Arriving at a jobsite during the COVID-19 pandemic has seen familiar sign-in sheets and fast-moving turnstiles replaced by infrared temperature checks and updated PPE briefings.
[For ENR’s latest coverage of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here]
But many contractors are also turning to online health surveys at points of entry to speed the screening process and help reduce the likelihood of a person who is feeling ill from coming onto the site.
“I’ll always remember March 17,” says Kyle Peacock, CEO of San Francisco-based Peacock Construction. As the Bay Area went under lockdown that week, he had to adapt to keep essential construction sites operating, while complying with new city and state regulations on pre-screening workers at site for COVID-19 symptoms. “At first we did check-ins with paper just to get it done, but we knew there has to be an easier way to do this,” says Peacock.
Knowing this was going to be a nightmare across the more than 40 jobsites his company was on in the Bay Area, Peacock started talking to software developer David Ward, who saw an opportunity. Click here to read the entire article.
As the country begins to slowly reopen from the COVID-19 lockdown, many people are heading back to work. While this is great for the nation’s supply chains and overall economy, a growing concern exists for an increase in the risk of transmission and the likelihood of cluster outbreaks within the workforce. This has the potential to not only compromise the health of staff members, but close facilities for weeks at a time and halt operations.
In an effort to mitigate this, many management teams are working to produce health and safety guidelines, like the mandatory wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing protocols to reduce the risk of cluster COVID-19 outbreaks. These guidelines, however, can only go so far, as it takes strict enforcement to ensure that personnel adhere to them--and compliance teams may already be stretched thin.
Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and the IoT have enabled a number of technologies to emerge that have the potential to keep workplaces healthier and safer through PPE detection, safety zoning and thermal imaging capabilities. Click here to read the entire article.
A Las Vegas-based design build general contractor, SR Construction, has deployed the first Xtreme Opti-Clean Cube in the fight against Covid-19.
Produced by Xtreme Cubes Corporation, a manufacturer of modular buildings based in Henderson, Nevada, the Xtreme Opti-Clean Cube (XOCC) is a modular walk-through station designed to combat the spread of Covid-19, bacterias, and other viruses.
Partnering with Proguardeum Corporation, an environmental technology company, and Maddox Defense, Xtreme Cubes says it has built the first mobile walk-through structure produced in the U.S. with an unobtrusive dry mist system of the Proguardeum solution that is safe on skin, clothing and requires no protective equipment to be worn. Click here to read the entire article.
Opening and operating a business during this pandemic presents problems few have been trained to address. The goal of our businesses is to earn a profit while keeping our employees and customers safe. Local, state and federal public health authorities have issued guidance that covers almost every conceivable situation. All include sanitizing and disinfecting the workplace and providing for frequent hand washing (sometimes called “hand hygiene”).
Few of the guidance documents tell you how to select or use disinfecting chemicals and methods. Few discuss the regulatory framework you must abide by. This article attempts to fill-in that gap. Click here to read the entire article.
The new guidance outlines the differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks and respirators. It further reminds employers not to use surgical masks or cloth face coverings when respirators are needed. In addition, the guidance notes the need for social distancing measures, even when workers are wearing cloth face coverings, and recommends following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on washing face coverings. Click here to read the entire article.
The world has encountered an unprecedented event in the spread of COVID-19. At print time, world markets were rattled worse than the mortgage crisis and that of 9/11, with few answers about when and if the world will go back to normal.
The new “normal” may require a new definition as it relates to education, recreation, business and even construction. Click here to read the entire article.
Last week, President Trump signed into law a new bill that effectively relaxes Paycheck Protection Program loan requirements for many small businesses—the Paycheck Protection Forgiveness Act.
The law allows businesses a bit more leeway concerning where the money coming from the loans, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, are spent, as well as a few other key points. Click here to read the entire article.
Industry advocates are advising against the requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) at this time in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Such a requirement is included in the COVID -19 Every Worker Protection Act of 2020 (H.R. 6559, included as Division L, Title III in H.R. 6800).
The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) says that instead OSHA should continue with its current approach of issuing industry -specific guidance based on the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as this approach provides a more nimble and effective solution than issuing a rigid, one -size -fits -all standard. Click here to read the entire article.
Both reeling from economic shockwaves induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. national economy and the Built Environment are in uncharted territory. Over the past several weeks, both engineering and construction (E&C) firms and industry service providers have been scrambling to get a handle on the situation and brace for the associated financial impacts—particularly with respect to liquidity.
By now, much of the low-hanging liquidity fruit has been picked, including extending lines of credit, securing payroll protection program (PPP) funding and reducing discretionary spending. However, the industry is far from out of the woods, and liquidity management will be a business imperative for the foreseeable future. Click here to read the entire article.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday hoped “the Senate will soon take up and pass legislation that just passed the House” designed to loosen restrictions on how loans provided small business through the coronavirus Paycheck Protection Program can be spent, repaid and forgiven. Demand for the incredibly popular loans has eased as shifting guidance on how they are to be forgiven or repaid has shifted small business owners' attention from the loans' rewards to their risks. Click here to read the entire article.