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We have a positive COVID-19 case on our job site. What do we do?

By: CSSI Staff

In this section, we are sharing a best practices document that was shared with us from AGC of America. Thanks to them, we are able to provide this guidance in what to do if you have a positive case of COVID-19 on the job site. In addition, we strongly recommend the continued guidance put out by the CDC and Iowa Department of Public Health.

If you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, you are encouraged to take the following steps.

1. Remove the infected, or potentially infected, employee from the workplace or jobsite:  Before the employee departs, ensure you have a full list of affected employees who should be sent home (i.e., individuals who worked in close proximity (three to six feet) with them in the previous 14 days). For suspected cases, take the same precautions and treat the situation as if the suspected case is a confirmed case for purposes of sending home potentially infected employees.

2. Contact the local public health department . If you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, you should contact the local public health department to report the situation and to get any advice from the department on steps to take to handle the situation.

3. Ensure a medical evaluation is completed:  The employee should contact their primary care physician to discuss the symptoms that they are experiencing and follow any orders given.

4. Investigate : Just as you would investigate a workplace injury (i.e., slip and fall), you must do the same for COVID-19, suspected or confirmed cases, and document your investigation. Investigating will also assist with the determination of work-relatedness of the confirmed case or exposure.COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of an event or exposure in the work environment. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are met:
  • The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see CDC information on persons under investigation and presumptive positive and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19);
  • The case is work-related, as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and
  • The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7 (e.g., medical treatment beyond first-aid, days away from work).

5. Identify corrective actions : These items will include what measures should be put into place to prevent further spreading of the virus on the jobsite or in the workplace as well as future occurrences. Such measures may include the cleaning and sanitizing of the work area(s) and/or tools (hand and power) as well as reinforcing the guidelines for prevention outlined by CDC with others in the workplace and on the jobsite.

6. Establish a procedure to follow up : Communicate with both affected and non-affected employees on the status of the suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, but do not communicate the name of affected individuals or specific medical diagnoses. Where there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, affected employees should be notified and encouraged to seek medical attention. If a suspected case tests negative, affected employees should be notified and encouraged to return work.
OSHA's National Safety Stand Down - Fall Protection

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 320 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018 (BLS data).  Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.

What is a Safety Stand-Down?
A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on fall hazards and reinforcing the importance of fall prevention. Employers of companies not exposed to fall hazards can also use this opportunity to have a conversation with employees about the other job hazards they face, protective methods, and the company's safety policies and goals. It can also be an opportunity for employees to talk to management about fall and other job hazards they see.

Who Can Participate?
Anyone who wants to prevent hazards in the workplace can participate in the Stand-Down. In past years, participants included commercial construction companies of all sizes, residential construction contractors, sub- and independent contractors, highway construction companies, general industry employers, the U.S. Military, other government participants, unions, employer's trade associations, institutes, employee interest organizations, and safety equipment manufacturers.

OSHA is partnering with key groups to assist with this effort, including the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), OSHA approved State Plans, State consultation programs, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the National Safety Council, the National Construction Safety Executives (NCSE), the U.S. Air Force, and the OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Centers.

How to Conduct a Safety Stand-Down and  FAQ's
Companies can conduct a Safety Stand-Down by taking a break to have a toolbox talk or another safety activity such as conducting safety equipment inspections, developing rescue plans, or discussing job specific hazards. Managers are encouraged to plan a stand-down that works best for their workplace anytime. See  Suggestions to Prepare for a Successful "Stand-Down"  and   Highlights from the Past Stand-Downs . OSHA also hosts an Events page with events that are free and open to the public to help employers and employees find events in your area.

If you plan to host a free event that is open to the public, see OSHA's  Events page  to submit the event details and to contact your  Regional Stand-Down Coordinator .

Certificate of Participation
Employers will be able to provide feedback about their Stand-Down and download a Certificate of Participation following the Stand-Down. The certificate pages will be active on May 4, 2020, for employers to enter their information and print their certificate.
Product Recall Notice

March, 6th 2020
Guardian Fall Protection - Diablo Big Block SRL
The recall includes the following part #s: -
  • # 10967: 65’ Diablo Big Block SRL.
  • # 10968: 50’ Diablo Big Block SRL.
  • # 10979: 50’ Diablo Big Block SRL.
  • # 10980: 65’ Diablo Big Block SRL.
  • # 10982: 60’ Diablo Big Block SRL.
Component of kit # 20055.
Private labeled versions of listed part #s.

Due to a potential manufacturing defect over the period of February 2019 through February 2020, this product must be immediately removed from service and returned for inspection and repair.

STEP 3. HOW TO COORDINATE REPAIR – Contact customer service at 800-466-6386 or recall@puresafetygroup.com
Full recall:  https://bit.ly/2wDdgo8

THERE HAVE BEEN NO ACCIDENTS OR INJURIES RELATED TO THIS PRODUCT RECALL. Removal from service is also required if the date of manufacture is unknown. All affected product must be returned to Pure Safety Group for repair.

Trends in Construction - Best Practices

At the beginning of a WORKSAFE Project, a pre-construction meeting is conducted to discuss scope of work, who the partners are onsite, and to develop goals for the project. We are frequently asked what are some “Best Practices” that are implemented to increase job site safety. Below are a few of those Best Practices:
  • Ladders Last – Using platforms, scaffolding, and aerial lifts before using a ladder to access elevated work
  • Suspended cords – all cords, temporary and permanent, are hung from non-conductive material to keep walkway clear and minimize damage
  • Nothing hits the floor – Trash dumpsters, recycle bins, and garbage cans are strategically placed near work areas so scrape material can be deposited directly vs. thrown on the ground creating a trip hazard
If your project needs help with developing “Best Practices”, reach out to the CSSI Team for assistance.
Brandon Black - (515) 577-5198 or  Brandon@IowaCSSI.com 
Michael Messer - (319) 572-3595 or Michael@IowaCSSI.com
Mark Wieland - (515) 577-7622 or Mark@IowaCSSI.com
New WORKSAFE Projects:
  Boomerang Corp - Anamosa, IA
- Communications Center - Raze Building Demo
Carl A. Nelson & Company - Burlington, IA
- Cooling Tower Replacement
- Steam Distribution System Addition 2B
Conlon Construction Co. - Dubuque, I A
- Alta Vista Vo-Tech Addition
Graham Construction Co. - Des Moines, IA
- Kreg Tool Corporate Headquarters
- MercyOne Clinton Linear Accelerator (Silver Project)
-MercyOne Clinton MLC-N Center Core, Parking and Electrical Upgrade
Neumann Brothers Inc. - Des Moines, IA
- ISU Sports Performance and Jack Trice Stadium Improvements North-Jacobson & Concourse
Portzen Construction, Inc. - Dubuque, IA
- University of Iowa - English Building Walkway
WORKSAFE is a partnership between Master Builders of Iowa and Iowa OSHA, with safety services provided by Construction Safety Specialists, Inc. For more information on the WORKSAFE program or for safety inquiries, please contact one of the CSSI safety professionals at info@iowacssi.com

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