Guidance For Construction, Manufacturing, and Repair Operating Protocols in the City of St. Louis
Guidelines for construction industry, manufacturing facilities, and residential repair services
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These guidelines are intended to apply to the construction industry, manufacturing facilities, and residential repair services. Substantially similar businesses and industries may also utilize these guidelines as appropriate.
These guidelines do not replace or supersede any requirements applicable to your business or licensed employees pursuant to law or regulation. Rather, these guidelines are intended as a supplement and assist with safely reopening and providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
An abundance of caution should be exercised to mitigate or prevent exposure to illnesses spread by respiratory transmission (including COVID-19). Persons who are more vulnerable or at-risk for said illnesses as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — including those who are over the age of 65 or those who have severe underlying medical conditions — should take extra precaution during the initial phase of re-opening.
In most cases, these guidelines are derived directly from the CDC. Guidelines should be tailored to fit your specific business in order to keep your employees and customers safe.
- Upon arrival at work, employees should be masked, and employers must conduct health checks (e.g., temperature and symptom screening) of employees at the start of each shift. Conduct health checks safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations. Confidentiality should be respected. Employers may use examples of screening methods in CDC’s General Business FAQs as a guide.
- Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, muscle aches, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.
- Screening should include 1) a temperature check if it can be performed with a touchless thermometer, 2) asking about the presence of new or worsened cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell and 3) asking if the employee has had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
- Employees with a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or above, or who answer yes to any of the screening questions must not be allowed to enter the workplace.Employees who develop any symptoms of respiratory illness while at work must immediately be sent home.Employees with symptoms should contact their healthcare provider for additional guidance.
- Employees who are sent home with symptoms should not return to work until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation or they have been cleared to return by their healthcare provider.
- If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, work with local health agencies to ensure all employees and customers who can be identified as having had close contact while the employee was infectious are contacted.While awaiting formal investigation, compile a list of employees, customers, or other people known to be in close contact with the person diagnosed with COVID-19.Employees identified as having close contact should be immediately sent home or told not to come into work until the investigation has been conducted.
- Close off indoor areas used by a sick person and do not reuse them until after cleaning and disinfection. Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants. Advise sick staff members not to return until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.
- Employers must provide employees with all protective equipment needed including face coverings, or materials to make them.
- Covered employers and employees should be aware of the provisions of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which allows for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons, such as for self-quarantining or seeking a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms
Construction Site Best Practices
- Each jobsite should develop cleaning and decontamination procedures that are posted and shared. These procedures should cover all areas including trailers, gates, equipment, vehicles, etc., and should be posted at entry points to the site and throughout the project site.
- All employees should drive to work site/parking area in a single occupant vehicle. Contractors or other staff should not ride together in the same vehicle. If riding in separate vehicles is not possible, limit the number of individuals and distance as much as possible (e.g. individual sits in driver seat while individual sits in back right cab).
- Eliminate handshaking and reduce physical contact between employees where possible. Technology should be used to minimize contact between employees.
- Consider conducting meetings via conference calls. If possible, individual work crew meetings/tailgate talks should be held outside and follow social distancing requirements. Keep all crews a minimum of six feet apart at all times to eliminate the potential of cross contamination. In work conditions where required social distancing is impossible to achieve, employees must wear face coverings.
- Where possible, employers should revise shifts to prevent the opportunity of respiratory illness (including COVID-19) spreading. For example, eliminate routine shift hand-off meetings that are not critical, stagger shift start/stop times, break times, and lunchtimes to minimize congregations, and create new shifts (nights or weekends) to help separate the workforce. In addition, zone the site and prohibit employees from wandering into zones where they do not need to be to perform their jobs.
- Employees who enter the jobsite should place all personal items in designated areas or their vehicle to prevent contamination. Personal items such as outerwear should be stored in a locker or other designated area. Provide sanitizing wipes to wipe down personal items (cell phones, laptops, etc.). Employees should not touch their cell phones or other personal items during work. If they do, they should stop and wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitizer made with least 70% alcohol. Reusable bottles/cups should stay in the personal items area, single use cups are suggested. If possible, provide employees bottled water instead of shared water coolers.
- All enclosed common areas and meeting areas should be regularly cleaned and disinfected at least twice per day, if applicable. Use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and that are appropriate for the surface. Prior to wiping the surface, allow the disinfectant to sit for the necessary contact time recommended by the manufacturer. Train staff on proper cleaning procedures to ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.
- Restroom facilities/porta-potties should be cleaned regularly, and handwashing stations should provide soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towels. Train all employees on the importance of frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers, and give them clear instruction to avoid touching hands to face.
- Site-specific projects with outside construction sites without ready access to an indoor bathroom should install wash stations. Install hand washing stations with hot water, if possible, and soap at fire hydrants or other water sources to be used for frequent handwashing for all onsite employees.
- When entering a machine, vehicle, or lift which you are not sure you were the last person to enter, make sure employees are instructed to wipe down the interior and door handles with disinfectant prior to entry.
