How We’re Protecting Clients & Staff During COVID

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Safety First, Always: How We’re Protecting Clients & Staff During COVID-19

The novel coronavirus is changing the way individuals and businesses are operating day to day. For some, that means certain activities need to go on hold indefinitely. However, since Governor Charlie Baker considers construction to be an essential service, we are fortunate to be able to continue our operations throughout the ongoing pandemic. While doing so, we’re taking every precaution possible to further enhance our industry-leading on-site safety procedures and protocols.

Close-up shot of the COVID virus under a microscope

Since our top priority is the safety of our clients and team members, we want you to know exactly what these extra steps, procedures, and protocols are. We’ll also arm you with valuable information on how you can keep yourself and your family safe in the months to come.

How to Stay Safe During Construction Projects

Well thought-out preparedness is the pathway of success for safety, and keeping current with all state and local guidelines is the foundation upon which we prepare. Fortunately, the CDC has created a detailed planning guide for how to get your home ready for COVID-19. Prioritize getting these resources accounted for. With them in place, you can build additional parameters for specific situations, like residential construction.

Floor plan blueprints for a house on a white piece of paper

Once you’ve gotten your home COVID-19 ready, your next step should be setting boundaries for your project expectations right from the start. Familiarizing yourself with best practices for managing contractors is a great way to help you define your own project standards that you can share with your contractor. Having a guide for your project standards is a great way to keep yourself safe, while also being courteous to your contractor.

If you haven’t yet found a custom home contractor, we highly recommend reading this before seeking out a custom home builder. One of the best ways to stay safe is to reduce contact with others, which makes an efficient search process for a contractor paramount.

The importance of reduced contact and efficiency holds true throughout the project phase, as well. You need a residential construction firm that’s prioritizing safety standards specific to COVID-19 without throwing out or ignoring old ones.

Existing industry requirements, like OSHA 10 or OSHA 30 training, provide the foundation on which our team builds additional layers of protection specific to the pandemic. In addition, our Enhanced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Plan (outlined below) helps us ensure that we can treat homes safely during the coronavirus outbreak.

How We Ensure Safety on Construction Projects During the Pandemic

As always, our team continues to provide the highest quality design and build services, while prioritizing safety. Below is an outline of how we are doing so during the pandemic, so you can understand the measures we’re taking for your safety and the safety of our workers.

Infographic outlining Sleeping Dog's four-step process to ensuring safety on construction projects during COVID-19

An Emphasis on Social Distancing

Of all the current challenges, this is perhaps the most difficult and most important. While working in the field, we have worked to allow our team members greater access to the work they have to do while also ensuring that six feet of separation is maintained at all times.

Cartoon graphic showing two silhouettes of people with an arrow between them to indicate social distancing

To accomplish this, we reduced our on-site crew sizes to allow for a more spacious work environment. We’ve also assigned shift details and extended the days of work available. For us, this means weekend work, second-shift work, and more careful scheduling for our crew and subs – whatever it takes to ensure there are less workers on site at any given time, without impacting your project’s timeline.

Meticulous Site Cleanliness, Product Handling & Environment Maintenance

According to the CDC, the coronavirus can remain active for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces. With that in mind, we’ve implemented a strict surface-cleaning regimen for our employees. This includes doorknobs, handles, tables, countertops, keyboards, light switches, and more. Furthermore, our crew is keenly aware that all building materials, plumbing fixtures, and construction items will be managed in the same way.

To help us maintain on-site safety, we’re following the CDC recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces by:

  • Creating negative air pressure in the room or space being worked in.
  • Wearing appropriate protective gear for the tasks at hand, including respiratory health masks and disposable gloves whenever necessary.
  • Taking frequent breaks to check in with your own personal health and ensure you’re feeling well.
  • If a surface is visibly dirty, cleaning it with soap and water first, then use a disinfectant.
    • To do this, we use a diluted household bleach solution, or an alcohol-based solution with at least 70% alcohol in it. The Environmental Protection Agency has a list of cleaning products that meet its criteria for use against the coronavirus.
    • Follow instructions on the cleaning products’s label, and never combine chemicals for any reason.
  • Washing hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds or more as often as possible – and especially after the completion of a particular task.

 

Close-up shot of a person washing their hands under a faucet with warm water and soap

Adjustments to Our Meetings & Administrative Operations

Coming together while staying safe is another big challenge that we’ve worked to overcome. As part of our internal safety plan, we have found great success with these three tips:

  1. Make field staff reporting virtual. Video monitoring and daily site reporting through photos are essential for keeping all partners current on a project’s process.
  2. Schedule in-person meetings off-hours. Client and architect meetings are now scheduled for off-hours during the project times with the least amount of foot traffic, or are done completely virtually.
  3. Bring all office meetings online. All Sleeping Dog Properties office meetings are now all virtual.

 

A laptop used for virtual meetings sitting on a wooden desk next to a notepad, coffee cup, and other materials

Adjustments to Our Project Planning Processes

The silver lining of working remotely has been, for us, more productive administrative time. This means we’re able to devote even more time to thinking through the details of a project. We’ve also been able to pre-emptively talk to our entire team about the situation at-hand so they can be fully prepared to maintain production with the utmost safety.

Close-up of a notebook with project layout specifications and floor planning details

Part of the reason we’ve been New England’s top design-build firm for nearly 30 years has been our unique skill at assessing potential challenges and risks for every single project. The presence of COVID-19 has only increased our vigilance. We’re taking this time to circle up the team, discuss all projects in detail, address any potential challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic, and agree on ways we all feel comfortable mitigating these risks and obstacles.

How to Reach Us During the COVID-19 Outbreak

In addition to our four-point Enhanced PPE Plan that’s been outlined above, Sleeping Dog Properties, Inc. has established a detailed safety addendum to our advanced Project Health and Safety Manual. If you’re curious about the details of this program, or simply want to reach out with any other questions or concerns regarding current or future projects, here are the best ways that you can get in touch with a live member of our team:

  • Fill out our contact form to tell us the specifications of your potential project, or ask general questions. All submissions will be assessed by a Sleeping Dog Properties team member and responded to as quickly as possible.
  • Email us directly at info@sleepingdogproperties.com with any questions or concerns you might have at any point in time.
  • Call us at 617-576-6100 during our regular work hours of 9AM to 5PM Monday through Friday, or simply leave a message so we can reply as quickly as possible.
  • Use our new on-site chat feature to connect with a Sleeping Dog Properties representative. Simply click the “How may I help you today?” prompt in the bottom left-hand corner of our site to leave us a message!

 

Finally, we hope all customers, employees, friends, and family will stay in touch with everything Sleeping Dog through our social media accounts. We’ll continue using our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to keep you up to date on current projects, future plans or developments, and important announcements like this one.

We encourage all current and prospective clients to call or reach out online to receive the same industry-leading design-build customer service, regardless of whether your project is mid-stream, ongoing, or just an idea. We’ll have staff in-office during our regular hours of 8AM to 5PM every Monday through Friday to answer calls and respond to emails or other messages.

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