Wolf Administration provides guidelines as construction industry prepares to resume work May 1


Construction workers wearing face masks seen through safety fencing work near London Bridge in London, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday imposed its most draconian peacetime restrictions due to the spread of the coronavirus on businesses and gatherings, health workers begged for more gear, saying they felt like “cannon fodder.” For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — As the construction industry prepares to resume work, the Wolf Administration issued guidance for all construction businesses and employees to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

All businesses in the construction industry throughout the commonwealth are set to resume in-person operations starting May 1.

Previously, Gov. Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine ordered most construction projects to stop unless they were supporting life-sustaining businesses or were granted an exemption.

“My administration has taken measured, aggressive steps to protect public health and safety, including strictly limiting the types of businesses and projects that may continue to operate during this unprecedented time,” Wolf said in a release. “Thankfully, these actions are working, and we are flattening the curve. As we start to take steps to reopen the state, we recognize that the construction industry is vital to Pennsylvania’s economy and may operate safely with stringent guidance in place that will protect employees and the public.”

  • All businesses and employees must adhere to Levine’s order regarding safety measures, which requires that every person at a worksite wear masks/face coverings unless they are unable due to medical or safety reasons.
  • Businesses must also establish protocols if an employee is probable or confirmed for COVID-19.
  • All construction projects must maintain proper social distancing and provide hand washing and sanitizing stations for workers and protocols for high-risk transmission areas.
  • Businesses must identify a “pandemic safety officer” for each project or worksite, or, for large scale construction projects, for each contractor at the site.
  • Residential construction projects may not permit more than four individuals on the job site at any time, not including individuals who require temporary access to the site and are not directly engaged in the construction activity.

For non-residential or commercial projects, the number of individuals permitted on enclosed portions of a project varies depending on the size of the enclosed site.

Commercial construction firms must also consider establishing a written safety plan for each work location containing site-specific details for following the plan and enforced by a pandemic safety officer.

Contractors performing work for the commonwealth, municipalities, or school districts should defer to each in determining what projects can continue.

Local governments may choose to impose stricter requirements than those outlined in the guidance and, which means businesses must adhere to them.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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