As resident occupancy in senior living ebbs and flows due to COVID-19, you may be looking at building new facilities or making major renovations to your existing locations. A major factor to consider as you plan these construction projects is the safety of your residents and staff.

When considering bids from prospective construction firms, it’s crucial to move forward with one that is diligent about addressing risks that are specific to senior living communities.

The growing importance of infection control

COVID-19 is only one of many infectious diseases senior living communities address daily. For starters, only consider hiring construction firms that have a detailed Infectious Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) in their safety plan. These protocols are meant to prevent your residents and staff—as well as the firm’s contractors—from getting sick on your premises.

What do ICRA protocols look like?

There are various regulations associated with an ICRA, and it is critical to partner with an insurance broker who is aware of these and is properly certified in this field. Before signing a construction contract, make sure your contractor intends on implementing best practices to prevent and control infection to create a safe living environments for your residents. According to ICRA requirements, these must be the first activities to take place onsite to decrease the risk of disease spreading to residents, staff, and contractors.

It’s also important to educate yourself on other ICRA protocols that your construction firm is expected to comply with. Those areas are:

  1. Pre-planning
  2. Requirements
  3. Site Specific Safety Plan (SSSP) development
  4. Physical barriers
  5. Continued monitoring

Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) has Safety Advocates with American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) certifications to advise you on construction projects taking place at your senior living organization. Contact an MMA advisor for more information.

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