COVID’s Impact on the Construction Industry

Covid Hero

When the pandemic hit in 2020, it brought a whole new meaning of clean at the office, on the factory floor, and at construction sites. On the commercial front, the demand for janitorial services and deep cleaning with an emphasis on sanitization and disinfection became routine once COVID entered our lives.

Prior to COVID, standard office cleaning services included emptying trash cans, vacuuming, mopping floors, dusting, wiping surfaces, and performing the occasional deep clean. Routine sanitization and disinfection is now required for offices to remain open to maintain a healthy workspace. This is the new norm, particularly as we continue to experience COVID variants and rising infections among the population.

Janitorial companies today are expected to pay close attention to detail and be able to assess each customer's cleaning service needs on an individual basis. For example, high-traffic offices may necessitate more frequent deep cleaning than a business that employs a hybrid model and has fewer workers in the office.

Janitorial Training Required for Today's New Cleaning Era

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all janitors and cleaning service providers be trained on how to use chemicals, cleaning agents, and cleaning equipment. Additional training on the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, goggles, and hearing protection, should also be provided as needed for employees' health and safety.

Keeping It Clean and Safe on Job Sites

Not only is it important for employers in commercial and industrial spaces to continue to be vigilant in providing employees with a clean and safe environment, but workers on construction sites should also be safe. Following are some safety tips to employ on jobsites:


Shared Tools & Equipment

  • Wherever possible, avoid the use of shared tools and equipment. Drop saws, drills, grinders, ladders, and elevating work platforms, for example, should not be used by more than one person.
  • Where it is impossible to avoid shared use:

    • Provide cleaning supplies (e.g., alcohol spray or solution) in areas where communal tools and equipment are located.
    • As tools and equipment are moved around the site, keep cleaning supplies with them.
    • Ensure that all operators thoroughly wash or sanitize their hands before and after each use.
    • Wipe down all tool and equipment parts (including handles and handrails) before and after use.

In addition, thoroughly clean all work areas, including hoists and lifts; communal and meal break areas; and shared facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens.


Personal Protective Equipment on the Construction Site

Provide information, instruction, and training on the proper use, decontamination, maintenance, and disposal of any PPE provided.

  • Any PPE provided must be appropriate for the job and properly decontaminated or disposed of at the end of each shift.
  • Employers should monitor and encourage proper PPE use, including posting information on posters and digital screens about washing or sanitizing hands before putting on PPE, putting on face protection before gloves, washing or sanitizing hands after removing PPE, and decontaminating or disposing of used PPE safely.