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Columbia Business Monthly

Construction Firms Hold COVID-19 "Safety Stand Downs" to Protect Workers, Public

Apr 09, 2020 10:02AM ● By David Dykes

Hundreds of construction firms across the country, and many throughout the Carolinas, were stopping work Thursday, April 9, to hold what are called safety stand downs focusing on ways to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of coronavirus. 

The effort, organized by the Associated General Contractors of America, was designed to make sure firms and workers are taking measures outlined by public health and safety officials to protect workers on active construction sites and the public.

"Construction firms across the Carolinas are taking very seriously our construction industry's important role in protecting workers and communities from the spread of the coronavirus," said Dave Simpson, president and CEO of Carolinas AGC (CAGC). "Today's safety stand downs, which will be observed by our CAGC Safety Committee and many other CAGC member companies, were designed to make sure everyone working in construction knows, and follows, coronavirus safety measures."

Participating construction firms were asked to break their teams into small, socially distanced groups and cover three different "toolbox" talks that outline steps published by public health and safety officials to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The talks were to be held in both English and Spanish and covered issues like socially distancing while working and on break, the need for frequent hand washing, restrictions on tool sharing and the need to frequently disinfect high-touch areas.

Association officials noted that construction has been allowed to continue in most parts of the country because the Department of Homeland Security has identified the industry as essential. 

In addition to organizing the safety stand downs, the association has shared safety suggestions and tool kits with member firms, organized an industry-wide safety webinar focusing on ways to protect workers and the public, and provided additional safety resources and success stories across its network of chapters and members. 

Association officials added many other construction firms previously have held coronavirus stand downs.

Click here for a link to the CAGC's coronavirus safety resources.

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