25 Mar COVID-19 Project Preparedness Response Guidelines
Project Preparedness and Response Plan
The guidelines shown below reflect how Amteck project sites will prepare for and respond to a potential Coronavirus infection or outbreak onsite. Project Managers and Site Leadership are expected to follow these guidelines unless there are project-specific or government requirements that prevent this. In those instances, Site Management should work with the Project Manager and adapt as appropriate.
Maintain a minimum of 6’ distance between individuals.
On job sites where this is not possible, consider creating small teams of 2-3, then assign teams to areas where 6’ minimum distance between teams is possible. If neither of these options are possible contact the Project Manager to determine alternative solutions. Avoid putting 2 people in a lift at one time.
Prevent individuals from congregating in groups.
This includes employees, other trades on site, vendors, suppliers, etc. Meetings should be held via technology or outside; if in-person meetings are necessary, they should be in a large enough space that participants can spread out.
Provide frequent opportunities for employees to wash their hands.
If the only option is in the trailer, only allow one person at a time. If possible, place portable hand washing stations around the job site. If this is not an option, provide hand sanitizer. If none of these is an option, discuss other solutions with the Project Manager.
Maintain a clean/sanitized work environment
. Shared tools should be kept clean and wiped down with a sanitizing agent (ie, sanitizing wipes/cleaner) frequently, and at a minimum after each use. Common/shared areas in job site trailers should be cleaned and sanitized frequently, at a minimum daily. Employees should be encouraged to wipe down door handles of restrooms, portable restrooms, trailer doors, etc., after each use.
Designate one person per shift to run and handle material. All material is to be laid down at a specified area, then picked up by the person using the material. This will eliminate multiple people handling the material. Those issuing materials/tools will wipe them down before and after use.
Employees should wear gloves.
Many of our customers require that employees wear cut-proof gloves. If available, we recommend that employees also wear nitrite/disposable under their work gloves. If disposable gloves are not available, work gloves will provide some protection.
Do not have employees sign in/out.
Transition to a “roll call” where one individual tracks employee attendance. This should be done outside the trailer so that employees are not congregating in a confined space.
Safety – Daily Kickoff Meetings.
These should be held in open areas or outdoors where individuals can maintain the 6’ of spacing between each other.
Restrict foot traffic in the trailer.
Only allow superintendents, job site clerks and safety personnel in the trailer. They should work in areas at least 6’ from one another.
Discuss prevention measures daily.
Remind employees to wash their hands, cover their cough/sneeze with the crook of their arm or tissue; avoid touching their face, mouth and nose; avoid shaking hands or other direct contact; maintain at least 6’ distance from others.
Stagger work shifts and supervision.
Where possible, split crews and supervision into shifts so that everyone is not on the site at the same time. Any staff that can reasonably work from home should do so (ie, project managers who are not site-based, administrative support, etc.).
RESPONSE TO POTENTIAL INFECTION / SPREAD
If an employee reports to work sick or becomes sick after reporting,
the site manager should have a private conversation with them to evaluate their condition. If they are exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), they should be sent home and encouraged to seek medical care if necessary (ie, symptoms are severe, they are 60 years or older, or they have an underlying health condition). They should self-quarantine and not return to the jobsite for a minimum of 14 days. They may return after 14 days if they have been symptom-free for a minimum of two days prior to their return.
Company Provided Lodging.
If an employee who is sent home because they are exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath) is staying in a hotel provided by Amteck, they should not stay in the hotel, as that could result in exposure to other employees, hotel staff, etc. The employee should go home for the quarantine period. Employees may use any available paid time off during this period. If they do not have sufficient paid time off, they may apply for unemployment. Note unemployment determinations are made by each state, not Amteck.
If an employee is not sick, but has interacted with someone who is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms (cough, fever, shortness of breath), they do not necessarily need to go home or seek treatment; they should self- monitor for symptoms. The CDC defines close contact as “being within approximately 6’ of a Covid-19 case for a prolonged period of time; or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a Covid-19 case (ie, being coughed on).” Simply being on the same project is not necessarily considered close contact.
Confirmed Cases / Positive Tests.
If an employee or someone on a project is confirmed to have Covid-19, the employee should immediately notify their supervisor of the test result. The supervisor should contact Human Resources to determine next steps. Human Resources will work with the site manager to determine who that person may have had close contact with (per the CDC’s definition) over the past 14 days, then those individuals will be notified that they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive, and further guidance will be provided. In most cases, anyone who was in close contact with that individual will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of the contact. The employee’s privacy should be protected at all times and their name or other identifying information kept confidential. In some states, the local health authorities will work with employers on the interview/notification process and provide guidance if someone tests positive.
If a customer or GC temporarily suspends operations, or if a project is suspended per a local, state or federal government mandate, Amteck will make every effort to reassign affected employees to another project. If a transfer is not available, the employee can use any available paid time off and/or be laid off until they can go back to work. If an employee is laid off due to a project closure and a transfer is not available, Amteck will get them home.
Amteck does not determine who is eligible for unemployment and who isn’t; each state makes those determinations. Generally, if a project has not shut down and an employee is not sick but decides to leave the job to go home, it is not considered a layoff and they would not be eligible for unemployment. That said, we are not certain how these cases will be viewed in our current environment and unemployment will likely be awarded for the vast majority of claims. Site managers should only indicate a layoff for employees whose projects shut down and a transfer is not available, or if the employee is sent home due to exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19. Note there may be exceptions to this rule of thumb, so if it’s not clear please discuss with HR. Our goal is to keep our employees working as long as they can safely do so.
At this time, it is not believed that Covid-19 cases will be covered by workers compensation, with the exception of those in the health care industry and first responders. It would have to be proven that the person was infected at work or as a result of being at work, which is very difficult to prove at this time.