- Anthony De Souza
How Bay Area commercial construction is staying safe during the COVID19 pandemic.
Commercial construction is nothing new to safety measures and compliance—it is necessary.
However, ask ten different people what they believe is safe and you will likely receive ten different answers. Add a global pandemic to the mix and varying opinions / understandings could carry costly implications. As a response, several counties in the San Francisco Bay Area & Silicon Valley have adopted changes to jobsites by outlining strict protocols. Today, we are sharing a closer look into these protocols and how some construction jobsites are staying safe during this pandemic.
On March 16th, 2020 California Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20—i.e. stay at home. In accordance with this order, the Public Safety Health Officer released a list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers which were permitted to remain operational. Commercial construction made the cut, and individual counties began outlining protocols.
Appendix B-2 & what it means for jobsites
Appendix B-2, or Large Construction Project Safety Protocol (LCP Protocol), was adopted by Santa Clara and San Francisco counties on May 4th, 2020. This outline of specifications provided builders with guidance pursuant to state orders for jobsites compliance. In addition to the standard changes like social distancing and wearing masks, many of the changes effect crucial day-to-day operations.
· Assign a COVID19 Safety Compliance Office (SCO) present at all times and host of daily safety huddles
· Hire a third-party Jobsite Safety Accountability Supervisor (JSAS) who holds proper Occupational Health & Safety (OSHA) certifications.
· Dedicated isolation areas for infected workers.
· Stagger start and stop shifts for subcontractors.
· Develop site specific health and safety plans which accommodate COVID19 + community spread reduction plans. Translated in Spanish as well.
· Temperature checks at all entry and re-entry.
When understanding how this compares to OSHA or Cal-OSHA standards, Appendix B-2 reads, “the stricter standard will apply.”
How are builders responding?
Self-inspection is usually what separates good safety practices from great safety practices. At coDesign, our Bay Area jobsites have not only adopted Appendix B-2 but have incorporated additional measures to help our teams and their families remain safe.
Going above and beyond includes:
· Daily sanitation at high-traffic areas with tracking logs for visibility.
· Paid individual trainings for subcontractors to ensure understanding of best practices.
· Anonymous incident or compliance reporting for onsite crews.
· Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) not required but requested.
· Launched a hygiene & sanitation supply company to help trades with procurement of necessary items – learn more at www.cocareusa.com.
Check out an example of a coDesign LCP Protocol and Site Safety Plan:
What's next for jobsite safety?
Tough to gauge how and when LCP Protocols will come to end in California. As of today, there hasn’t been an end date for orders enacted back in May 2020. Nonetheless, coDesign is committed to ensuring safety on every project until everyone involved feels safe to work. We have made a commitment to continue providing as much support towards the battle against COVID19, even after a vaccine.
Enjoyed reading? Check out more content from our Design and Construction blog series.