Construction companies adjust to working in the COVID-19 era

 A construction worker adjusts a meter. (WLUC Photo)
A construction worker adjusts a meter. (WLUC Photo) (WLUC)
Published: Jun. 10, 2020 at 4:01 PM EDT
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Construction companies have been back at work for more than a month now, operating under strict COVID-19 return to work guidelines.

Construction sites look a little different now than they used to. Workers are six feet apart when possible, and if they're inside, they're wearing masks.

"We're looking at who's going to be in there, and how long are they going to be there, how many guys need to be in a certain area inside because we may be staggering shifts so that we're not overloaded in a small area," said Mike Paternoster, field coordinator for Closner Construction.

Hand washing stations, and hand sanitizer, have become an important part of the job.

"We've also made up some temporary portable hand wash stations out of five gallon coolers,” said Paternoster. “We put a water spigot on them and a soap dispenser, so that every job that we go on, guys have the ability to wash their hands frequently through the day."

For Closner Construction, new protocols are in place as well. Workers are screened and have their temperature taken prior to entering the job site.

"One of the most important things is that if they don't feel good, they stay home, call us, and they have to stay home if they're sick," said Paternoster.

Despite the extra precautions, construction companies are as busy as ever.

"We have had a backlog of jobs to start before this happened, some of them were delayed because of COVID-19," said Paternoster.

Plenty of new jobs have come in as well. Closner Construction is aiming to get through all of its projects, and avoid another shut down.

"We're working through COVID-19, and we'll do whatever we need to do to keep working and hopefully we all do our part and it will go away," said Paternoster.