Q&A: Barton Malow’s Ryan Maibach Shares Insight on Reopening Operations

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Barton Malow President and CEO Ryan Maibach, the 2020 Mackinac Policy Chair shared some insight on the restart process as construction reopens in Michigan. Maibach is also on Gov. Whitmer’s Michigan Economic Recovery Council that is advising the governor on the best way to reopen Michigan in phases.

Q: What is Barton Malow doing to prepare to bring back workers on construction sites?

A: Our Risk Management, Project Delivery, Safety, and Marketing + Communications teams have worked together to establish Operations Guidelines to ensure our ongoing operations and, where appropriate, remobilization activities, are consistent with guidance and requirements issued by federal, state, county, and municipal authorities. We continue to update these guidelines as needed, often daily, and each project team has used the guidelines to customize a plan specific to their project. We’ve also established Delay Tracking Guidelines.

Q: Have you found all geographical locations where your construction sites are that there is testing available for your workers?

A: Testing remains one of the factors that is preventing widespread reopening of local and national economies, but it is getting better and more widely available – and will only continue to become more widely available as this situation evolves. We’ve reached a point now in the markets where we’re building where if anyone who believes they may have contracted the virus or has recently come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 can receive a test. This wasn’t the case in many areas, notably Michigan, weeks ago.

I should note that we’re extremely grateful that none of our team members have tested positive for COVID-19 to date.

Q: What measures on-site will you be taking to ensure your worker’s safety? Will there be a cadence of testing or temperature checks?

A: Construction is an industry that already has an emphasis on safety, so we have a good starting point. But we’ve largely reevaluated a number of measures to ensure workers will be following social distancing protocol on-site and wearing the proper PPE on tasks where 6 feet of space between workers cannot be maintained. Working with the bi-partisan Michigan Economic Recovery Council, these new measures that we’ve established will be passed along to all firms involved in residential and commercial construction.

In addition to social distancing on sites, we’ve established one-way stairways on sites, are regularly disinfecting restrooms and frequently touched/used areas, and holding meetings virtually or by phone. Our Systems team has also established a Self-Assessment Questionnaire that all team members, trades professionals, and visitors will be required to take prior to visiting a job site. It is built out in an automated way to instantly “pass” or “fail” whoever takes it based on their answers to the required questions.

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