Coronavirus disease 2019

COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan

Star Cooling Towers, LP takes the health and safety of our employees very seriously. With the spread of the coronavirus or “COVID-19,” a respiratory disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we all must remain vigilant in mitigating the outbreak. This is particularly true for the construction industry, which has been deemed “essential” in many locations throughout the United States during this Declared National Emergency. In order to be safe and maintain operations, we have developed this COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan to be implemented throughout the Company and at all of our jobsites. We have also identified a team of employees to monitor available U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) guidance on the virus.

This Plan is based on currently available information from the CDC and OSHA and is subject to change based on further information provided by the CDC, OSHA, and other public
officials. The Company may also amend this Plan based on operational needs.

I. Responsibilities of Managers and Supervisors

All managers and supervisors must be familiar with this Plan and be ready to answer questions
from employees. Managers and supervisors must set a good example by following this Plan
at all times. This involves practicing good personal hygiene and jobsite safety practices to
prevent the spread of the virus. Managers and supervisors must encourage this same behavior
from all employees.

II. Responsibilities of Employees

We are asking every one of our employees to help with our prevention efforts while at work. To minimize the spread of COVID-19 at our jobsites, we all must play our part. As set forth below, the Company has instituted various housekeeping, social distancing, and other best practices at our jobsites. All employees must follow all these practices. In addition, employees are expected to report to their managers or supervisors if they are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19, as described below. If you have a specific question about this Plan or COVID-19, please ask your supervisor. If they cannot answer the question, please contact our safety manager Brandon Solis 281-236-5169. OSHA and the CDC have provided the following control and preventative guidance to all workers, regardless of exposure risk:
  • Wear a face covering when the work is in proximity of six (6) feet from other employees. See Section IV.E. for further guidance regarding face coverings.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Follow appropriate respiratory etiquette, which includes covering for coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid close contact* with people who are sick.

*For the CDC’s definition of “close contact,” refer to the full definition on pg. 11 of this Plan.

In addition, employees must familiarize themselves with the symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Coughing;
  • Fever or chills;
  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing;
  • Fatigue;
  • Muscle or body aches;
  • Headache;
  • New loss of taste or smell;
  • Sore throat;
  • Congestion or runny nose;
  • Nausea or vomiting; and
  • Diarrhea.

If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath, DO NOT GO TO WORK and call your healthcare provider right away. Likewise, if you come into close contact with someone showing these symptoms, call your healthcare provider right away.

III. Guidance for Critical Infrastructure Employers

The CDC has provided guidance for employers regarding safety practices for “critical infrastructure workers” who may have been exposed to a person with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. Construction has been deemed as critical infrastructure by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) and many state and local jurisdictions have similarly deemed construction as critical infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Given this, Star Cooling Towers, LP is adopting the following protocol for employees exposed or potentially exposed to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, consistent with CDC recommendations.

If a critical infrastructure employee has been exposed or potentially exposed to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, Star Cooling Towers, LP will permit the employee to continue to work, but will implement the following practices:

  • Measure temperature of employees before they enter the worksite (see Appendix A
    for additional information);
  • Regularly monitor asymptomatic employees;
  • Exposed or potentially exposed employees wear a mask/face covering for 14 days
    after exposure;
  • Have employees maintain social distancing as work duties permit; and
  • Routinely disinfect workspaces.

Depending upon workforce needs, Star Cooling Towers, LP may choose to keep the exposed or potentially exposed employee away from work for 14 days. See also Section VI below.

IV. Job Site Protective Measures

The Company has instituted the following protective measures at all jobsites.

