On May 4th, 2020, the Ontario government allowed certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines. As the plan for reopening Ontario progresses, a key factor in its success is that businesses follow the sector-specific measures outlined by the government. With the number of google searches for terms like “house builder app” doubling from March to April, it’s safe to assume that contractors are turning to software to help them ease into the new normal. For any product or service to make sense, it needs to solve a problem. In this article I’m going to share with you how Level makes it easy to comply with the construction specific COVID-19 guidelines issued by the government.
Guideline #1: Share Information
“It is important that all parties in a workplace communicate their roles and responsibilities. Employers will need to ensure health and safety policies are updated and posted for all employees to see. Using industry resources, including this one and those produced by the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA), will improve on-site understanding.” Everyday we’re inundated with communication (see slideshow below). The more of it we add to our plate, the more likely we are to make a mistake. With Level, managing communication is easy since Level organizes communication for you. Much like a WhatsApp or Facebook group, communication is organized through Level projects. A Level project is a dedicated place for participants to communicate and share information, including documents, timesheets, photos, punchlists, checklists, and much more, about a project.
💡 With so much information out there, it’s sometimes hard to find a place to start. Level’s got you covered! Check out our COVID-19 Protocol for ideas on sharing information.
Guideline #2: Post Your Policies
"All employers/constructors need to post and communicate COVID-19 policies to employees and contractors or trades.
These policies should cover how the site will operate, including, but not limited to:
the sanitization of sites
how employees and contractors report illnesses
how to ensure physical distancing
how work will be scheduled"
Our federal, provincial, and municipal leaders are speaking to their constituents daily to ensure the same information is available to everyone and communicated to all. As a leader, you need to do the same during these times. Level is here to ensure this information can be communicated to your trades, employees, and other stakeholders all from one place - simple, synced across devices, in real-time. It’s more important than ever that everyone knows how to work safely and to be given the confidence to show up on-site to keep the world spinning.
💡 Create a company-wide health and safety project on Level and add your co-workers to it. Any time you add a change to the policy or communicate roles and responsibilities, everyone in the project will be notified.
Guideline #3: Physical Distancing (Two Meters)
"As advised by the Chief Medical Officer, public health officials, and outlined throughout government communications, physical distancing is required to control the spread of COVID-19. In order to ensure physical distancing on site, employers should consider:
staggering start times
restricting the number of people on-site and where they are assigned to work
controlling site movement (by limiting the potential for workers to gather, including personnel in material hoists and site trailers)
limiting the number of people who use elevators and hoists at one time
holding meetings in an outside or large space to enable physical distancing
limiting unnecessary on-site contact between workers, and between workers and outside service providers, and encourage physical distancing in these areas (for example, by removing coffee trucks from site)"
Well, that’s a list no project manager or anyone concerned with a schedule wants to see. We get it. We also understand the greatest priority is keeping our employees and trades safe. So since we’re playing by the rules, let’s do it as efficiently as possible! Level has an excellent scheduling panel to help you plan, log and track on-site personnel, material deliveries, and progress meetings. That feature alone checks just about every box above and more!
💡 Most of us are visual learners. Draw out your staggered schedules and use Level to log and share those schedules with your crew.
Guideline #4: On-site Sanitation
"Coronaviruses are spread person to person through close contact, including at work. While employers always have an obligation to maintain clean worksites, that obligation is under sharper focus during an outbreak like the current COVID-19 pandemic. Employers should focus on:
access to soap and water (ways to properly clean hands) or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
sanitizing commonly touched surfaces or areas (hoists, site trailers, door handles, equipment, residential units)
avoiding the sharing of hand tools and power tools. If sharing is necessary, enable sanitization of shared equipment.
posting signage on hygiene in English and the majority workplace language so everyone can understand how to do their part"
Building a reputation for having safe and clean jobsites will not only ensure non-closure of your business, but it’ll also bring your co-workers, customers, and their families peace of mind. The benefits of which are increased sales, and talent acquisition and retention. Keep your reputation and jobsites in check by creating, sharing, and assigning tasks on Level so that nothing gets missed! 💡 Add your COVID-19 screening questions to Level. Instead of shared pen(s) and paper, crew members can use their mobile devices to answer screening questions with Level's features.
Guideline #5: Adjust On-site And Production Schedules
"Physical distancing will result in lower staffing on job sites. In order to keep sites open, employers will need to adjust production schedules as the impacts of physical distancing become clear. Owners and trades will need to collaborate to ensure there is a clear understanding of how production will be impacted. Schedules should consider:
limiting number of workers to critical number by staggering work schedules
sanitation of sites and workspaces
site planning to facilitate appropriate physical distancing (two metres) between workers during any particular shift
work-site mobility and transportation, including hoist operations"
Without COVID-19, collaborating on SMS and email is costing you 14 hours/week per person, and now you’re expected to collaborate even further. As the recent study explains, much of this problem lies in a technology disconnect between business owners, trades and their customers. We tackled this problem by modeling Level after apps everyone is familiar with, namely Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. This is what makes Level the most intuitive project management app for home builders, trades, and their customers. With Level, keeping everyone on the same page is as easy as browsing a Facebook post or sending a WhatsApp message. 💡 Create a project on Level, play around in it for a bit and once you’re comfortable, invite a friend to Level and collaborate on a project together.
Guideline #6: Track And Monitor Your Workforce
"Due to the latency period of COVID-19, it is important to track where employees have worked. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the local public health unit will ask employers to provide information on where the employee worked as well as the contact information of any other employee who may have been exposed. Employers will track information and Public Health Units will respond.”
Without a system in place, pulling together the information requested from the health authorities would take hours. With Level it will take minutes. Simply log into the project where the incident occurred and you’ll have all the information of who worked with whom and when at your fingertips. Keep your crew safe and your blood pressure low with Level. 💡 Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was built brick by brick. Try Level for free and start with the intent of mastering one of the features we spoke about in this article. Once you get the hang of it, try another. Continue this system and before you know it, you’ll have an empire!
COVID-19 has made us all rethink the idea of a handshake. Now, we have to rethink the way we manage our jobsites. Thankfully, Level - business management software for home builders and contractors - has made adapting to this new normal quick and easy. Yes, it takes a bit of work to get set up and get people on-boarded but once you do it, you can sleep easy knowing that your business and its people are safe. So, do you want to make compliance easy? Start your free trial today!
News Release: Certain Businesses Allowed to Reopen Under Strict Safety Guidelines
Construction sector and design industry resources
The Canadian Construction Association’s online Pandemic Preparedness Guide
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers online resource
Daily COVD-19 government updates
Webinar, April 28th, 2020: How To Modernize Your Construction Business