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Recommendations on infection prevention at construction site - preparation for continued operation

Recommendations for construction sites

The situation within building and construction is that some projects are experiencing virus-infections and have to put workers in quarantine, some projects are temporary shut-down, and some are continuing as "normal".



Bilde av Torbjørn Amundsen


KPMG i Norge


Relatert innhold

For those projects that continue to operate, the Norwegian Building Organization (BNL) has prepared a set of recommendations on infection prevention at construction site - preparation for continued operation.

The recommendations were published by BNL on March 15 and have been translated by KPMG.

These are BNL's instructions for planning for continued operation of construction sites, taking into account necessary rules for infection control. The instructions can be changed depending on what happens at any given time considered necessary to limit corona infection.

Infection spread in air and on surfaces:

A research team, under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health in the United States, has investigated how long the virus survives in the air, on stainless steel, plastic and cardboard:

  • Viable virus can be found in the air for up to three hours.
  • Corona virus stays in the air for about an hour, under any circumstances
  • On cardboard, the virus can stay alive for up to 24 hours
  • On plastic and stainless steel, the virus can infect for up to three days

Collaboration on site

Now the work on infection control must be carried out in line with other critical safety work on the construction site. Cooperation between union representatives and project management is now crucial for facilitation for continued work and operation on construction sites. A corona officer should be nominated at each site, and this person shall be tasked with ensuring that the rules of the Institute of Public Health and internal rules are complied with.

Office barracks

Physical meetings:

  • Physical meetings should be avoided through the use of a conference call or digital conference solutions.
  • When meetings cannot be conducted digitally, physical meetings can be used provided the number of meeting participants do not exceed five people, and that the minimum distance of 2m can be maintained throughout the meeting.
  • When conducting a physical meeting, one meeting participant should be responsible for that 2m distance between meeting participants are maintained.
  • Consider whether meetings can be conducted by connecting meeting participants in smaller meeting groups such as communicates digitally.

Business operations:

  • Personnel who do not absolutely have to be on site to perform their tasks should work via home office. People who stay on construction sites without this being compulsory or necessary, shall be expelled and the deviation shall be reported to the main company.
  • Distribute office space so that "dense work situations" do not occur. Take advantage of meeting rooms too office, and consider whether more barracks must be procured.

Barracks with changing- and rest room:

  • Limit how many people can use the changing room at the same time.
  • Inform about rules, and organize the changing periods so that personnel can use the changing and rest rooms on turns to reduce closeness during changing and washing.
Example overview: changing rooms
  • Common food arrangements / canteen are discontinued and the individual is encouraged to bring their own food package. Common drinks such as water, coffee and tea may be available. Use disposable cups.
  • Make sure paper dispensers are available to avoid skin contact when using jugs / jugs. Place a spread on preventing such skin contact.
  • Dining table should be washed with warm water and soap when the eating break is over. If the dining table is used in turn, the table should be washed in the same way between each table set.
  • Arrange furniture in the common room so that it is easy to comply with orders for distance to another person equal to 2m.
  • Shared refrigerators must be disinfected twice daily or alternatively discontinued.
  • Establish rules for cleaning by hand washing / cleaning for anyone moving from the outside and coming in. Ensure good hand hygiene by ensuring that hand soap and paper towels are available and replenished at all sinks.
  • All work on the site must be done with gloves. Gloves should be removed and "parked" when personnel enter the barracks. Create solutions for "parking gloves" so that they do not come into contact with each other.
  • Barracks shall be cleaned with disinfectant cleaning at least once a day.
  • Strengthen changing room cleaning with disinfecting cleaning of infectious touch surfaces at least twice daily. This includes surfaces such as handrails, door handles, switches, sinks, dispensers etc.
  • Provide information about the Norwegian Institute of Public Health's instructions on infection control.

Barracks as living quarters

The following instructions are given to reduce the risk of infection among residents living close to each other in the barracks:

  • Do not visit other residents' accommodation.
  • Hand wash every time you enter your own room.
  • Distribute the use of furniture so that the maximum possible distance between the used furniture is used.
  • Consider whether the workforce can be reduced so that the commuter turn provides more free space in the living quarters.
  • Arrange furnishings in common rooms so that it is easy to comply with orders for a minimum distance of 2m.


If a resident is found to be infected or has been in contact with the infected so that the quarantine is needed, he or she must immediately go home for the quarantine stay. The return journey can be made by using own car, or other transport without contact with the outside world by agreement with the employer. The journey cannot be made using public transport.

Prior to departure, he / she should be contacted by a physician (by telephone or digital) to have his or her situation assessed and to prepare for sick leave.

The barracks rig is not suitable for quarantine. If the quarantine must be implemented in the living quarters, parts of the quarry rig that make up the quarantine area must be physically blocked off and marked as quarantine-area.

A supply service must be organized in a way that ensures that there is no direct physical contact between the quarantine and the outside world.

Operation of construction site

  • Prepare for alternative work in production if deliveries fail or personnel fail.
  • Obtain an overview of the status of critical materials and services. Consider whether critical deliveries can be accelerated.
  • Consider whether there is a new risk that will require security measures if parts of the construction site must be closed
  • Conduct daily meetings in smaller groups.
  • Evaluate and implement, if possible, a zone division of a building site so that different groups are isolated from each other in the best possible way.
  • Ensure that craftsmen, both their own and UE, can work with a minimum distance of 2m and not in any case closer than a minimum of one (1) meter.
  • Avoid safety rounds in groups by dividing the safety round on the construction site into zones. Have each participant control a zone.

© 2021 KPMG AS and KPMG Law Advokatfirma AS, Norwegian limited liability companies and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.


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