COVID-19 didn’t stop progress on the new PIrate ship--at least not for long. Highline High School is a public works project. General contractor and construction manager Skanska USA Building moved quickly to decrease the proximity of workers and the likelihood of spreading the virus on-site by revamping workflow plans and adding new safety measures.
Skanska’s Stacy Jellison, Environmental Health and Safety Manager, overhauled more than 60 work plans in two days, consulting with site managers, subcontractors and construction crews.
Worksite leaders and crews implemented the changes, including a third-party medic taking temperatures and scanning masked workers each morning as they wait in line six feet apart.
“They grumbled the first day, but now it’s the new routine and it goes pretty quickly,” said Medic Kirk Randall.
Highline’s Chief Operations Officer Scott Logan praised the safety measures. “We appreciate the skill and professionalism of Skanska, their subcontractors and all the site construction workers, to manage this unprecedented situation. Thanks to them, our new high school continues to be on schedule for opening in fall 2021.”
Large signs greet crew members as they enter the site reminding them to maintain a distance of six feet from each other.
Extensive signage has been added throughout the job site, including on the elevated decks, reminding workers to keep their distance and wash their hands.
To increase worker safety and enable work to proceed, Skanska developed “Smart Re-Start” COVID-19 specific work protocols and other additions and changes to routines including:
Doubling the number of toilet and handwash facilities, and spacing them out to ensure social distancing requirements can be met when entering and exiting the facilities. Servicing of the sinks and toilets has been tripled to ensure cleanliness and supply. Facilities are disinfected multiple times a day.
Jobsite offices and crew trailers were deep-cleaned by a third party cleaning company, and continue to be disinfected multiple times a day by the users.
More trailers were added to allow crews to take breaks without being in a crowded trailer. Crews are staggering breaks and disinfecting in between.
All subcontractors have revised their Construction Work Plans (CWPs) to consider social distancing requirements. Tasks that require workers to be within 6 feet of each other for an extended period are either being postponed, or performed with masks. Crews are intentionally not using N95 masks as a first resort to preserve resources for healthcare providers.
Prior to COVID-19, all subcontractors and their crews gathered to stretch together and coordinate work. Now only the crew leaders gather to schedule and coordinate in an area where they can maintain plenty of distance from each other. They update their crew members while doing their own stretch-and-flex program in a location where they can all spread out.
An additional environmental health and safety manager was added to check the construction work plans and serve as an additional set of eyes on-site, coaching and reminding workers to keep social distancing and using safe practices.
More information on construction progress and photos.