D. C. Taylor Co. Protects Workers from COVID-19 During Global Pandemic
During the COVID-19 Jobsite Safety Stand Down, D. C. Taylor Co. spent time reflecting on its response to the pandemic and efforts to keep workers healthy. Now 10 months since COVID-19 hit the United States, Safety Manager Kirk Dighton thinks back on those early days in March of 2020. “Initially we were taking steps we didn’t have to take. We were overly cautious, especially when there wasn’t testing,” he says. As more was discovered about virus transmission, new guidelines were issued, and testing availability became widespread, D. C. Taylor Co. responded accordingly. Dighton explains, “We relied heavily on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop our COVID-19 guidance to roofing and service crews.”
COVID-19 Safety Practices for Roofing Contractors
Thermometers were issued along with training and toolbox talks. Regardless of where the crew was working in the United States, the mandate was the same: temperature checks were to be taken each morning, trucks and tools were to be sanitized frequently, hands must be washed or sanitized, and as much as possible, workers were to maintain a distance of six feet between themselves and others. “When crew personnel are working with us and for us, we protect them,” says Dighton.
Every few months or as CDC guidance changed, more communications were shared – first with project managers and then by those individuals to project supervisors who spread the word. Crew members provided their signatures as proof that they received the training.
The new protocols were met with serious challenges. When social distancing wasn’t possible, masks were worn, but this caused a safety hazard as safety glasses fogged up. “We had to get anti-fog safety glasses,” says Dighton. And when rental handwashing stations became scarce, D. C. Taylor Co. improvised. “We adapted and used orange Igloo water jugs and added dish soap so crews could wash their hands,” he explains.
While many of D. C. Taylor Co.’s customers continued their operations, some were skeptical to let the contracted workers onsite. “We were able to prove all the precautions we were taking as reassurance that we took COVID-19 as seriously as they did,” says Dighton.
As new requirements are issued, D. C. Taylor Co. continues to adapt. Recently, California OSHA required signage with COVID-19 protocols to be posted at the jobsite. Rather than require crews to know state-specific guidelines, D. C. Taylor Co. adopted the requirement for ALL jobsites. These uniform requirements enable nationwide contractors to simplify compliance.
Office employees follow similar requirements for morning temperature checks, masking in hallways, and handwashing and sanitizing when in-person work is necessary. “I’m pleased with our response and the low number of individuals who have tested positive. It proves our diligence and that the communication we provided was effective,” Dighton concludes.
About D. C. Taylor Co.
D. C. Taylor Co. is a Cedar Rapids, IA-based roofing contractor with 70 years of experience installing, repairing, and maintaining roofs at commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities. With service centers in five states and 30 service and roofing crews, D. C. Taylor Co. is poised to respond to customer needs quickly and efficiently. For more information on D. C. Taylor Co., visit www.dctaylorco.com.