Hundreds of construction firms across the country, and many throughout the Carolinas, stopped work on April 9 to hold safety stand downs focusing on ways to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of coronavirus.
The safety stand down, which was organized by the Associated General Contractors of America, was designed to make sure firms and workers are taking measures outlined by public health and safety officials to protect workers on active construction sites and the public.
“Construction firms across the Carolinas are taking very seriously our construction industry’s important role in protecting workers and communities from the spread of the coronavirus,” said Dave Simpson, president and CEO of Carolinas AGC (CAGC). “Today’s safety stand-downs, which will be observed by our CAGC Safety Committee and many other CAGC member companies, were designed to make sure everyone working in construction knows, and follows, coronavirus safety measures.”
Construction firms participating in the stand down were asked to break their teams into small, socially distanced groups and cover three different “toolbox” talks that outline steps published by public health and safety officials to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. These talks were held in both English and Spanish and covered issues like socially distancing while working and on break, the need for frequent handwashing, restrictions on tool sharing and the need to frequently disinfect high-touch areas.
Association officials noted that construction has been allowed to continue in most parts of the country because Department of Homeland Security guidance has identified the industry as essential. At the same time, state and local government officials appreciate that the industry has a long history of complying with complex and ever-changing safety procedures. Today’s stand downs were held to make sure the new coronavirus safety procedures and practices are being consistently followed.
In addition to organizing the safety stand downs, the association has shared safety suggestions and tool kits with member firms, organized an industry-wide safety webinar focusing on ways to protect workers and the public, and provided additional safety resources and success stories across its network of chapters and members. Association officials added that many other construction firms have reported holding coronavirus stand downs prior to the events last Thursday.