Submitted by the Associated General Contractors Association
Safety and running safe job sites are top priorities within the construction industry, with millions of dollars spent each year on personal protective equipment, stringent safety training requirements, daily inspections and other safety precautions. Therefore, area contractors and labor already have much of the infrastructure in place to help confront the current COVID-19 crisis. But there’s much more that needs to be accomplished quickly. Jointly, labor and management are doing that important work.
According to Charlie Goodwin, chair of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri Labor Policy Committee and president of Goodwin Brothers Construction Co., “Labor and management have all moved swiftly to take care of the workers, contractors and owner employees working on or near job sites, and work is moving forward in a safe and prudent way. Constant and regular communications has helped us stay on top of the situation and implement shared best practices.”
“We’ve established a special ‘PROTECT YOURSELF. PROTECT OTHERS.’ COVID-19 online resource center (https://tinyurl.com/wnjxrpw )where contractors and suppliers are sharing best practices,” said Leonard Toenjes, CAE, AGCMO’s president. “Contractors are following, and many, exceeding CDC and OSHA guidelines, and we’re issuing daily updates with the latest information and findings. In addition to all the hand washing, social distancing and other protections, contractors also are disinfecting gang boxes, shared tools and work spaces, and using daily safety toolbox talks to help prevent spread of the virus. Many contractors already have implemented daily signed questionnaire protocol on job sites. Depending on the owner, some are even performing daily temperature checks. “
Toenjes added that a new “PROTECT YOURSELF. PROTECT OTHERS.” telephone hotline was added today at 314-781-2356 extension 1050 for anyone with any concerns regarding the potential safety of a job site to report concerns anonymously. “Labor and management do not want any worker to feel intimidated by a co-worker or supervisor,” added Toenjes. “Our goal is full transparency on all job sites.”
Labor is playing an important leadership role in collaborating with management to confront COVID-19. “We’re in daily contact with contractor associations and are working closely with them to keep our workers safe and employed,” added Al Bond, executive secretary/treasurer of the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council. “I am extremely proud of our workers who are leaving their families at home and showing up for work to help build many critical projects. It speaks volumes about the caliber of our people and the industry as a whole.”
John Stiffler, executive secretary/treasurer of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council, observed, “I am very proud of our owners, contractors and workers right now. This is a very challenging situation which requires constant communications, monitoring and tremendous cooperation. We are fully aware that much of our construction work involves critical infrastructure for our healthcare systems, utilities, municipalities and supply chain companies that are all on the front lines and under severe duress right now. The community is counting on us to help provide the infrastructure to keep all of these companies and organizations operating during this critical time.”
For additional information, visit www.agcmo.org or contact AGCMO at 314.781.2356 or call Toll-Free at 844-60-MOAGC.