Washington State is developing a three-phase approach to restarting the construction industry after a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state with the first reported cases in the U.S., Washington formed a construction advisory group to make recommendations on how to reopen construction activity. That group has sent its plan to Gov. Jay Inslee.
Most of the first-phase projects to reopen could include some commercial, residential, and road building jobs that were already started when the shutdown occurred. These low-risk projects would allow for safe social distancing of six feet of space between workers.
The second phase of projects would include new and existing jobs that can’t consistently conform to social distancing requirements. There would be requirements for personal protective equipment for workers stationed within six feet of each other.
Phase three involves projects with more opportunities for workers to crowd together such as skyscrapers where people have to use elevators and may not have access to hand-washing stations on every floor. The recommendations were a result of collaboration between labor and management. Every decision was reportedly unanimous.