Getting Back to Construction After COVID-19

Construction After COVID-19

April 16, 2020, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) released a revised training and audits statement. The wording is telling: Discretion in enforcement when considering employers’ good-faith efforts to comply with safety and health standards will lead workplace standards during and after COVID-19.

Basically, they’re saying continue doing your best to keep your workplace and employees safe. Continue efforts to meet training requirements by exploring available options. If you’re at a standstill today, create a master plan that details what you plan to do later this year.

Don’t give up.

Coronavirus and Workplace Risks

Hospitals and healthcare facilities may be subject to more onsite OSHA inspections. They are the high-risk hotbed for cross-contamination and protecting workers will take priority for the remainder of 2020.

Here are risk-level examples; they include but aren’t limited to:

  • High risk – Healthcare facilities, hospice/homecare, medical laboratories, medical transport, aerosol-generating engineering sites, etc.
  • Medium risk – General public workplaces (retail, public services, etc.)
  • Low risk – Jobs that require little-to-no contact with general public and co-workers (open-space workplaces)

‘Essential’ Work

Construction is an essential industry but regulations regarding activity are strictly local. Some cities shut down construction work altogether. Some area construction businesses have chosen to stand down to protect their workers.

Project contract wording is now critical to the construction industry. You can’t put employees and/or sub-contractors at risk to fulfill the terms of a contract. Established project requirements are out the window, so re-negotiating will be essential throughout 2020.

Supply Chain Challenges

What materials are plentiful and which ones are in short supply will also dominate our industry throughout the third and fourth quarters of 2020. Much of our plumbing and electrical components come from China.

Building Permit Analysis Now Prepares You for Later

Construction industry companies use building permit data to plan marketing strategies. The information can target specific locales and give you some idea of what commercial and residential real estate development is. Those numbers are used by national economists to predict our country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

You can use that data now to study previous trends and how long our recovery time may be. But before you return to project sites, establish precautions and new workplace guidelines for onsite employees.

To minimize financial losses, take action now. Keep projects alive and get everything in writing. (Emails and texts are valid correspondence to corroborate agreements, but contracts are always better.) Despite the public lack of commitment to “non-essential” construction projects, your vigilance is what will make the difference during this time.

Keep work alive and lay the foundation for new projects.

Information and what you do with it is more critical than ever. If you have questions about data analytics and how to use them, call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor.

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