NAHB Calls for Safety Stand Down

A Ten Minute Review of Safety Procedures Called For During Covid-19 Pandemic

by Emily Blackburn

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is urging members, and all residential construction companies, to halt work for at least 10 minutes on Thursday, April 16. They’re asking managers to educate workers on what they should do to keep themselves safe from coronavirus. NAHB has developed a blueprint for builders to conduct these COVID-19 safety stand downs.

The Department of Homeland Security recently designated construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an “Essential Infrastructure Business. This has allowed construction to continue in places under stay-at-home orders. Although this designation is not binding on state and local governments, it does mean that there could be more workers on construction sites in the coming weeks.

“With more workers coming back to job sites, we need to make sure they have all the information they need to stay healthy and safe,” said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon, a home builder and developer from Shrewsbury, N.J. “It is critical that everyone on a construction site alter their normal behavior and strictly follow public health guidelines while at work.”

As part of the safety stand down, NAHB asks members to pause all work for at least 10 minutes to relay coronavirus safety precautions, such as maintaining a distance of no less than six feet with others at all times, cleaning and sanitizing frequently used tools, equipment, and frequently touched surfaces on a regular basis and ensuring the proper sanitation of common surfaces and equipment. Managers can also distribute the safety information  digitally (through email and/or text).

Handouts Help Out

NAHB and other construction industry partners have also developed a comprehensive Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction. This plan outlines the steps everyone should take to reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19. It also describes how to prevent worker exposure to coronavirus. These protective measures to be taken on the job site include personal protective equipment and work practices to be used. These practices are in addition to cleaning and disinfecting procedures and what to do if a worker becomes sick.

NAHB and industry partners have created a reference job site checklist and safety poster for employers and employees. It is available in English and Spanish and can be distributed throughout the workplace. Members can find these and other resources here.

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