After a year of extensive but necessary COVID-19 safety precautions, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced a lifting of all restrictions reaching after the state reached its goal of a 70% adult vaccination rate. Capacity limits, social distancing, disinfection and mask protocols, and health screenings are no will no longer be mandatory for a wide range of businesses – including construction sites. However, Any COVID-related precautions may be mandated by individual sites and companies. As these changes take place, here are a few tips on navigating the “new normal” in the construction industry.
Social Distancing / Wearing Masks
Generally speaking, construction workers are no longer required to wear masks or socially distance while on the job. Experts say that individuals who are fully vaccinated are highly protected from getting COVID-19 – even the new variants that are currently circulating. It might be strange to see people’s faces again, but this change will allow workers to complete tasks more comfortably, especially in the summer heat. The lack of social distance mandates will also give workers the opportunity to work more collaboratively on site. Take advantage of this change. Enjoy working and learning with others without the ever-present and pressing health risk.
Communicating Comfort Levels
With all restrictions lifted, you or your coworkers might have some difficulty adapting. It can be anxiety inducing to attempt to revert to life before intense safety precautions, and some people might not be totally ready to do so. It is important for all workers to communicate and respect different levels of comfort regarding health and safety measures in the workplace. Be patient and be understanding with yourself and others.
Remain Aware of COVID-19 Health Risks
Although the news lifting all restrictions is positive, the pandemic is not completely over. There is still some risk in high-touch and public-facing industries like construction. If you or someone on site is not feeling well, or has knowingly been exposed to COVID-19, you should still get tested and maintain proper safety protocols. Maintain good hygiene habits, particularly hand washing, which helps reduce the risk of a wide range of infections, to keep yourself, your co-workers and your loved ones safe and healthy.