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Last edited 14 Oct 2021
Health and Safety Tips for Using On-Site Accommodation During COVID-19
 Health and Safety Tips for Using On-Site Accommodation During COVID-19
Ensuring on-site accommodation is both safe and fit for purpose in the construction industry is of huge importance. With the additional requirements brought to light due to the pandemic, it has never been more essential for employers to follow all of the necessary health and safety steps to protect their workers.
When it comes to creating safe on-site accommodation that is also COVID-secure, construction companies need to ensure that they have enhanced health and safety procedures in place. From traditional workplace cleaning methods to social distancing measures; we have outlined the specific steps construction companies need to consider in this article.
 Provide Additional PPE For All Staff
PPE is incredibly important not just within the workplace but also when staff are using on-site accommodation. PPE such as masks should be provided, regularly disposed of and replaced to ensure your employees are protected while they work.
 Keep Facilities Clean
When providing on-site accommodation for your employees, you need to ensure that these facilities are regularly cleaned and disinfected. Before your employees enter the facilities a deep clean and sanitise should be carried out, and you should also have regular cleaning throughout the time of your worker’s stay to prevent the spread of bacteria.
 Make Use of Safety Signs
Not only are standard health and safety measures important in the workplace and in on-site accomodation, but it’s also important that employees are reminded of the new restrictions put in place to protect them and others against COVID - for example, social distancing measures and the introduction of hand sanitising stations. Strategically place safety signs and instructions around the facilities to make it clear what is expected of employees.
All buildings including accommodation should be well-stocked with hand sanitiser and plenty of other hygiene products to make it easy for employees to regularly keep clean but also keep their living and working spaces clean.
 Limit Contact Where Possible
On-site accommodation is a great option for those working in construction as you can provide employees with all of the facilities required in one individual cabin, preventing the need of sharing communal facilities such as toilets, kitchens and showers.
If this isn’t possible and you have to provide communal facilities within your accommodation offering, you should create rotas to limit the number of staff members that are allowed to share the same facilities at once and avoid large numbers of people being on-site at the same time.
 Plan The Layout and Accessibility of Accommodation Areas
It’s crucial that you have planned the layout and occupancy of any on-site accommodation when setting it up to ensure that it is in line with the current COVID-19 guidelines. This might require you to set up different locations or camps to keep teams isolated from each other.
This is particularly important if you are bringing in seasonal workers from overseas as they may be required to quarantine upon arrival or for shielding anyone that needs to self-isolate. You should also pay close attention to who is entering and leaving your worksite and accommodation areas at all times so you will be able to control and prevent any viral transmission.
 Ensure The Correct Temperature is Maintained
In a recent survey, when participants were asked to rate the importance of certain physical factors in the workplace environment, the majority of people (42%) chose comfortable temperature as their biggest concern.
Air ventilation is equally as important, especially at the moment due to COVID-19, making it essential that on-site accommodation is well-ventilated and the temperature is well maintained to keep workers comfortable and prevent any potential spread of bacteria.
To summarise, there are many different things construction companies need to consider to ensure their on-site accommodation and facilities are COVID-secure and safe for all employees. From increasing the amount of PPE, introducing rotas to allow social distancing, and carrying out regular sanitation of areas - all of these steps are incredibly important going forward, and should be made standard health and safety procedures in the workplace.
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