Toolbox Talk: Social Distancing

Social distancing is a set of administrative actions designed to stop or reduce the spread of a contagious disease. You can help protect yourself and others by adjusting your daily habits to decrease close contact with others. While self-isolating in your home is the most desirable control for avoiding exposure to a contagious disease, this is not always possible.

Social distancing is not social isolation. Did you know that it is a useful strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19, or any other virus when you distance yourself physically from others? Social distancing's effectiveness is proven to work because it limits the potential for COVID-19 to spread during close unprotected contact between an infected person and uninfected people. Individuals infected with COVID-19 may exhibit little to no symptoms of the virus. Without social distancing, they may unknowingly spread the virus to others around them.

You should know that physical distancing involves making changes in your everyday routines to minimize close contact with others in your community. You should maintain a distance of at least two arms lengths (approximately 2 meters) from others. Steer clear of crowded places and non-essential gatherings. Replace social gestures that require physical contact (handshakes, hugs, kisses) with new creative ways of showing affection or salutations.

How can we work together to keep our job sites safe?

  • When you arrive on-site, before heading to your specific work area, identify others working on-site, and plan the best route to maintain social distancing.
  • When possible, avoid tool sharing.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in settings where other social distancing measures are challenging to maintain, such as tasks that require close contact with others.
  • Conduct meetings in small groups, ten (10) people or less, and when possible, host them outdoors.
  • Stagger breaks and lunches, limit the size of any group at any one time to ten (10) people or less.
  • Don't use common sources of drinking water or share cups or bottles.
  • Minimize ridesharing. But, if you do have to share a vehicle, ensure adequate ventilation and adequately clean and disinfect high touch surfaces on the interior after transport.
  • Avoid having multiple employees on lifts and scaffolds, which require less than 6 feet distance.
  • Regularly clean surfaces and tools
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using soap and water is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer.
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the crease of your elbow or a tissue when you sneeze or cough. Dispose of tissue immediately and wash or sanitize your hand.

 

By following these tips, we ALL can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and continue to work safely.