A. General Safety Policies and Rules

  • Any employee/contractor/visitor showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to leave the jobsite and return home. Star Cooling Towers, LP may determine that taking employee/contractor/visitor temperatures at worksites is appropriate and restrict access based upon temperature readings. As an alternative to taking temperatures at the worksite, Star Cooling Towers, LP may request employees/contractors/visitors to take their own temperatures prior to coming to the worksite. (See Appendix A for additional information.)
  • Safety meetings will be by telephone, if possible. If safety meetings are conducted in-person, attendance will be collected verbally and the foreman/superintendent will sign-in each attendee. Attendance will not be tracked through passed-around signin sheets or mobile devices. During any in-person safety meetings, avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people and participants must remain at least six (6) feet apart.
  • Employees must avoid physical contact with others and direct employees/contractors/visitors to increase personal space to at least six (6) feet, where possible. Where work trailers are used, only necessary employees should enter the trailers and all employees should maintain social distancing while inside the trailers.
  • Employees are required to wear face coverings when they must work in proximity of six (6) feet from other employees. Note: employees must wear face coverings wherever mandated by client requirements.
  • All in-person meetings will be limited. To the extent possible, meetings will be conducted by telephone.
  • Employees will be encouraged to stagger breaks and lunches, if practicable, to reduce the size of any group at any one time to less than ten (10) people.
  • The Company understands that due to the nature of our work, access to running water for hand washing may be impracticable. In these situations, the Company will provide, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and/or wipes.
  • Employees should limit the use of co-workers’ tools and equipment. To the extent tools must be shared, the Company will provide alcohol-based wipes to clean tools before and after use. When cleaning tools and equipment, consult manufacturing recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions.
  • Employees are encouraged to limit the need for N95 respirator use, by using engineering and work practice controls to minimize dust. Such controls include the use of water delivery and dust collection systems, as well as limiting exposure time.
  • The Company will divide crews/staff into two (2) groups where possible so that projects can continue working effectively in the event that one of the divided teams is required to quarantine.
  • As part of the division of crews/staff, the Company will designate employees into dedicated shifts, at which point, employees will remain with their dedicated shift for the reminder of the project. If there is a legitimate reason for an employee to change shifts, the Company will have sole discretion in making that alteration.
  • Employees are encouraged to minimize ride-sharing. While in vehicle, employees must ensure adequate ventilation and consider the use of face coverings.
  • If practicable, employees should use/drive the same truck or piece of equipment every shift.
  • In lieu of using a common source of drinking water, such as a cooler, employees should use individual water bottles. Use of tobacco products (chewing tobacco,
    smoking), vaping, sunflower seeds, etc., should be avoided.

C. Job Site Visitors

  • The number of visitors to the job site, including the trailer or office, will be limited to only those necessary for the work.
  • All visitors will be screened in advance of arriving on the job site. If the visitor answers “yes” to any of the following questions, he/she should not be permitted to access the jobsite:
    • Have you been confirmed positive for COVID-19 and have not yet been cleared to return to work?
    • Are you currently experiencing, or recently experienced, any acute respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
    • Have you been in close contact with any persons who have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 and are also exhibiting acute respiratory illness symptoms in the last 14 days?
    • Have you been in close contact with any persons who have traveled and are also exhibiting acute respiratory illness symptoms in the last 14 days?
  • Star Cooling Towers, LP may determine that taking visitor temperatures at worksites is appropriate and restricting access based upon temperature readings. As an alternative to taking temperatures at the worksite, Star Cooling Towers, LP may request visitors take their own temperatures prior to coming to the worksite. (See Appendix A for more information.)
  • Site deliveries will be permitted but should be properly coordinated in line with the employer’s minimal contact and cleaning protocols. Delivery personnel should remain in their vehicles if at all possible.

D. Personal Protective Equipment and Work Practice Controls

  • In addition to regular PPE for workers engaged in various tasks (fall protection, hard hats, hearing protection), employers will also provide:
    • Gloves: Gloves should be worn at all times while on-site. The type of glove worn should be appropriate to the task. If gloves are not typically required for the task, then any type of glove is acceptable, including latex gloves. Employees should avoid sharing gloves.
    • Eye protection: Eye protection should be worn at all times while on-site.
    • NOTE: The CDC is currently not recommending that healthy people wear N95 respirators to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employees should wear N95 respirators if required by the work and if available.
  • Due to the current shortage of N95 respirators, the following Work Practice Controls should be followed:
    • Keep dust down by using engineering and work practice controls, specifically through the use of water delivery and dust collection systems.
    • Limit exposure time to the extent practicable.
    • Isolate workers in dusty operations by using a containment structure or distance to limit dust exposure to those employees who are conducting the tasks, thereby protecting nonessential workers and bystanders.
    • Institute a rigorous housekeeping program to reduce dust levels on the jobsite.
  • To the extent that shortages of N95 respirators continue to occur, the Company will take the following steps in accordance with OSHA guidance to continue to protect employees where respirator use is required by other OSHA standards:
    • Extended use or reuse of N95s – If extended use or reuse of N95 respirators becomes necessary, the same employee is permitted to extend use of or reuse the respirator, as long as the respirator maintains its structural and functional integrity and the filter material is not physically damaged, soiled, or contaminated.
    • Use of expired N95s – If N95s are not available and extended use or reuse of N95s is not possible, employees may use previously NIOSH-certified expired N95s.
    • Non-NIOSH approved respirators – If N95s are not available, extended use or reuse of N95s is not possible, and expired N95s are not available, employees may use respirators that are either certified under certain standards of other countries; or previously certified under the standards of other countries but beyond their manufacturer’s recommended shelf life. OSHA directs that respirators certified by the People’s Republic of China be used only after respirators from other countries are sought.

