As we responded to the impact of COVID-19 on our operations, we realized that every stakeholder in the building industry would be similarly affected. The construction community must join together to ensure we can continue building safely. We're sharing the tools and resources developed by HITT so that our partners, subcontractors, and colleagues in the construction industry can learn from our experiences. Safety is not proprietary, and we're all in this together.
Since mid-February, HITT’s COVID-19 Leadership Task Force has worked tirelessly to guide the company and our partners through this challenge. The Task Force – which includes our CEO and co-presidents – meets daily to define safety protocols and develop new solutions and tools. HITT will adhere to the recommendations and orders of the CDC, state, and Federal jurisdictions as we continue to work safely.
The laborer, carpenter, plumber, pipefitter, superintendent, and each tradesperson on site represent the frontlines of construction. These skilled craftsmen are critical to the building industry and we are grateful for their service and dedication. It’s our duty to take every possible precaution to keep them working safely, even if it affects our bottom line.
HITT moved quickly to implement rigorous COVID-19 project protocols and controls to ensure our frontline workers can follow the recommendations of medical experts. Our guidelines are based on the following project mandates:
- We established a new role, independent from site operations, dedicated solely to ensuring HITT’s COVID-19 health and safety standards are enforced. A HITT Site Marshal is assigned to each one of our more than 300 active projects across the country. By giving the Site Marshal full responsibility for implementing and enforcing COVID-19 mandates, our superintendents can remain focused on standard safety and delivering on our commitments to quality construction.
- Enforcing the six-foot rule is critical to personal safety on our sites. We’re taking aggressive steps to ensure this standard is upheld by reducing jobsite density whenever possible. Jobsites are instituting shift work, staggering start times, rotating project teams, holding essential meetings outdoors, and increasing the size of break areas.
- Every HITT project has established mandatory screening checkpoints where workers are required to answer a series of questions to identify the potential risk of exposure.
- Our professional designers have developed special COVID-19 signage to communicate standards and protocols in both English and Spanish.
- Our standard PPE now requires face coverings at all times on HITT project sites.
- We’ve enhanced our standards for cleaning project sites. Projects are required to clean and sanitize high traffic areas and surfaces many times a day. Restrooms are disinfected frequently, and temporary toilet facilities are pumped out daily.
- Ensuring the four corners rule is respected in elevators and hoists to allow for proper distancing.
- We’re providing enhanced handwashing and sanitizing stations so that workers will wash/sanitize their hands frequently, especially before and after breaks.
These enhanced guidelines are critical to our ability to build safely. Any person not following HITT’s health and safety protocols is removed from the jobsite immediately.
Enhanced Handwashing Stations
Mandatory Screening Checkpoint
In times of crisis, nothing is more critical than good communication. The world is flooded with information today, both from the media and within our industry. To ensure our team members can absorb critical information and understand our rapidly changing protocols, we’re dedicating our internal communication channels to COVID-19 information and silencing all other corporate messaging. Every day at 2 pm, our team members receive a written message from HITT leadership. Additionally, our Principal Leadership Team hosts virtual town hall meetings to foster two-way communication. Our guidelines for communicating during this crisis include:
- Eliminating what may be noise from less critical internal communications.
- Ensuring information is concise and consumable so that the critical message is heard.
- Speaking with candor and honesty, so that our people can trust we are being transparent.
- Offering a balance between protocols and best practices, practical information, and uplifting stories and wellness resources.
- Creating a single source for information to simplify what is already complex. All HITT protocols, handbooks, signage, and other materials are housed on a dedicated intranet site.
The construction industry employs more than 10 million Americans. By working together to make our jobsites as safe as possible, we can keep our workers employed and providing for their families. HITT is committed to developing resources and tools that we will share with our colleagues in the building industry. Now more than ever, we’re in this together.
We have offices in a dozen locations, and each is a hometown to our 1,150 team members. Being a good neighbor has always meant contributing to local causes and engaging with the community. Today, community proud has a new meaning. We’re committed to keeping our neighbors safe and healthy, and our hometowns open and operational. We will also continue to dedicate philanthropic support to communities across the country.
Our Promise and Purpose
As the pandemic continues to evolve, we are vigilantly monitoring, planning, and preparing for future impacts to our clients, our workforce, and the supply chain. We embrace the opportunity to lead our industry on the road to recovery. We commit to communicating with transparency, authentically and with purpose. HITT has always been, and will always be, a people-first company, grounded in relationships.