Workers should follow the General On-the-Job Guidance to Prevent Exposure & Limit the Transmission of the Virus of the COVID-19 Employee Health, protection, guidance and prevention guide.
In addition, Contractors should advise workers of best practices to limit exposures off the construction site.
When leaving a construction site for breaks, lunch, or other reasons, employees are required to wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol before leaving the site and must maintain social distancing if traveling to other locations off the construction site. Frequent use of handwashing or alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be encouraged and handwashing facilities and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be made readily available at work sites.
Worker Infection Protocol
As provided in the guidance document, there is a zero tolerance policy for sick workers reporting to work. Employees should be instructed that even those with mild symptoms of respiratory infection (cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) or fever should stay off work. Contractors shall take immediate steps to limit infections at the job site in the event that a worker is discovered to have tested positive for COVID-19 or has COVID-19 related symptoms.
Although it is understood that Contractors are enforcing Work Site Risk Prevention Practices including social distancing rules and use of PPE consistent with guidelines, it is also recognized that there may be occasions where someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has COVID-19 symptoms has been present in a work area.
Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting workers, vendors, visitors, and others at a worksite.
Identification of Exposure
The Contractor shall direct workers with COVID-19 related symptoms to leave the jobsite immediately and contact their healthcare provider. The Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH) or a local board of health will make appropriate notifications to those who had direct prolonged contact with the COVID-19 positive workers.
The Contractor shall work with the local board of health to identify any potential job site exposures, including :
- Other workers, vendors, inspectors, or visitors to the work site with close contact to the individual
- Work areas such as supply cabinets and designated work stations or rooms
- Work tools and equipment
- Common areas such as break rooms and tables, vending machines, and sanitary facilities
Notification and Quarantine Requirements
As provided by law, the identity of the worker must be kept confidential.
Upon learning of an infection, the Contractor must immediately notify the designated COVID-19 safety officer, the site safety officer, and the owner.
Contractors shall take immediate steps to sanitize common areas and direct work places. This includes all on-site bathrooms facilities, any break facilities, and any other common areas on the job site that may have been in close contact with the infected worker.
Sanitation will be conducted with personnel, equipment, and material approved for COVID-19 sanitization.
Identified areas should remain isolated from workers until sanitation process has been completed and area is deemed safe for use.
Returning to Work
All impacted workers should follow CDC and DPH recommended steps concerning return to work. Workers who are considered close contacts to a COVID-19 case by public health authorities should not return for 14 days and are subject to quarantine by public health.
Workers who leave during the work day due to COVID-19 symptoms and develop COVID-19 as confirmed by laboratory testing or diagnosis by a healthcare provider shall not return to the site until released from isolation either by a healthcare provider or public health.
In All Cases
- Keep all employee names confidential as required by law.
- Other employees may be sent home while a workspace is being cleaned but will return to work after cleaning unless advised otherwise by a health care provider.
- Other employees should be asked to contact their health provider if they have any questions.
- Remind other employees to continue to practice proper sanitation and monitor for flu like symptoms.