A Look into the Construction Industry Post-Pandemic
Employer stresses the importance sanitation and social distancing.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Mar 24, 2021
It’s no secret COVID-19 brought its immense burden to the workplace—social distancing and sanitation being a big part of the struggle. Workers need access to masks, hand sanitizers and more. It’s been a guideline adapted to naturally throughout the past year.
Another issue includes team meetings, making sure large groups are no longer in the picture. OH&S reached out to Matt Catellier, safety manager at Desco Professional Builders. Catellier values the safety of his employees and is actively discovering new ways to keep them free of the disease.
“I presume the day the mask mandates are abolished will be a collective day of celebration among the construction industry," Catellier said. "All kidding aside, I think we all would like to go back to pre-covid days but overall, I think the industry has adapted to the new guidelines with a steadfast determination."
While Catellier recognizes the urge and excitement surrounding the end of all mask mandates, he recognizes the importance of the continuation of employee health enforcement. Hand washing, sanitizer and disinfection protocols became a priority and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. Catellier also explains check ins are proven to be safe for construction sites and have accurate contact tracing, timestamps and digital rosters to ensure safety during the pandemic.
“We have been using Safe Site Check In since the early days of COVID-19. They have allowed us to change and format our own site entry questions to suit our company. This was a game changer.”
Virtual programs and video communication platforms are the tool of choice nowadays. Catellier says he values the safe, remote choice of communication with his workforce. He, however, says, “there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction. Being able to conduct an in-person meeting or training lets both parties feel invested.”
Catellier believes health tracking is making its appearance as well.
“We, as a society, are now walking around with tech that tracks our steps and our heart rate and recently… our blood/oxygen level," he said, “The sports industry had done some interesting things last season with tracking the health of their athletes in their respective 'bubbles' using rings. These rings can monitor your vitals, temperature or warn of oncoming sickness. I think we will enter the early stages where employees will sign their accordance to allow their employers to health monitor them for their own safety.”
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.