E. Face Covering

Star Cooling Towers, LP has reviewed OSHA’s workplace classification scheme for worker exposure potential to COVID-19. While construction work could generally be considered
“low risk” for viral transmission, some construction tasks or activities may involve working with others in proximity closer than six feet, including sitting in the same vehicle, and therefore might be considered as “medium risk” under the Agency’s risk pyramid.

Due to this and CDC recommendations, we are implementing a face covering policy for certain work activities for the foreseeable future, including those situations where (1) it is mandated by state or local rule, or (2) employees must work in proximity of six (6) feet from other employees. A face covering is a cloth, bandana, or other type of material that covers a person’s nose and mouth. Five general criteria for “cloth face coverings” are that the face covering should:

  • fit snugly against the side of the face and be secured under the chin;
  • be secured with ties or ear loops;
  • include multiple layers of fabric;
  • allow for breathing without restriction; and
  • be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape.

For further information, the CDC has issued guidance on how to wear, take off, and wash reusable face coverings.

Use of a face covering is not a substitute for the important workplace preventative technique of maintaining six (6) feet of physical distance from others.

V. Job Site Cleaning and Disinfecting

The Company has instituted regular housekeeping practices, which includes cleaning and disinfecting frequently used tools and equipment, and other elements of the work environment, where possible. Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.

  • Jobsite trailers and break/lunchroom areas will be cleaned at least once per day. Employees performing cleaning will be issued proper personal protective equipment (“PPE”), such as nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves and gowns, as recommended by the CDC.
  • Any trash collected from the jobsite must be changed frequently by someone wearing nitrile, latex, or vinyl gloves.
  • Any portable jobsite toilets should be cleaned by the leasing company at least twice per week and disinfected on the inside. The Company will ensure that hand sanitizer dispensers are always filled. Frequently touched items (i.e., door pulls and toilet seats) will be disinfected frequently.
  • Vehicles and equipment/tools should be cleaned at least once per day and before change in operator or rider.
  • The Company will ensure that any disinfection shall be conducted using one of the following:
    • Common EPA-registered household disinfectant;
    • Alcohol solution with at least 60% alcohol; or
    • Diluted household bleach solutions (these can be used if appropriate for the surface).
  • The Company will maintain Safety Data Sheets of all disinfectants used on site.

VI. Jobsite Exposure Situations

  • Employee Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms
If an employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms and thinks he or she may have COVID-19, the employee must remain at home and not report to work until: (1) at least 24** hours (1 full day) have passed since recovery;*** and (2) at least ten (10) days have passed since symptoms first appeared. To the extent practical, employees are required to obtain a doctor’s note clearing them to return to work. If the employee’s symptoms can be attributed to another cause (e.g., asthma, allergies, stomach flu, etc.), employees may return to work earlier than the above timeline prescribes, however such employees are required to obtain a doctor’s note clearing them to return to work.
  • Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
An employee that tests positive for COVID-19 will be directed to self-quarantine away from work. Employees that test positive and are symptom free may return to work when at least ten (10) days have passed since the date of his or her first positive test and have not had a subsequent illness. Employees that test positive and are directed to care for themselves at home may return to work when: (1) at least 24**** hours (1 full day) have passed since recovery;** and (2) at least ten (10) days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Employees that test positive and have been hospitalized may return to work when directed to do so by their medical care provider. The Company will require an employee to provide documentation clearing their return to work.

