedures that minimize workers exposure. These include the actions required by the Chief Medical Office of Health:
Close contact definition – is defined as a person who provided care for the individual, including healthcare workers, family members or other caregivers, or who had other similar close physical contact with the person without consistent and appropriate use of personal protective equipment OR who lived with or otherwise had close prolonged contact (within 2 meters) with the person while they were infectious OR had direct contact with infectious bodily fluids of the person (e.g. was coughed or sneezed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.
Toolbox meetings/Informal meetings – to be held outside where possible, with appropriate social distancing (2 meters) or have people call in. No signatures or transfer of documents are permitted. Site Supervisor signs on their behalf and forwards a copy of the meeting minutes to all parties. Meetings to have no more than 10 persons in attendance, at a time. Consider conference / skype calls to reduce the number of attendees.
Site constraints – are based on site size using appropriate social distancing. Suggested
guidelines are no more than 3 or 4 people working in 1000 sq. ft. of space. Examples and exceptions:
- Example of this is a maximum of 4 people working in a single-family home. 2 can work up stairs starting in opposite corners and making their way around clockwise. The same can be carried out downstairs. Once you have finished your floor you can not help the other 2. Go outside and wait or go home if the job is finished.
- Exception to this is workers, working in teams to complete work (e.g. father and son or other family member or colleague you work with every day) must know each other well enough to be sure of the proximity risk of working together.
- For larger groups working together who cannot manage social distancing to complete their work, they must have a conversation with the Safety Manager or their supervisor to ensure they can proceed with the work safely. Crews that work together all the time will have a lower risk than hastily assembled crews.
Workers on site should avoid working less than 2 meters from others for prolonged periods unless their role requires prolonged closer proximity. Case specific risks and solutions will be assessed by the workers employer, the site supervisor and a member of the Joint Health and Safety Committee for those individuals required by their roles to work within these close proximities.
All members of the team should stagger break and lunch schedules to minimize the number of people near one another and to comply with social distancing.
All members may also consider staggering start/finish times to reduce the amount of personnel on site or in the office at one time and/or to minimize the number of workers in a particular area at one time.
Jertyne supervisors should avoid scheduling multiple trades in the same work area at the same time, scheduling changes may need to be adjusted accordingly.
For all remaining in person gatherings, and in work environments in general, participants
should exercise recommended practices for reducing the risk of transmission as
identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Canada and the
World Health Organization.
Jobsite Sanitation Measures:
All Jertyne team members (employees, contractors and sub-contractors) are now required to wash and/or sanitize throughout the day and before and after the following:
- At the start of your shift and before starting work
- Before eating, drinking or smoking
- After using the toilet facilities
- After handling any tools or materials that may be contaminated
- At the end of the shift before they leave work
Each employer (Jertyne, Contractor employer and sub-contractor employer) is responsible for providing hand sanitizer and/or disinfected wipes for their worker’s needs.
Each employer (Jertyne, Contractor employer and sub-contractor employer) remains responsible to provide the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) as required for the task at hand and/or to protect against potential hazards on site.
Each employer (Jertyne, Contractor employer and sub-contractor employer) is responsible for disinfecting shared tools, PPE, iPads, etc. between users.
Anyone observed spitting or smoking at the worksite, will be asked to leave the site immediately.
- Only one driver per vehicle or sanitize between drivers.
- Use only your own tools or sanitize between operators.
- At breaks maintain social distance: easy reference two arm lengths (2 meters).
- Eat lunch alone, where possible in your vehicle, respecting social distance.
- Wash your hands at regular intervals and before and after eating or drinking, for 20 seconds minimum.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow if necessary.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Workers who take public transit must sanitize their hands prior to starting work.
- Self-isolate for 14 days if you:
- Recently returned from travel outside of Canada
- Have a cough, fever, fatigue and/or difficulty breathing
- Have been in close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
- Have been asked by a health care professional for another reason not listed.
How COVID-19 is transmitted
The following is a general overview of how COVID-19 is transmitted. It is provided merely for
background and to inform strategies aimed at implementing the rules set out in the balance of
this document. Full details on these issues should be obtained from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, Health Canada and the World Health Organization, or a medical
- The virus is thought to spread through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets may be
produced through a cough, a sneeze, normal breath or conversation.
- These respiratory droplets may cause viral transmission from person to person when
individuals are near one another. Recent guidelines from the U.S. Department of Labor
provide further guidance and recommend that individuals should avoid working less than
six feet from others for prolonged periods.
- The respiratory droplets may also land on clothing or other objects. It may be possible
for an individual to contract COVID-19 by first touching a surface or object that has the
virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.
The precautions and guidelines presented in this communication do not take precedence over Federal or Provincial guidelines. Please refer to the Alberta.ca website for the most current and up to date information as conditions/precautions are constantly be updated.
Jertyne Interior Services ltd. protocols for working in occupied houses
The following protocols are to be used in conjunction with the Jertyne Best Practices and Procedures which was previously sent out to all employees and sub-contractors and are to be followed by any employee or sub-contractor carrying out work for Jertyne in an occupied house, e.g. warranty or service work.
For these protocols to work both the customer and the person carrying out the work need to be educated on the procedures prior to the work being carried out, and the customer must be made aware that they are letting the work be carried out at their own risk!
- An appointment must be made, and this appointment time must be kept. Customers must know when the worker is turning up, so they are ready to receive the worker into their house. This may mean that there would have to be a call from the office or worker to the customer to state the exact time they will arrive at the house.
- When the worker arrives, they are to ensure that they have the correct tools for the job and that the tools are clean from any contaminants. It may mean that the worker has to disinfect their tools prior to entering the house. Having the correct tools will save multiple trips and cut down the chances of contamination.
- When the worker arrives at the door, they should let the customer let them into the house and move into the house while the customer backs off at least 2 meters. The customer can then guide the worker to the place where the job is. The worker should not touch anything else in the house until he reaches his job site.
- The customer, if possible, should stay on a different floor to the worker or if not possible in a different room.
- The worker is to complete their hazard assessment for the job.
- The worker will have the correct PPE and the additional PPE for working in a pandemic. i.e. face mask, gloves, hand sanitizer (or cloth and disinfectant spray/soapy water etc.). If the worker feels that he needs to wipe down the surface area where they are about to start working, they should do so and once they have finished the job if the worker feels that they need to clean down the surface area where they were working, they should do. This will depend on the type of job and what had to be touched by the worker. The worker must touch as little as possible except where necessary to carry out the job.
- When the job is complete the worker should ask the customer to let them out of the house, backing off 2 meters while the worker goes out the door. Once out at their vehicle the worker can sanitize their hands and any tools that they feel should need sanitizing.
Workers and customers are to be made aware of these protocols when the appointment is made. If there is any other information such as the customer is a front-line worker e.g. a nurse, this information must be past on to the company/worker as this information would be good to know prior to entering the house.
All Jertyne workers who will be going into an occupied house will be orientated by the Jertyne H&S Manager on these protocols prior to commencing any work.
All Jertyne workers must complete the daily screening form on their smart device stating that they are fit for work and that they will carry out Jertyne best practices and procedures for a pandemic.
All workers have the right to refuse dangerous work and any dangers related to Covid-19 that they think will put them at risk, and they are protected from any reprisal for exercising this right.
Jertyne Interior Services Ltd.