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OSHA Issues Guidance to Help Construction Workers During the Pandemic

May 28, 2020

On May 26, OSHA launched a webpage with coronavirus-related guidance for construction employers and workers. The guidance includes recommended actions—many of which AGC members have likely already incorporated in their safety plans—to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. One item AGC members should take note of is how the guidance details specific construction tasks with exposure risk levels (from low to very high). AGC will continue to monitor how the current pandemic progresses to keep members up to date.

Among the construction tasks included on the webpage are:

  • Construction work tasks associated with exposure risk levels: details which risk level (low to very high) certain construction tasks may fall.
  • Engineering controls: includes the types of controls (i.e. physical barriers) dictated by the situation of the work environment such as working in close proximity to individuals confirmed to have, or suspected of having, COVID-19.
  • Administrative controls: includes the controls employers can implement into their safety programs such as the training and educating of workers on the spread of COVID-19 and incorporating screening questions for work assignments.
  • Safe work practices: highlights effective work practices in preventing the spread of COVID-19 that contractors can incorporate into their programs, many of which have been promoted by AGC and adopted by contractors.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE): details the type and when respiratory protection is necessary.

Construction contractors working in fields such as carpentry, ironworking, plumbing, electrical, heating-air conditioning- ventilation, utility construction work, and earth-moving activities should remain alert to changing outbreak conditions, including as they relate to community spread of the virus and testing availability, especially as many states begin to reopen their economies. In response to changing conditions, employers should periodically review their COVID-19 safety plans to identify any necessary updates or revisions.

For more information please contact Kevin Cannon at (703) 837-5410 or kevin.cannon@agc.org or Nazia Shah at (703) 837-5409 or nazia.shah@agc.org.

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