Globally, countries are emerging from lockdown or beginning to ease restrictions, with the primary focus on getting people back to work. The construction industry is no different; 95 percent of private development projects in France have resumed, construction sites in Spain have been reopening since 13th April, and in APAC, construction has begun to show signs of recovery. However, as we mentioned in a previous blog post, a return to work doesn’t mean a return to pre-COVID-19 ways of working.
New guidelines have already been offered by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) in Singapore (we also covered these in a past blog post), and trade and industry bodies in other regions are likely to do the same. There is no doubt this has been a trying time for the sector, but observing new rules around social distancing and cleanliness is crucial as workers head back to sites. Construction companies cannot do this properly via a manual, paper-based process, and so now is the time for construction to go digital. Here are five top tips for enabling a safe return to work:
Create a COVID-19 team
A dedicated team to prepare sites will be extremely helpful. Of course, safety is still everyone’s responsibility – and a digital platform, where communications from the COVID-19 team can be shared with all employees on- or off-site, will be essential in aligning workforces.
- Supplying PPE and safety equipment
- Providing personal protective equipment has always been critical; no site is without hard hats, for instance. However, COVID-19 has called for more measures, including masks, gloves, and hand sanitisers. Creating a centralised checklist to ensure this is being carried out site-wide will be vital.
- Workforce planning
- Knowing where each employee is working will be imperative to avoid site overcrowding. Having information about who is arriving, at what time, and where they are located, will also allow sites to stagger arrival times of teams to support social distancing.
- Information and signage
Just as retail stores have used signs and floor markings to remind people of social distancing, construction sites need to provide reminders for their workers too. Creating a checklist of all the signage that is in place will help construction companies audit site safety.
- Disinfecting all facilities
- Due to COVID-19, everything from cloakrooms to equipment must now be cleaned daily. By using checklists and centralising information, construction sites can ensure that specialised cleaning companies are scheduled, and that cleaning happens every day.
These changes are likely to be a part of a long-term shift and so construction companies should waste no time in getting it right; our CEO, Franck Le Tendre, recently spoke with ITR TV about rethinking ways of working on-site. Digitalisation is key, with easy-to-use SaaS tools and applications making the return to work easier and safer for everyone. At Finalcad, we made the decision to offer our safety procedure modules for free at the start of the pandemic to help sites get back up and running safely.
The safety module provides a dashboard that lets construction organisations issue safety reports, log safety observations, and create their own safety checklists which can then be used for self-auditing to ensure nothing has flown under the radar.
Now is the time to explore the opportunities that going digital presents to the construction industry. For more information on how Finalcad can help you, contact us: