Controlling COVID-19 on Construction Sites Proves Challenging

January 14, 2021

COVID-19 pandemic or not, many healthcare organizations are pushing ahead with construction and expansion projects in their facilities. In such cases, the challenge for facility managers is ensuring that on-site crews — both in-house staff and contractors — observe precautions designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. New research suggests they have a major challenge on their hands achieving that goal.

A recent study on health care-specific construction safety training to minimize contamination found inconsistencies in the level and frequency of training required by health care facility owners. The study, Renovation in hospitals: Training construction crews to work in health care facilities,” surveyed a total of 129 respondents working in various roles at the top 15 U.S. health care contractor firms, according to Health Facilities Management.

The researchers gathered information on the level of training required by healthcare owners, as well as how often the training was conducted and whether or not the project type — such as renovations in areas with immunocompromised patients — played a role. 

More than one-half of the respondents indicated that training is either “often” or “always” required by the project owner. Another point that caught the researchers’ attention was the difference in level of training based on project role: “Sixty percent of the respondents indicated that project supervision typically received a full day or more of training. Project management and owner personnel also received a high level.”

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