Construction: Fighting Infectious Diseases Requires a Fresh Approach


Construction Workers may be at an increased risk from exposure to infectious diseases on construction projects due to unsanitary conditions associated with toilets, clean-up facilities, and food handling.  

Poor sanitation is a major cause of the spread of disease.  In order to prevent and control occupational health risks, evaluate your construction projects to determine areas that are prone to the spread of infectious disease.

Consider the following safe work practices for construction projects pertaining to safe drinking water, hand washing, sanitary toilets and proper food services (if available):

  • Provide an adequate supply of potable water on each project. 
  • Promote rigorous handwashing.
  • Provide disposable drinking cups.
  • Ensure food vendors operate in accordance with sound hygienic principles.
  • Provide adequate number of toilet facilities and keep them clean, in good working order, and provide an adequate supply of toilet paper.  Hand washing facilities shall be located within close proximity to toilet facilities. 

Promote individual responsibility to reduce the spread of infectious diseases:

  • Stay away from sick people.  If you are sick, stay home. Contain your own germs. Use a handkerchief and cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze.
  • Wash your hands frequently. 
  • See a doctor, If you do get sick, to find out if you are contagious, or if you need medication to treat your illness.  

For more information, please contact Risk Consultant Paul O'Connor at

Additional RCM&D Blogs:


General Industry


Long-Term Care

Real Estate

Additional Resources:

Safety and Health Regulations for Construction

Sanitary Facilities at the Construction Site

Health and Safety Concerns of Female Construction Workers

Toilets at Construction Jobsites


Portable Handwashing