Contractors are moving forward with ongoing projects—in many cases—but have had the challenge of adapting to new health and safety protocols during the pandemic. This includes social distancing, using new technologies and creating new site plans. Water feature design and construction company OTL, which is known for installing interactive water fountains in commercial properties, says that these new adjustments were among the challenges of operating during the pandemic.
“As the health and safety of our team members and the public is always our top priority, we are experienced in keeping the public out of construction areas for projects like Graham Garden, where we were required to keep active construction areas clear while maintaining passage through the courtyard to the office buildings and on-site restaurants,” J. Wickham Zimmerman, CEO of OTL, tells GlobeSt.com. “With the new challenge of COVID-19, we developed ways to work effectively while maintaining social distancing between our crewmembers. Since this is not always possible, engineering controls are required in some cases.”
OTL also implemented its own health and safety strategy for workers. This helped keep projects moving. “We also implemented site-specific COVID-19 safety plans that cover items including daily screenings, revised procedures for safety meetings, travel to and from the job, and work on the job, including our interface with other contractors,” Zimmerman says.
In addition to crewmembers, Zimmerman says that the firm also had to find ways for the water features, which are interactive, to operate safely onsite. “While ensuring visitors are safe around our completed projects in light of COVID-19 may seem daunting, we were well-prepared for this challenge—especially in regard to our interactive water features. In fact, the issue of safe water in these interactive water features was being addressed long before this pandemic, and solutions continue to evolve in light of the coronavirus,” he says.
To achieve this goal, the company ensured quality filtrations and automated the process. “A few techniques our company utilizes in designing, constructing, and maintaining water features that are clean and safe include filtration and automation systems and disinfection, all of which we have implemented our part in projects like San Diego’s Waterfront Park,” says Zimmerman. “These techniques keep OTL is at the forefront of delivering water features that, in addition to being beautiful, exceed the highest sanitary standards while also being environmentally friendly and cost efficient.”