Suffolk has assigned COVID-19 Ambassadors to Suffolk jobsites. Their sole focus is to ensure all Suffolk’s strict safety protocols and procedures are followed and adhered to by all workers on our jobsites. Ambassadors are empowered to implement and enforce safety protocols; serve as primary points of contact for all safety questions and concerns; are responsible for distributing PPE, manage signage with safety instructions; and maintain inventories of disinfectants, cleaning supplies and other safety materials. They wear a designated safety vest on site for simple and quick identification.
Field Office Usage
- All team meetings will utilize Microsoft Teams to ensure remote work capability.
- Suffolk Management will implement rotating schedules for onsite attendance.
- Staff members will adjust work locations to ensure there is no office sharing.
- Staff members will wipe down work areas at the end of each day.
- Necessary in-person meetings must be held in small groups (five or less) in Project Conference Rooms to ensure appropriate separation between individuals.
- Hand wash/sanitizer stations and paper towel dispensers must be installed adjacent to every field office entry and exit. All stations and dispensers must be protected from the elements.
Protocol for Daily Meetings (All-Hands and Safety)
- Format changes have been made to the Daily Huddle meetings so that only trade partner leads can participate.
- Appropriate social distancing guidelines must be followed for all meetings and outdoor gatherings are strong encouraged.
- Trade partner leads will provide Suffolk teams their daily Pre-Task Plan (PTP) documentation during Daily Huddles if not submitted through Procore.
- Each PTP will include COVID-19 individual survey questionnaires and will verify all individuals on the jobsite have been symptom free for the previous 24 hours and have not been in contact with infected persons.
Visible Jobsite Signage
- At all jobsite entry points, highly visible and pre-formatted jobsite signage related to COVID-19 protocols will be installed for trade partners and the general public.
- At all points of probable congregation (i.e. lifts, hoists, elevators, eating areas, etc.), highly visible signage related to COVID-19 protocols will be installed for the trade partners and general public.
- At entrance points display: “This construction site is open in accordance with State Declaration and CDC COVID-19 Workplace Guidance Protocols” (language State-specific)
Project Personnel Survey Certifications
Pursuant to CDC guidance, Suffolk employees and trade partners will be required to complete a survey for all crew members on site regarding COVID-19 symptoms.
Certifications must be submitted to Suffolk prior to team entering project site.
Temperature Checks on Jobsites
Effective March 18, 2020, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) gave employers permission to conduct temperature checks on jobsites. The EEOC enforces workplace anti-discrimination statutes, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Because the CDC and state/local health authorities have acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 and issued attendant precautions, employers may measure employees' body temperature. EEOC guidance on this issue can be found here.
Suffolk’s temperature taking protocols are designed to comply with all applicable laws and include the following:
A third-party practitioner (non-Suffolk employee) will take the temperature of every individual before he or she can enter the jobsite. This supersedes certification requirements on applicable jobsites.
The location of temperature-taking activity and logistics will depend on the jobsite, but typically pop-up stations will be set up with tables and chairs outside the jobsite gate or main entrance. Consideration will be given to protecting the privacy of all individuals undergoing a temperature check, and if necessary, exiting the jobsite.
Some jobsites will have safety or administration team members on hand to ensure people in line for temperature readings are maintaining a safe distance from each other. In addition, staggered arrival times for trade partner groups will be utilized where practicable.
Stickers or other identifiers will be provided to individuals who pass the temperature test to demonstrate they were cleared to enter the jobsite.
Additional Protective Measures
- Additional measures for workers in proximity to each other – request alternate methodology if feasible.
- Provide additional laborers to increase cleaning and sanitation activity and to closely monitor COVID-19 protocols.
- Schedule for thorough cleaning of portable bathrooms will be increased to three times per week.
- Interior and exterior handles of all bathrooms will be cleaned/disinfected daily; recommended cleaning times will include 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and at close of business.
- Strongly recommend at least one hot water handwashing station to be set up in a central location on the jobsite.
- Strongly recommend additional handwashing stations to be installed for greater and easier access.
- Provide additional trash receptacles at each handwashing station and other locations, as needed.
- Trash receptacles will be emptied twice per day (after lunch and at close of business) and will be closely monitored and emptied as needed.
Food trucks are only allowed on jobsites when they meet specific safety criteria:
- Food must be pre-packaged and food packages must be handled by only one individual who passed it to the purchaser.
