Today with the onset of stay at home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many different jobs have been classified an essential or non-essential. Depending on your state, construction and general contracting may be deemed non-essential. However, if your contracting business is still working on various job sites, it is important to make sure that you are taking care of your employees and your customers.
Many contractors also want to make sure that they are meeting their obligations to limit their liability. Here are a few tips on how to work safely and keep your construction projects moving forward during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check Your Local Restrictions or Guidelines
First, it is important to check and make sure that the services you offer are listed as essential. Once you do that, make sure to call your customers and verify that no one has been exposed to the virus or showing symptoms of the virus. Make sure they are comfortable with you coming into their home, especially if they have someone that would be considered in one of the vulnerable demographics.
If a customer indicates that they have been exposed to someone with the virus or that they have been experiencing symptoms, you might want to reschedule the work to be done until they are past the quarantine period, they are in recovery, or as advised by the appropriate health authorities. The truth is that your employees’ health and your health is not worth the risk.
Create an Emergency Contact
The truth is that because more people are home, they are putting more strain on their home’s basic systems. It can translate into more emergency repairs. Having an emergency number means that you can be available to handle these extra jobs, supplementing your business income, especially if larger projects are temporarily sidelined.
Be sure to add that emergency contact information on your social media, website, and business cards. No matter where you are marketing, such as Google, make sure your information is up to date. In line with that, be sure to update your hours if they have been affected by any stay at home orders.
Practice Social Distancing
Put practices into place that allow your employees to maintain the six feet of social distancing from your customers. If you need to have team meetings, then split them up to keep the group to less than 10 people. Make calls to elderly customers and reschedule to reduce their risk.
If employees are sick, they need to stay home. This option needs to be in place if they are living with someone who is sick as well.
Disinfecting is Key
While it might not be typical to clean off your tools after every use, the COVID-19 pandemic may mean a change in your procedures, including disinfecting vehicles. Consider ending every day by disinfecting the surfaces of tools frequently touched. Provide your employees with hand sanitizers that they can use throughout the day. Make a point to clean trailers regularly, particularly handles or other items that are frequently touched. You can also check the CDC guidelines for preparing workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, it is important to remember that you want to reassure your customers that you are taking steps to keep them safe. For instance, consider doing consultations via Zoom or other platforms, thus reducing physical interactions.
As a contractor, you may also want to make sure that you have the right amount of contractor insurance, especially if your workload increases with emergency calls. Contact us today to find out what your options are.
Top Contractors Insurance Services is a full-service contractor insurance agency handling workers compensation, general liability, construction bonds, and auto quotes.