This week, the governors of Pennsylvania and Washington both announced plans for construction to resume on some projects with certain limitations in place.
Find out what you need to know below.
Governor Tom Wolf announced recently that construction would resume on May 1. Pennsylvania was one of the few states across the country that shut down all construction barring those projects considered essential.
The governor released guidance for construction work for the near future, including new safety protocols and social distancing for jobsite crews. The guidance was developed with the help of the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania. Here's a few key points:
- All construction projects must maintain hand washing and sanitizing stations for workers
- Each business must identify a "pandemic safety officer" for each project or jobsite
- On large projects, each contractor must have a safety officer on-site
- Residential construction projects are limited to a maximum of four individuals on the jobsite at any time
- On commercial projects, the number of people permitted depends on the size of the enclosed site
- Commercial firms are strongly encouraged to establish a written safety plan for each work location
- Local governments can elect to impose more limitations and/or requirements on projects
- Employers are instructed to maintain a 6-foot minimum distance between all workers "unless the safety of the public or workers require deviation"
- Employers must limit all gatherings to no more than 10 people
- Staggered shifts, breaks and work areas are required where possible
In Washington state, Governor Jay Inslee has announced a plan to resume construction on existing projects with extensive social distancing protocols in place.
Under the plan, contractors must first develop and post a plan on each jobsite addressing protocol for use of personal protective equipment, social distancing practices, and sanitation. Each jobsite must have a supervisor who will be charged with keeping track of and enforcing the safety plan.
Only authorized projects that meet a low-risk threshold and practice 6-foot social distancing requirements will be allowed to proceed for the time being.
Inslee developed the plan with the help of the Building Industry Association of Washington, the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council, and the Association of Washington Business.