**NOTE TO EMPLOYERS: The CDC guidance currently recommends that the individual be symptom free for 24 hours. However, this is updated from the CDC’s initial guidance that recommended an individual be symptom free for 72 hours. As such, many state and local jurisdictions are still requiring a full 72 hours of being symptom free before being able to return to work and because these jurisdictions have enforcement authority (whereas the CDC does not), employers should be cognizant of whether they are still subject to the 72 hour time period.

***Recovery is defined as: (1) resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and (2) improvement in other symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).

****NOTE TO EMPLOYERS: The CDC guidance currently recommends that the individual be symptom free for 24 hours. However, this is updated from the CDC’s initial guidance that recommended an individual be symptom free for 72 hours. As such, many state and local jurisdictions are still requiring a full 72 hours of being symptom free before being able to return to work and because these jurisdictions have enforcement authority (whereas the CDC does not), employers should be cognizant of whether they are still subject to the 72 hour time period.

  • Employee Has Close Contact with a Tested Positive COVID-19 Individual

Close contact is defined as being within six (6) feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three 5-minute exposures with three different COVID-19 positive individuals (or with just one COVID-19 positive individual) in a 24-hour period would be considered close contact.

Factors to consider include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors). Additionally, because most employees have not been trained on the use of respirators and/or are not wearing respirators, and the efficacy of face coverings varies greatly by type, the use of respirators/face coverings by the infected person or the potentially exposed individual should not be considered in making a determination of “close contact.”

Employees that have come into close contact with a confirmed-positive COVID-19 individual (co-worker or otherwise), will be directed to either: (1) continue to work, provided they remain asymptomatic in accordance with Section III above; or, if they are symptomatic or the Company chooses to follow more conservative protocols, (2) self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with the carrier.

However, if the employee who has had close contact with a tested positive COVID-19 individual previously developed COVID-19 within the previous three months and has recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms, the employee does not need to stay home.

If the Company learns that an employee has tested positive, the Company will conduct an investigation into co-workers that may have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee in the prior 14 days and direct those individuals that have had close contact with the confirmed-positive employee to either continue to work, provided they remain asymptomatic in accordance with Section III above, or, if they are symptomatic or the Company chooses to follow more conservative protocols, to self-quarantine for 14 days from the last date of close contact with the carrier. If an employee learns that he or she has come into close contact with a confirmed-positive individual outside of the workplace, he/she must alert a manager or supervisor of the close contact.

VII. OSHA Recordkeeping

When to Record a COVID-19 Case on the OSHA 300 Log

Record the case on your OSHA 300 log if: (1) the case is a tested-positive confirmed case of COVID-19; (2) the case is work-related (see below for more information); and (3) the case involves death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness, and/or a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed healthcare professional.

The key to determining if a COVID-19 positive employee’s sickness is recordable is whether the case is work-related. In order to make this determination, at the time the Company learns of a COVID-19 positive employee, the Company must investigate the work-relatedness of the case.

According to OSHA, a reasonable investigation involves:

  1. Asking the employee how s/he believe s/he contracted COVID-19;
  2. While respecting the employee’s privacy, asking the employee about his/her work and outof-work activities that may have led to the COVID-19 contraction; and
  3. Reviewing the employee’s work environment for potential exposure – e.g., determining whether other employees in the work environment also were confirmed with COVID-19.

As noted above, this analysis must be conducted at the time the Company learns that an employee is COVID-19 positive. If, however, the Company later learns of additional evidence related to an employee’s COVID-19 illness, that information should be used to determine the work-relatedness of a case.

OSHA has provided the following scenarios as work-related guideposts.

Work-Related

  • COVID-19 illnesses are likely work-related when several cases (clusters) develop among workers who work closely together and there is no alternative explanation.
  • An employee’s COVID-19 illness is likely work-related if it is contracted shortly after lengthy, close exposure to a particular customer or coworker who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 and there is no alternative explanation.
  • An employee’s COVID-19 illness is likely work-related if his/her job duties include having frequent, close exposure to the general public in a locality with ongoing community transmission and there is no alternative explanation.

