Governor Beshear released more details on reopening Kentucky businesses. There are minimum requirements for business that have been operating and will continue to operate and there are additional industry specific requirements that we must adhere to in order to continue to work and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Many of these requirements have already been implemented on our sites or in our businesses. We’ve been social distancing, cleaning, providing access to handwashing stations and hand sanitizer, staging our subs and employees on job sites, and telling people not to enter our sites if they are sick.
However some of these requirements are new to our industry. The items that may be new to us are listed below in BOLD along with additional explanation if necessary.
Companies that have been operating and plan to continue to operate must:
- Continue to telework
- Phase in a return to work
- Enforce social distancing
- Limit face to face interaction
- Ensure to the extent possible that employees wear a cloth mask, encourage customers to wear masks, and provide gloves if job duties require employees to touch items often touched by others (credit cards, money)
- Access to adequate hand sanitizer and encourage hand washing
- Restrict common areas
- Regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces
- Conduct daily temperature/health checks – employees may take their temperature at home or you can take their temperature on-site. Previously we asked people if they were sick and if so prohibited them from entering the site. Taking their temperature is an expansion of this requirement. You can ask employees to take their temperature at home or you can take their temperature before they enter the site.
- Create a testing plan – if someone has COVID-19 symptoms they must be tested immediately by a health care provider. If the employee tests positive then you must notify the health department and provide the employee’s information and information of other staff or customers with whom they came in contact. Updated testing sites may be found here.
- Make special accommodations for high risk staff
- Designate a “Healthy at Work” officer: This person is responsible for making sure the business is in compliance with this guidance.
- Educate and train employees, contractors, vendors, customers, etc regarding these protocols
- Contact Tracing: Businesses must ensure that managers and employees participate in contact tracing if an employee tests positive. This includes answering questions from public health officials and completing a contact tracing form.
Additionally – there are construction specific requirements that were provided yesterday in the Governor’s release. We have already implemented most of these requirements on our sites. If you have not, you must do so in order to remain open.
The new items are listed in bold below. Click on the following link to view the entire document: Healthy at Work Phase I: Requirements for Construction Businesses
Requirements for Construction Businesses
In addition to the Healthy at Work Minimum Requirements, construction businesses must meet the requirements below in order to reopen and remain open:
Social Distancing Requirements
- Businesses must ensure that employees adhere to social distancing guidelines by staying at least six (6) feet away from other people whenever possible. Engineering controls must be established and maintained when six (6) feet physical distancing is not feasible.
- Businesses must, to the greatest extent practicable, limit the number of people riding in a vehicle together. If riding in separate vehicles is not practicable then employees should maximize social distancing and wear face masks in the vehicle. Thorough cleaning and disinfecting vehicles after each trip is required.
Training and Safety Requirements
- Businesses must appoint a Safety Coordinator to manage Healthy at Work requirements at each construction job or work site and coordinate with the business’s Healthy at Work Officer.
- Businesses must have COVID-19 testing information readily available for employees including testing location information.
- Employers must educate and train all individuals including employees, temporary employees, contractors, vendors, customers, etc., regarding Healthy at Work protocols. Employers must communicate with employees any industry, company, and/or site/job specific plans, guidelines and requirements. Any updates must also be shared to ensure understanding and compliance. All education and training must be communicated in the language best understood by the individual receiving the education and training. Businesses should post signage at employee entrances and/or where other essential employee information is posted such as bulletin boards on construction sites.
This is a lot of information to digest – but again – you have been abiding by most of this already. You’ve social distanced, cleaned your site, encouraged the use of PPE, screened people as they enter your site, and staged people on-site to limit contact.
As you read through this please let me know if you have questions. If I can’t answer I’ll put you in contact with a professional that can provide the needed assistance.
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