OSHA Issues Guidance On Prevention Of COVID-19 Cases At Construction Sites

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance for construction industry employers to prevent spread of COVID-19.

In addition to measures the agency suggests for all employers, the guidance includes a variety of preventive measures at construction sites, such as:

  • Using Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleaning chemicals from List N or that have label claims against COVID-19 for cleaning frequently touched surfaces like tools, handles, and machines;
  • Using physical barriers (such as walls, closed doors, or plastic sheeting) to separate workers from individuals experiencing signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19;
  • Keeping in-person meetings (such as toolbox talks and safety meetings) as short as possible, limiting the number of workers in attendance, and using social distancing practices;
  • Screening calls when scheduling indoor construction work to assess potential exposures and circumstances in the work environment before worker entry; and
  • Staggering work schedules (such as alternating workdays or extra shifts) to reduce the total number of employees on a job site at any given time and to ensure physical distancing.

Specifically for construction work in home environments or occupied buildings, the guidance directs employers to implement standard operating procedures and employee training to ensure that workers:

  • Request that any residents at the worksite who have been diagnosed with or are experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 remain physically separated from and communicate remotely with workers;
  • Ask others in the workplace to wear a cloth or other face covering, if available, and to cover coughs and sneezes; and
  • Request that shared spaces in the construction area have good air flow, such as by turning on an air conditioner or opening windows, weather permitting, consistent with CDC recommended precautions for people in households.

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.

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