Not Work-Related

  • An employee’s COVID-19 illness is likely not work-related if s/he is the only worker to contract COVID-19 in his/her vicinity and his/her job duties do not include having frequent contact with the general public, regardless of the rate of community spread.
  • An employee’s COVID-19 illness is likely not work-related if s/he, outside the workplace, closely and frequently associates with someone (e.g., a family member, significant other, or close friend) who (1) has COVID-19; (2) is not a coworker, and (3) exposes the employee during the period in which the individual is likely infectious.

When to Report a COVID-19 Case to OSHA

If you have determined that an employee with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is work-related, you must report the case to OSHA if it results in a fatality or an in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees.

If the fatality due to COVID-19 occurs after 30 days or more from the workplace incident leading to the illness, you are not required to report it.

If the in-patient hospitalization occurs after 24 hours or more from the workplace incident leading to the illness, you are not required to report it.

VIII. “Essential” Industry

Several States and localities are issuing orders that prohibit work and travel, except for essential businesses. In general, construction work has been deemed essential and the
Company is committed to continuing operations safely. If upon your travel to and from the worksite, you are stopped by State or local authorities, you will be provided a letter that you can show the authorities indicating that you are employed in an “essential” industry and are commuting to and from work.

IX. Confidentiality/Privacy

Except for circumstances in which the Company is legally required to report workplace occurrences of communicable disease, the confidentiality of all medical conditions will be
maintained in accordance with applicable law and to the extent practical under the circumstances. When it is required, the number of persons who will be informed of an employee’s condition will be kept at the minimum needed not only to comply with legallyrequired reporting, but also to assure proper care of the employee and to detect situations where the potential for transmission may increase. A sample notice to employees is attached to this Plan. The Company reserves the right to inform other employees that a co-worker (without disclosing the person’s name) has been diagnosed with COVID-19 if the other employees might have been exposed to the disease so the employees may take measures to protect their own health.

X. General Questions

Given the fast-developing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Company may modify this Plan on a case by case basis. If you have any questions concerning this Plan, please contact our safety manager Brandon Solis.

Appendix A – Temperature Screening Guidance

General Considerations*****
  • Certain local jurisdictions have recommended or required employers to conduct temperature screenings of employees as they enter the worksite. Any applicable federal, state, or local requirements on employee temperature screenings should be consulted prior to performing them.
  • Temperature screenings must be conducted consistently, professionally, and with proper training for those conducting the checks. Such checks must be uniformly and non-discriminatorily conducted on all employees (as well as contractors, vendors, customers, and/or visitors, if they will also be screened).
  • Any information obtained from temperature screenings should be stored securely with access limited to those with a business need to know. It is essential to have proper documentation in the event that an individual needs to be excluded from the worksite based on the results of their temperature screening. If excluding individuals from a worksite based upon temperature, a set temperature should be established, based upon public health recommendations. Many employers have set the temperature required for exclusion at 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
  • Wage protocols and procedures to account for any potential time spent waiting in line to be screened must also be considered. This is particularly important at worksites where there may be numerous workers reporting to their shift at the same time and only one or two individuals conducting the temperature screenings. Any existing Collective Bargaining Agreements should also be considered.

*****Temperature screening involves numerous, difficult legal issues. This Appendix does not represent a comprehensive discussion of all of those issues. It is intended to provide some basic guidance to contractors who might be performing screening. Contractors should consult with legal counsel before implementing a screening program.

Options for Screening

  • There are two options for how temperature screening can be conducted:
    • By the employee, at home, prior to leaving for work; or
    • By the employer, at the worksite, when the employee arrives to report for their shift.
  • Types of temperature screeners:
    • Traditional digital thermometers applied typically in the ear. These thermometers should only be used with a temperature screening policy that requires employees to conduct such screenings at their homes, prior to leaving for their shift. These types of thermometers should not be used by employers at the worksite as there would be a high risk of exposure for the individuals conducting such temperature screenings.
    • Infrared thermometers. Infrared thermometers are the most practicable and safe option for conducting screening at work. However, the individual conducting such temperature screening must still be provided with appropriate protective gear. If the infrared thermometer does not allow the individual conducting the screening to stand at least six feet from the employee being screened, the following protective gear is recommended:
      • The individual conducting the screening should wear a face covering and gloves. If at all possible, the employee being screened should wear a face covering as well during the check.
      • If the employee is not wearing a face covering, the individual conducting the screening should wear a gown and eye protection in addition to a face covering and gloves.

