Earthworks Environmental, a Mesa-based environmental consulting firm, is planning to roll out a new service for its clients – infectious disease prevention inspections (IDPA).
Earthworks’ services include storm water pollution prevention, dust control and construction safety compliances. The firm primarily serves land developers, vertical developers, commercial construction, and landholding companies.
COVID-19 concerns prompted two of its national clients to ask the firm to put together a program that serves dual purposes at a job site – routine inspection and infectious disease prevention inspection.
Cherie Koester, CEO of Earthworks Environmental, explains the program.
“Safety is what this company was built upon,” Koester said. “Our clients need to be cognizant of the safety of their employees. We propose a sign-in sheet at the job site. All employees are accounted for and must adhere to a set of guidelines that will be available on signage as well as online on our recording system ERX.”
Those guidelines include:
- Keep a social distance of 6 feet or greater;
- Wear your PPE (gloves, eye protection and masks);
- Do not touch your face, especially with dirty hands;
- Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol;
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched objects such as work stations, keyboards, phones, handrails, machines, tools, doorknobs;
- Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze;
- Identify the closest wash station;
- Stay home if you are sick;
- Sign into the attendance sheet today.
“We have yet to implement the program, but we’re ready on our end to go,” Koester said. “We are waiting for final approval from the two builders. We are offering it at a nominal fee since we are already at the job site doing our inspection. Think of us as an extra set of eyes on the job site.”
The construction of on-site washing stations is also being considered, Koester said. Those are included in future plans.
“This could be an exciting new service,” Koester said. “We can serve as more of an observer from a distance and not have to get out of the truck. My employees can conduct these inspections from a safe distance, similar to an OSHA inspection.
“The way we see it is, first, the employees want to work. Second, the clients want their employees to work. We are considered an essential business practice. Implementing an infectious disease prevention inspection plan could help the industry keep that status.”
Earthworks Environmental is a woman- and minority-owned environmental consulting firm. It recently celebrated its fifth anniversary and boasts 36 employees and almost 800 projects across the country.
Earthworks Environmental operates in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado and Texas. Its Arizona projects are in Phoenix, Tucson, Prescott and Yuma.
Services provided include stormwater pollution prevention, Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments, dust control, and construction safety compliances. The firm primarily serves land developers, vertical developers, commercial construction, and land-holding companies.
A proprietary program that Earthworks Environmental employs is ERX, an environmental reporting software program that puts all aspects of environmental compliance into one program. This includes any permits and inspections. Koester said nearly 75 percent of the violations in her industry occur in the paperwork process.
“ERX will play a key role in the recording process for infectious disease prevention inspections,” Koester said. “Not just with records but with training as well.”