- If the site includes elevators or lifts, limit number of individuals in an elevator to two (2), depending on the size of the elevator. Encourage elevator occupants to disperse among the four corners of the cab. In addition, hand sanitizing stations should be placed near lifts/elevators and should be cleaned regularly.
- Promote the use of stairwells to cut back on elevator use. On multi-story buildings with multiple stairwells, designate one stairwell as up and one as down to prevent increased contact.
- Employees should maintain six-foot social distancing during breaks and lunch, and should not share water bottles or food. Train employees and post signage to avoid congregating during breaks.
- Allow employees to have handwashing breaks throughout the day.
- Designate a superior who employees can go to in order to discuss COVID-19 guidance and report issues with guidance implementation.
- On the day of the job, call ahead to customers to ask if they or any occupants have symptoms (see “Employees” section for list) of, have been diagnosed with, or have had recent close contact with a person who has COVID-19, or are self-isolating, and to check that they are comfortable with your visit to take place.
- If the customer answers yes to any of these questions, reschedule the service for at least 14 days later if possible.If service must be performed within 14 days, ask the customer to always remain in another room from where the work is to be done and ask them to wear a face covering.When working in such a space, the technician should wear an isolation (surgical) mask, gloves and face shield or goggles.
- When on the job, technicians must wear protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields, and face coverings as appropriate for the activity being performed. Regardless of the activity performed, technicians must always wear a face covering.
- Before entering and after exiting a home/workspace, technicians should disinfect all used tools and equipment. Use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and that are appropriate for the surface. Prior to wiping the surface, allow the disinfectant to sit for the necessary contact time recommended by the manufacturer. Train staff on proper cleaning procedures to ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.
- Refrain from shaking a customer’s hand and maintain at least six feet of distance during the service visit.
- Prior to service, provide technicians with disinfectant so they can wipe down/clean any surfaces with which technicians may come into contact.
- To prevent any unnecessary spreading of disease, avoid collecting a signature at the end of the job where possible.
Manufacturing Best Practices
- Technology should be used to minimize contact between employees. Allow as many employees as possible to work from home by implementing policies in areas such as teleworking and video conferencing. When this isn’t possible, employees should keep six feet distance from all other employees and visitors.
- Post signage at facility entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms (see “Employees” section for list) of COVID-19 is to be permitted. Consider prohibiting nonessential visitors to the factory or plant. Essential visitors should undergo screening and be limited in their movement at the facility.
- All employees must wear face coverings at all times except when working alone in an enclosed space.
- Employees who enter the workspace should place all personal items in designated areas to prevent contamination. Personal items such as outerwear should be stored in a locker or other designated area. Provide sanitizing wipes to wipe down personal items (cell phones, laptops, etc.). Employees should not touch their cell phones or other personal items during work. If they do, they should stop and wash their hands. Reusable bottles/cups should stay in the personal items area, single use cups are suggested.
- Employers should eliminate large group “town hall” type meetings (Note: Health Department guidance states that gatherings should be limited to no more than 10 people). Instead, employers should conduct multiple, smaller group meetings and physically space employees out during those meetings by using physical markers on floors or walls.
- Where possible, employers should revise shifts to prevent the opportunity of respiratory illness (including COVID-19) spreading. For example, eliminate routine shift hand-off meetings that are not critical, stagger shift start/stop times, break times, and lunchtimes to minimize congregations, and create new shifts (nights or weekends) to help separate the workforce. In addition, zone the facility and prohibit employees from wandering into zones where they do not need to be to perform their jobs. Train employees and post signage to avoid congregating with co-workers in communal areas.
- Ensure key personnel and those without whom the factory cannot operate (e.g., boiler operators, wastewater treatment engineers, lead electricians, maintenance, etc.) are able to maintain six feet of distance from others to prevent them from getting ill.
- Facilities should increase the frequency and depth of sanitizing efforts, and letting employees see them happen to reinforce sanitizing behaviors. For example, facilities should clean and sanitize break rooms after each break or lunch group. In addition, facilities should provide sanitary wipes and train employees on proper cleaning procedures to ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants.
- Frequently perform enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, railings, door handles and doorknobs. Use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19 and that are appropriate for the surface. Prior to wiping the surface, allow the disinfectant to sit for the necessary contact time recommended by the manufacturer. Areas that should be frequently disinfected include:
- Machine control panels
- Tow motor and other vehicles
- Packaging centers
- Shipping/receiving offices and docks
- Locker rooms
- Break/lunch rooms
- Time clocks
- Administrative offices
- Air conditioner coils and drip pans
- Shared computers, telephones and office supplies
- To further increase cleanliness and sanitation best practices, leave all doors open, or even remove them to eliminate shared touch surfaces. Check with Fire Department and ventilator experts before implementing this action.
- Ensure all staff are provided appropriate protective equipment. Any specialized protective equipment or equipment should be assigned to a particular employee to eliminate shared contact.