OSHA Guidance for the Construction Industry

Poyner Spruill LLP
Contact

Poyner Spruill LLP

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new COVID-19 alert specific to the construction industry. The stated purpose of the alert is to provide “tips” to contractors, and others in the construction industry, to reduce potential exposure of construction workers to the coronavirus. Since employers are subject to OSHA citations under the “general duty” clause for failing to adequately protect employees from communicable diseases, including COVID-19, these “tips” should be considered a mandatory part of any safety plan. To reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus, OSHA “suggests” employers:

  • Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick.
  • Allow workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.
  • Continue to use other normal control measures, including personal protective equipment (PPE), necessary to protect workers from other job hazards associated with construction activities.
  • Advise workers to avoid physical contact with others and direct employees/contractors/visitors to increase personal space to at least six feet, where possible. Where work trailers are used, all workers should maintain social distancing while inside the trailers.
  • Train workers on how to properly put on, use/wear, and take off protective clothing and equipment.
  • Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Promote personal hygiene. If workers do not have immediate access to soap and water for handwashing, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against the coronavirus.
  • To the extent tools or equipment must be shared, provide, and instruct workers to use alcohol-based wipes to clean tools before and after use. When cleaning tools and equipment, workers should consult manufacturer recommendations for proper cleaning techniques and restrictions.
  • Keep in-person meetings (including toolbox talks and safety meetings) as short as possible, limit the number of workers in attendance, and use social distancing practices.
  • Clean and disinfect portable job site toilets regularly. Hand sanitizer dispensers should be filled regularly. Frequently touched items (i.e., door pulls and toilet seats) should be disinfected.
  • Encourage workers to report any safety and health concerns.

Construction industry employers should review their current safety plans to make certain the foregoing items are addressed. Employers should consult with their legal counsel if questions arise.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Poyner Spruill LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Poyner Spruill LLP
Contact
more
less

Poyner Spruill LLP on:

Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide
- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.