- A distance of six feet or more must be kept between all individuals in line waiting to purchase food.
- Payment must be facilitated in a separate area where these distances can be maintained.
If all three of these conditions cannot be met, there will be no food trucks allowed on the premises.
- A distance of six feet or more must be kept between all individuals at designated break areas. It is strongly recommended that a designated break area be established for each trade to provide more space.
- Trade partner leads will be directed to manage this separation and ensure that food trash is taken to the trash receptacles or dumpsters immediately after meal breaks.
Food Trash and Clean-up
Suffolk Superintendents will instruct each trade partner lead to designate an individual for the cleaning of all surfaces and appliances at predetermined intervals (at least twice daily) and removing of lunch/break waste to trash receptacles and dumpsters after each break.
With the understanding that each office and jobsite is unique, Suffolk is piloting several technologies to determine what can work best to address the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation. Those technologies include:
Infrared temperature screening: High-quality, FDA-approved thermal camera technology that can provide mass temperature screening on our jobsites. The infrared scanner identifies temperature spikes from the norm, which can be an accurate way to identify fevers in workers. These fast and effective tools allow for non-physical testing, making it possible for individuals to complete temperature readings while maintaining social distancing. Instant readings also prevents people from congregating in groups on the jobsite and help workers enter quickly and safely.
Social distancing monitors: Triax monitors that workers wear on their hard hats to check social distancing. These monitors sound audible alarms whenever workers are within six feet of each other, helping them follow Suffolk’s strict social distancing protocols on jobsites. The device also collects passive worker interactions for contact tracing in case an individual tests positive.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Suffolk has layered traditional safety protocols such as masks, gloves and PPE with sophisticated technologies like infrared fever detectors and audible social distancing monitors worn on hard hats to ensure the safety of workers on jobsites. But beyond these safety protocols and technologies, we also recognize there is a “human side” to jobsite safety. Watch the video to the right for a peek “behind the scrim” at a day in the life of a Suffolk COVID Ambassador responsible for making sure workers on our project sites follow safety protocols and watch out for each other. Thanks to all our COVID Ambassadors for all you do to keep our employees and members of our extended Suffolk family safe!
In addition to the health and safety of everyone, we are mindful of the severe economic impact this crisis is having on your business. To help reduce stress, we wanted to provide a summary of the highlights of the CARES Act that may be meaningful to you. Click here to access the document, which provides a summary and highlights of the provisions in the Act we thought might be helpful, including:
- Paycheck Protection Program
- Economic Injury & Disaster Loan Program
- Mainstreet Lending Program
- Tax Relief
We've also made available here a payroll protection program and estimated loan forgiveness calculator provided by global accounting firm RSM US LLP. This tool is purely a reference guide.
Returning to our buildings and campuses requires unexpected and unfamiliar changes to our common spaces—Suffolk can help you achieve a seamless and safe transition. Our teams have adapted our jobsites and offices to incorporate social distancing and industry-leading protocols that keep our employees and trade partners safe and healthy, these measures have since become government standards for the City of Boston and beyond. As your trusted partner, we can apply these learnings and techniques to help you make the necessary adjustments to your spaces that will keep your employees safe and comfortable.
In collaboration with our fully certified environmental health, safety, and hygiene consulting partner, Cashins & Associates, Inc., and our building partner, Liberty Construction Services, we can help you integrate infection protection, personal separation, and hygiene protocols into your spaces. This is a stressful time for all of us and we want to help ensure that your transition to the “new normal” goes smoothly. Click here to learn more about our re-occupancy services.
Suffolk makes N95 Mask Donation to Help Combat COVID-19
So proud of our Suffolk colleagues in the field for answering the call and donating N95 masks to the medical personnel at Mass General Brigham, Boston Children's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, UMass Memorial Worcester and Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington D.C. We encourage everyone to do what they can to support each other in this time of need. Thank you to all the medical staff throughout the country for all you do!
Suffolk Helps Build Pop-up Homeless Shelters and Clinics to Combat COVID-19
In support of the City of Boston's "Boston Resiliency Fund," Suffolk employees supplied crews and expertise to establish temporary pop-up homeless shelters and clinics around Boston to help combat COVID-19. We continue to be amazed and inspired by our employees' drive to help in this time of need. Thank you all!
Click here to read more about these efforts and here to listen to the WBUR Radio spot highlighting our support!
