Q & A

 In 2021, Tip of the Week

Safety Compliance Management, Inc.Yes, we are talking about COVID-19 again. Before you tune out, please read this tip all the way through. We promise that, by the end of the safety tip, our reason will be clear.

We have realized that there may be some questions when it comes to the three W’s of COVID-19 Prevention. Thethree W’s are:

Wear a Mask
Watch your distance

Wash your hands

Q: Why do we still need to wear masks?


A: OSHA and the CDC are adamant that wearing face coverings saves lives when it comes to preventing COVID-19. From a press release (linked here) the CDC tells us:
“We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
Wearing masks meets two goals. It protects you from others, and it allows others to be protected from you. Because it can take up to two weeks for the virus to be detectable, or people can be asymptomatic and never know they have the virus. This person may be beside you at the grocery store reaching for the head of lettuce. You could be exposed by any person you might have a casual contact with. It is very important to wear a mask.

If you read the article, it provides an example of two hairstylists who were exposed to the virus. They did not know they were exposed and continued to work while wearing a mask. None of the almost 200 people they saw came down with the virus. Simply put, masks work.

Q: What about social or physical distancing?


A: We want to start by sharing a billboard seen near theSCM office.

Seriously though, social distancing of six feet is also important. COVID-19 is spread from person to person through aerosolized droplets that are produced when a person who is infected talks, coughs, and/or sneezes. Thedroplets are then sprayed potentially up to six feet. For this reason, social distancing of at least six feet and includes step one – wearing a mask. Follow this link for the CDC’s tips on Social Distancing.

Q. If the disease is spread by sprayed droplets that you can breathe in (indicating an inhalation hazard), why is everyone talking about hand washing (which could indicate a contact hazard)?


A. It is nearly impossible to go anywhere without touching something. You can’t depend on PPE (gloves) which is the lowest level and least protective on thehierarchy of controls. The droplets not only land on people, they could land on any surface. Handwashing is highly recommended for preventing the spread of any disease, especially COVID-19. You can follow this link to see the CDC’s recommendations on handwashing.

So, why are we talking about COVID-19 again? Because this is a sensitive topic to all the SCM family. One of our prominent construction team members started feeling bad around December 16, 2020. This team member was almost fanatical about wearing his mask, social distancing, and handwashing. He was not exposed on thejob, but most likely caught the virus from an asymptomatic person elsewhere. The next day he reported feeling quite ill. Then on Friday he was taken by ambulance to the hospital, and he entered the ICU on Saturday where he was placed on a ventilator. He told Paul Gantt, SCM President, that he would not wish this virus on his worst enemy, as he was in such distress. After fighting for his life for almost three weeks, the disease won. He passed on January 62021.

All we can add is this: don’t let this virus happen to you or the ones that you love. Please, follow the three 3 W’s.

In loving memory of
Alvaro Gomez
1968 – 2021
Rest in peace, our friend and brother
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