If the individual conducting the screening is able to stand six feet or more from the employee being screened, no additional protective gear is necessary, though a face mask and gloves are recommended.

Essential Industry Employee

Re: Shelter-in-Place Orders

To whom it may concern:

Please be informed that the bearer of this letter is employed at Star Cooling Towers, LP located at 9007 FM 2759 Richmond, Texas 77469. The Company is a cooling tower contractor. We have reviewed all applicable Orders and have determined that our operations qualify as essential/critical infrastructure and that we are able to continue to operate under those Orders.

Employees in possession of this letter have been deemed essential to the minimum basic operations of our business. All non-essential personnel have been notified to work remotely until further notice. Employees who are critical to the minimum basic operations of the business have been instructed to comply with social distancing rules/requirements in the jurisdiction, as well as other safety and health precautions.

If you have questions regarding the nature or scope of this letter, please do not hesitate to contact Brian Robertson at 832-309-0511 or email at brain.robertson@starcoolingtowers.com.

Sincerely,

James C. Smith
CEO Star Cooling Towers, LP

Employee Notification

DATE: [DATE]
TO: [CLOSE CONTACT EMPLOYEE]
FROM: [COMPANY REP]

We have been informed by one of our [employees/customer/vendor/etc] working at [SITE] that he/she has a confirmed case of COVID-19, commonly known as “Coronavirus,” based on test results obtained on [DATE]. Per company policy, this [employee/customer/vendor/etc] has been directed to self-quarantine until permitted to return to work.

We are alerting you to this development because, based on the Company’s investigation, we believe that you may have come into contact with the confirmed-positive case, on or about [DATE]. As a critical infrastructure employee, Star Cooling Towers, LP will permit you to work provided you remain asymptomatic. In addition, we are implementing the following practices:

  • Measuring temperature of employees before they enter the worksite;
  • Regularly monitoring asymptomatic employees;
  • Ensuring employees maintain social distancing as work duties permit; and
  • Routinely disinfecting workspaces.

You are also required to wear a face covering at all times while at the worksite for at least 14 days. Please inform Brandon Solis if any of the following occur to you during the next 14 days: you experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sneezing, or sore throat; or you test positive for COVID-19.

We also want to take this opportunity to remind you that one of our core values as a company is respect for and among our employees. We will treat information regarding the identity of employees with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 as confidential to the extent practicable and will comply with applicable laws regarding the handling of such information. Further, per Company policy, we will not tolerate harassment of, or discrimination or retaliation against, employees or anyone.

Please contact Brandon Solis Safety Manager 281-236-5169 if you have any questions or concerns.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC website at:
http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

COVID-19 Checklist for Employers and Employees

Know the Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Coughing; Fever or chills; Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing; Fatigue; Muscle or body aches; Headache; New loss of taste or smell; Sore throat; Congestion or runny nose; Nausea or vomiting; and Diarrhea.
  • Early symptoms may include chills, body aches, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, and runny nose. If you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, DO NOT GO TO WORK and call your health-care provider immediately. Do the same thing if you come into close contact with someone showing these symptoms.

Employer Responsibilities

  • Develop a COVID-19 Exposure Action Plan.
  • Conduct safety meetings (toolbox talks) by phone if possible. If not, instruct employees to maintain 6-feet between each other. The foreman/supervisor will track attendance verbally rather than having employees sign an attendance sheet.
  • Access to the job site and work trailer will be limited to only those necessary for the work.
  • All visitors will be pre-screened to ensure they are not exhibiting symptoms.
  • Employees, contractors, and visitors will be asked to leave the jobsite and return home if they are showing symptoms.
  • Provide hand sanitizer and maintain Safety Data Sheets of all disinfectants used on site.
  • Provide protective equipment (PPE) to any employees assigned cleaning/disinfecting tasks.
  • Talk with business partners about your response plans. Share best practices with other businesses in your communities (especially those in your supply chain), chambers of commerce, and associations to improve community response efforts.