Know someone in need due to COVID-19? Contact The Giving Circle!
We are committed to doing everything we can to help those in our communities that might be affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We recognize that during this time of uncertainty there may be situations where sickness or hardship may occur. Please remember that The Giving Circle, our employee-led fund that supports the extended Suffolk family, is available to all Suffolk/Liberty employees, close friends and family, trade partners, clients and vendors. If you know someone who is experiencing a hardship, especially as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please direct them to The Giving Circle for more information and to apply for support.
Microsoft Highlights Suffolk's Use of Microsoft Teams for COVID-19 Communications
Microsoft published a blog post highlighting Suffolk’s use of Microsoft Teams to help keep the lines of COVID-19 communication open and fluid across all levels and regions of the company. What are some new ways your companies are using tech in this challenging time?
Suffolk Helps Transform BCEC into Temporary Hospital to Combat COVID-19
Suffolk is honored to have been a part of the transformation of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center into a 1,000-bed temporary hospital to help combat COVID-19. Thank you to Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston for allowing us to help during this time of great need. We are #BostonStrong.
Suffolk's Jobsite Safety Protocols Highlighted in The New York Times
The New York Times published an article discussing the cautious reopening of jobsites in New York and highlighting Suffolk’s safety protocols and the implementation of new technologies on our sites to make the return as safe as possible. We are committed to the safety of our people and our trade partners. #safertogether
Suffolk Northern California Featured on Fox News for Jobsite Safety Protocols & Tech
Our General Manager of Suffolk Northern California Mike DiNapoli was featured in a Fox News segment about jobsite safety and the possible reopening of construction projects in the Bay Area. The segment highlights our 1100 Clay project and spotlights some of the safety protocols and technologies we have implemented on that site to keep returning workers safe and healthy. Thank you to all our project teams for making the safety of our employees and trade partners their top priority! #safertogether
Suffolk Donates iPads and iPhones so Tufts Patients Can Connect With Their Families
Suffolk was able to donate iPads and iPhones to Tufts Medical Center so patients can talk to and see their loved ones even though visitors aren’t allowed in the hospital. We are all experiencing the power of connectivity through this crisis and hope this donation is able to connect families and raise patients’ spirits. Thank you to Tufts Medical Center and to all healthcare heroes for giving us the opportunity to help. #wearesuffolk
Suffolk Career Starts Coordinate PPE Donation to the Pine Street Inn
Suffolk Northeast employees regularly serve meals at the local Pine Street Inn, New England's leading provider of housing and shelter for homeless men and women. Recently, a couple of our Career Starts reached out to the Inn to see if there was anything we could do to help in the absence of volunteering. After learning that the Inn was in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep the staff and guests safe, these employees worked with our local jobsites to donate 600 masks and 150 pairs of gloves to them. But they didn't stop there...they also reached out to a company called StringKing in Los Angeles and got an additional 1,000 disposable masks and 250 reusable cloth masks donated to the Inn! A huge thank you to our young employees for taking the initiative to help our partners in these trying times! #wearesuffolk
Suffolk Builds Plexiglass Partitions to Help with the Distribution of Aid to LA Residents
Suffolk is happy to have been able to play a part in the distribution of relief aid to the residents of Los Angeles. Volunteers from our Los Angeles team assembled plexiglass partitions at our Fig+Pico jobsite and then delivered them to where the aid was being supplied. These partitions allowed volunteers to pass the aid to recipients while still being protected. Thank you to the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department, and all our Suffolk volunteers for a job well done! #wearesuffolk #safertogether
Suffolk Employees 3D Print Face Shield Components for Partners Health
The leader of Suffolk's COVID-19 response efforts, Alex Hall, was discussing the dwindling supply of N95 masks with Partners Healthcare when he had an idea. Around that same time, an NBC Boston news story had highlighted the fact that components of medical face shields could be 3D printed and Alex connected the dots. After speaking with someone from the Partners incident response team, Alex broadcast a "call-to-action" to all Suffolk employees asking if anyone with access to a 3D printer could help. Employees from across the country stepped up to print parts themselves or work with external partners to get the printed components donated. This CTA helped in providing over 2,000 face shields to the Brigham Health and Harvard Medical School incident response teams at a time when masks were hard to come by. Thank you to everyone, near and far, who stepped up to help our healthcare heroes! #safertogether #wearesuffolk