As states across the country are increasingly allowing for the reopening of both public and private construction sites, a premium is being put on safety precautions.
In Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf, in announcing the reopening of previously stalled projects, has sent out an announcement saying that “All construction projects must maintain proper social distancing and provide hand washing and sanitizing stations for workers, as well as cleaning and sanitizing protocols for high risk transmission areas.”
Notes the industry publication Smart Cities Dive: “Many of the major safety changes on construction sites will add to the time it takes to complete projects.”
The publication continues that, while the implemented use of such things as personal protective equipment will prove essential to keeping workers healthy, such measures as staggering work shifts “will slow down progress, and the days of fast-tracking a project may be over.”
Andy Beshear, the Governor of Kentucky, has now announced a return to construction work in the Bluegrass State, with the requirement that workers should be phased back in at various sites, and once returned to work, must wear appropriate face coverings.
In New York, which is now seeing the reopening of some 5,200 construction sites in just the Big Apple alone, control rooms are being established to monitor a region’s virus contamination rate.
“As fast as you can reopen, reopen,” remarked New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a press conference. “Just watch the dials.”
Additional construction project reopening stipulations in the states are requiring that all workers must have their temperatures taken before they enter a site, with workers maintaining six-foot distances from each other.
The initial construction site re-openings are coming on the heels of a new report issued by the Washington-based Associated General Contractors of America showing that roughly 975,000 construction jobs were lost nationally in April due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Those numbers comprise almost 13 percent of the industry’s total employment and, according to the AGC, represent the worst recorded decline in the nation’s history.
By Garry Boulard
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