Employee Responsibilities

  • Become familiar with the Exposure Action Plan and follow all elements of the Plan.
  • Practice good hygiene: wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use 60% or more alcohol-based hand rub. Avoid touching your face, eyes, food, etc. with unwashed hands.
  • Wear face coverings when mandated by state or local rule or when working in proximity of six (6) feet from other employees.

Cleaning/Disinfecting Job Sites and Other Protective Measures

  • Clean and disinfect frequently used tools and equipment on a regular basis. This includes other elements of the jobsite where possible. Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.
  • Clean shared spaces such as trailers and break/lunchrooms at least once per day.
  • Disinfect shared surfaces (door handles, machinery controls, etc.) on a regular basis.
  • Avoid sharing tools with co-workers. If not, disinfect before and after each use.
  • Arrange for any portable job site toilets to be cleaned by the leasing company at least twice per week and disinfected on the inside.
  • Trash collected from the jobsite must be changed frequently by someone wearing gloves.

Personal Protective Equipment and Alternate Work Practice Controls

  • Provide and wear the proper PPE.
  • Keep the dust down by using engineering and work practice controls, specifically through the use of water delivery and dust collection systems.

COVID-19 Toolbox Talk

What is COVID-19?

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is one of seven types of known human coronaviruses. COVID-19, like the MERS and SARS coronaviruses, likely evolved from a virus previously found in animals. The remaining known coronaviruses cause a significant percentage of colds in adults and children, and these are not a serious threat for otherwise healthy adults.

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), Chinese authorities identified an outbreak caused by a novel—or new—coronavirus. The virus can cause mild to severe respiratory illness. The outbreak began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and has spread to a growing number of other countries— including the United States.

How is COVID-19 Spread?

COVID-19, like other viruses, can spread between people. Infected people can spread COVID-19 through their respiratory secretions, especially when they cough or sneeze. According to the CDC, spread from person-to-person is most likely among close contacts (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, like how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It is currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

In assessing potential hazards, employers should consider whether their workers may encounter someone infected with COVID-19 in the course of their duties. Employers should also determine if workers could be exposed to environments (e.g., worksites) or materials (e.g., laboratory samples, waste) contaminated with the virus.

Depending on the work setting, employers may also rely on identification of sick individuals who have signs, symptoms, and/or a history of travel to COVID-19-affected areas that indicate potential infection with the virus, in order to help identify exposure risks for workers and implement appropriate control measures.

There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19, and investigations are ongoing.

COVID-19 Prevention and Work Practice Controls:

Worker Responsibilities

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home—DO NOT GO TO WORK.
  • Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

General Job Site / Office Practices

  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs. Dirty surfaces can be cleaned with soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
  • Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after use.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used tools and equipment on a regular basis.
    • This includes other elements of the jobsite where possible.
    • Employees should regularly do the same in their assigned work areas.
  • Clean shared spaces such as trailers and break/lunchrooms at least once per day.
  • Disinfect shared surfaces (door handles, machinery controls, etc.) on a regular basis.
  • Avoid sharing tools with co-workers if it can be avoided. If not, disinfect before and after each use.
  • Arrange for any portable job site toilets to be cleaned by the leasing company at least twice per week and disinfected on the inside.
  • Any trash collected from the jobsite must be changed frequently by someone wearing gloves.
  • In addition to regular PPE for workers engaged in various tasks (fall protection, hard hats, hearing protection), employers will also provide:
    • Gloves: Gloves should be worn at all times while on-site. The type of glove worn should be appropriate to the task. If gloves are not typically required for the task, then any type of glove is acceptable, including latex gloves. Gloves should not be shared if at all possible.
    • Eye protection: Eye protection should be worn at all times while on-site.
  • Some employees may be required to wear face coverings, including in those situations where (1) it is mandated by state or local rule, or (2) employees must work in proximity of six (6) feet from other employees. A face covering is a cloth, bandana, or other type of material that covers a person’s nose and mouth. The CDC lists five criteria for “cloth face coverings”: the face covering should: fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face; be secured with ties or ear loops; include multiple layers of fabric; allow for breathing without restriction; and be able to be laundered and machine-dried without damage or change to shape. Use of a face covering is not a substitute for other workplace preventative techniques that are outlined in this Plan.