At the end of March 2020, our company president called a team meeting via Zoom to begin to researching and developing COVID safety protocols. We formed a “COVID Care Team” with a goal of becoming “COVID Clean” on site and in the office. Each member of the team was assigned different research areas, such as tracking quickly changing state requirements, developing lists of safety precautions we would need to take to resume working in clients’ homes again, and brainstorming ideas on where to allocate cleaning and isolating-barrier supplies needed to re-open. For the team, these initial proactive meetings provided a much needed psychological boost to help endure the gloomy early days of the pandemic.
A human resources firm we had fortuitously hired a couple of months before the pandemic provided us a wealth of literature on COVID-19 regarding prevention, safety, and legal aspects of opening up our business (a serious concern at the time was that businesses could be fined up to $10,000 per safety protocol violation).
Within weeks, we had assembled our “DBS COVID Care Manual,” a 42-page document comprising New York State health and safety guidelines and office and field procedures, which we fine-tuned to our remodeling business (see “Field Procedures for Interior Renovating” excerpt on facing page). The manual served as a training resource for our workers and trade partners, and though it wasn’t required in the field by law, we could easily access the document on our phones via our Buildertrend app if we needed to refer to it. We also handed out flyers with condensed information from the manual to the homeowners .