Projects Previously Underway Can Resume Construction

We had great news this morning as Governor Inslee relaxed restrictions on previously started construction as long as they qualify as low risk. This change is largely in part to the efforts of a Construction Work Group that provided a robust proposal to the Governor on April 14th. BIAW was a valuable member of this work group. The Governor’s Summary of his press conference from this morning can be found here. Embedded in their summary is the full text of the Work Group’s recommendations.

As with all things COVID-19, the situation may change rapidly, including our understanding of these requirements and the best practices associated with them. We will keep you updated as soon as we learn of any developments. We cannot stress enough how important it is for everyone involved in the construction process to adhere to these requirements and prioritize safety. We have the opportunity to set the standard for healthy, safe businesses anxious to reopen and prove that Washingtonians can protect lives and the economy at the same time.

Summary of Phase One Requirements:

  • This allows for the restart of existing construction projects that can be worked on while social distancing (6 feet of separation between individuals) is maintained at all times.
  • Prior to recommencing work, all contractors are required to develop and post at each job site a comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control, mitigation and recovery plan.
  • All contractors are required to post at each job site a written notice to employees, subcontractors and government officials the work that will be performed at that job site and a signed commitment to adhere to the requirements.
  • COVID-19 Site Supervisor: A site-specific COVID-19 supervisor will be designated by the contractor at every job site to monitor the health of employees and enforce the COVID-19 job site safety plan.
  • COVID-19 Safety Training: A training must be conducted on all job sites on the first day of returning to work, and weekly thereafter, to explain the protective measures in place for all workers.
  • Social Distancing: Social distancing of at least 6 feet of separation must be maintained by every person on the job site at all times.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) — Employer Provided: Employers must provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate, or required, for the work being done.
  • The plan also includes proper sanitation and cleanliness for workers, as well as policies to encourage workers to stay home or leave the job site when they are sick.