Covid-19 protocols for construction

Construction fully open with new Covid-19 safety protocols

Posted by Graniterock on May 6, 2020

To Graniterock customers, colleagues, and friends –

We hope this message finds you and your families well.

It seems every few days we’re hit with a new wave of guidelines for how businesses and the public can manage our way through this Covid-19 landscape.

Last week clearly brought good news for the construction industry.

Construction is now fully open – all construction work has been deemed essential. And Graniterock branches are available to serve all of your construction material needs, observing Covid-19 safe work practices as we do.

This good news for construction comes with heightened responsibilities. Counties across our region enacted rigorous construction-focused social distancing protocols, which went into effect Monday.

We’ve put together a high-level summary of these protocols for you.

We hope you find the summary helpful, but the rules are detailed so be sure to review and follow the specific requirements of the county you’re working in. We’ve provided links to each county protocol below.

Central Coast Counties

Santa Cruz and Monterey counties each crafted a one-page set of requirements that apply to all construction work in the county.

Here are some highlights from those two protocols. They require that each project:

               ∙ Designate a site-specific Covid-19 supervisor to enforce the protocol, who must be present on site during all construction activities

               ∙ Maintain a daily attendance log of all workers and visitors, including contact information (for potential future contact tracing)

               ∙ Practice social distancing, maintaining 6 feet of distance from others

               ∙ Preclude gatherings of any size

               ∙ Post required hygiene practices (hand-washing, disinfecting surfaces, etc.) in areas visible to all workers

               ∙ Stagger trades as necessary to reduce density and maintain social distancing

               ∙ Require anyone on the project to stay home if they are sick

San Benito County has fashioned their protocol as guidance. Referring to the same set of safe practices outlined in the Santa Cruz and Monterey protocols, San Benito County requests that all construction firms adhere to them.    

Links to construction protocols:

Santa CruzMontereySan Benito

Bay Area Counties

The Bay Area counties developed a more complex set of rules. And their rules are different for small and large projects.

“Small projects” under the county orders are defined as:

               ∙ Residential projects consisting of 10 units or less,

               ∙ Commercial projects consisting of 20,000 square feet or less, or

               ∙ Mixed use projects that meet both of the criteria above

All construction work not meeting this definition is considered a “large project” under the orders.

The “small project” protocol dictates that a set of requirements and restrictions running longer than three pages “must be in place at all construction jobsites subject to [the] protocol.” The protocol doesn’t expressly specify which party to the project is responsible for each item.

It’s reasonable to assume several of the requirements (postings, site compliance officer, and others) are the responsibility of the project’s prime contractor. Nevertheless, subcontractors also should ensure their employees are complying with all safe work practice requirements.

Here are some highlights from the Bay Area “small project” protocols. Each jobsite must:

               ∙ Designate a site-specific Covid-19 supervisor to enforce the protocol, who must be present on site during all construction activities

               ∙ Ensure this supervisor reviews the protocol with all workers and visitors to the site

               ∙ Establish a daily screening protocol to ensure potentially infected individuals do not enter the site, and post this screening protocol           

               ∙ Maintain a daily attendance log of all workers and visitors, including contact information (for potential future contact tracing)

               ∙ Practice social distancing, maintaining 6 feet of distance from others

               ∙ Prohibit gatherings of any size

               ∙ Post required hygiene practices (hand-washing, disinfecting surfaces, etc.) in areas visible to all workers

               ∙ Prohibit carpooling to and from the jobsite – except for members of a household unit, or as necessary for workers who have no alternative means of transportation

               ∙ Stagger trades as necessary to reduce density and maintain social distancing

               ∙ Require anyone on the project to stay home if they are sick

               ∙ Follow a strict decontamination protocol and notify county public health officials, in the event of a confirmed case of Covid-19 at the jobsite

               ∙ Where work occurs within an occupied residential unit or common areas of a commercial or mixed-use building, seal off and separate work areas with physical barriers

“Large projects” must have in place all that’s required in the small project protocol, plus each jobsite must:

               ∙ Prepare a site-specific health and safety plan to address Covid-19 related issues, and post the plan at all jobsite entrances and exits

               ∙ Compile a daily written verification that the jobsite is compliant with the protocol

               ∙ Assign a Covid-19 third-party jobsite safety accountability supervisor (JSAS) for the project, who holds an OSHA-30 certificate and has first-aid training within the last two years, and who must verify compliance with the protocol by visual inspection and random interviews with workers

The City and County of San Francisco created a separate set of protocols that apply to San Francisco public works projects. Those protocols can be found here.

Links to “large construction project” protocols:

Santa ClaraSan MateoSan FranciscoAlamedaContra Costa Marin

Links to “small construction project” protocols:

Santa ClaraSan MateoSan Francisco AlamedaContra CostaMarin

 


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