COVID-19 and the evolution of safety

What a difference a year makes. As we enter the fall turnaround season, we must now consider how the COVID-19 global pandemic affects every aspect of our lives, from how we work to how we conduct our daily lives with our families. As a global leader in turnkey fabrication, specialty welding and turnarounds, ParFab is no different. Every day, we must be prepared with the best possible exposure prevention strategies for the safety of our

employees, clients, other contractors and the communities in which we work.

ParFab’s unyielding commitment to provide a safe working environment for employees and others is paramount.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis and to improve overall employee safety across jobsites and fabrication facilities, ParFab’s executive leadership team brought on Mike Blundell as the new vice president of safety, health and environmental. With more than 30 years’ experience as a high-level safety executive for a mechanical contractor, Blundell is the

perfect fit to increase focus on improving ParFab’s already strong safety processes.

His unique take on the industry is led by the belief that all accidents can be avoided.

“Safety is more than a set of rules and procedures; it is our way of life and the foundation of our business success,” Blundell said.

As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, many companies have become idle.

Many refinery and plant projects have been deemed essential business, and crews have

had to learn how to continue working safely and implement new procedures to protect

their workers and families from exposure to COVID-19. At ParFab, we work closely with our clients to develop the best COVID-19 exposure prevention plan on jobsites. These best practices include walkthrough employee temperature scanning, social distancing badge monitoring, and the development of COVID-19 exposure prevention, preparedness and response plans to be implemented throughout our company and at all job sites.

Team ParFab reviews the new COVID-19 safety plans

ParFab’s COVID-19 steering committee monitors jobsite performance and compliance of our exposure prevention plans and continually reviews updated information and guidance

from the CDC and OSHA. Every project must develop a site-specific health and safety plan that aligns with the new rules, which is why ParFab has taken extreme and necessary steps to develop new protocols and procedures so we may adjust to the new COVID-19-sensitive work environment. ParFab has trained COVID-19 response employees at every jobsite,

regional office, fabrication facility and corporate office to monitor the compliance of our COVID-19 exposure and prevention plans. This team reports daily to our COVID-19

steering committee so we can proactively adjust to each situation.

“ParFab takes these measures seriously and keeps them front-of-mind because we realize our employees and customers require this extra layer of security to keep them safe and working, which provides much-needed income for them and their families during these already hard times,” said Frank Wolfe, COO of ParFab.

ParFab's job trailers - filled with the best & safest PPE

As part of ParFab’s COVID-19 response plan, we implemented an employee safety commitment in which every employee acknowledges the new procedures as well as his or her individual responsibility to COVID-19 exposure prevention. The commitment from each employee to abide by all COVID-19 rules, procedures, guidelines and best practices set forth by ParFab as well as each specific jobsite requirement is necessary to stay operational and keep projects moving. Through training and continuous communication

of COVID-19 exposure prevention best practices, the empowerment of our employees to stop the job and say something if they see something provides them with the authority, right and responsibility to see that all employees are following COVID-19 procedures. We have prioritized COVID-19 as our No. 1 life-critical procedure and intertwined it within our already strong safety culture.

Body temperature screening helps protect ParFab's workers.

Within the COVID-19 plan, we educate each employee with an introduction to the facts of COVID-19, including the various symptoms to watch for, how it spreads, how employers can reduce the spread, the applicable OSHA standards, worker exposure classifications and the various levels based on each role. The base guidelines of

our COVID-19 plan include:

  • Physical distancing: While the CDC states that social distancing is an important step in preventing the spread of COVID-19, it is sometimes impossible within the framework of construction projects. With that in mind, each project team reviews the required tasks and adjusts the number of craftsmen necessary to complete the job in order to reduce exposure, including moving all toolbox and safety meetings outdoors to ensure the enforcement of the required 6 feet of distance between crew members.

  • Monitoring: Using much of the same approach as we would with hole watch and fire watch and to increase awareness and help reduce the exposure to COVID-19, we have specially trained safety personnel at each project site to observe activities. They recommend adjustments to activities such as social distancing, wearing masks, maintaining personal hygiene, checking temperatures regularly, addressing signs of symptoms, ensuring stocked sanitation stations and reviewing log activity by each site safety manager to report to the COVID-19 steering committee.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting: In addition to sanitation stations for hand washing, cleaning protocols have been implemented to disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as handrails, toilets, shared tools, machinery, doorknobs, vehicles and other equipment throughout the jobsite. These tools and surfaces are disinfected after they’re used and at the beginning and end of every shift.

These are some of the steps we have implemented and enforce during this new era of working with COVID-19. ParFab’s unyielding commitment to provide a safe working environment for our employees and others is paramount for our continued participation in the industry. Our employees are our best assets, as they have made ParFab what we are today and will be tomorrow. We live by our motto, “Right the First Time — Safe Everytime!”

For more information or to get in contact with a ParFab representative in your region, contact

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