On April 22, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued safety guidance aimed at reducing construction workers’ risk of exposure to COVID-19. The guidance is available in both English and Spanish and is the first in what OSHA expects to be a series of industry specific COVID-19 “alerts.”

The substance of the guidance breaks no new ground but is presented in an easy-to-read bullet point format, with practical, specific advice on subjects such as enhanced workplace cleaning, social distancing in the workplace, and face coverings and other protective equipment.

For example, the OSHA guidance recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched items and portable toilets, using alcohol-based wipes to clean shared tools and equipment, using EPA-approved cleaning chemicals on list N and promoting personal hygiene. The guidance also suggests workers maintain a distance of six feet apart when possible (even in work trailers) and limit the length and number of attendees at meetings. Construction companies further should allow workers to wear masks/face coverings, train staff on the proper use of protective equipment, and encourage employees to stay home if they are not feeling well. Finally, OSHA urges businesses to encourage their employees to raise health and safety concerns with their employers.

Ballard Spahr’s Labor and Employment Group is following closely these and other developments related to COVID-19 as they impact the workforce. If you have questions, please contact any member of the Labor and Employment Group for advice about your situation.

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