Guidance for the construction industry to support a safe, clean environment for workers during the COVID 19 pandemic will continue to be essential as we move forward.
Cal/OSHA encourages employers to stay current on changes to public health guidance and state/local orders, as the COVID-19 situation continues. Cal/ OSHA has more safety and health guidance on their Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Infection Prevention for Construction website:
Worksite Specific Plan
- Establish a written, worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan at every location, perform a comprehensive risk assessment of all work areas and work tasks, and designate a person at each establishment to implement the plan.
- Incorporate the CDPH Face Covering Guidance into the Workplace Specific Plan and include a policy for handling exemptions.
- Identify contact information for the local health department where the operation is located for communicating information about COVID-19 outbreaks among workers or customers.
- Train and communicate with workers and worker representatives on the plan and make the plan available to workers and their representatives.
- Regularly evaluate the establishment for compliance with the plan and document and correct deficiencies identified
- Investigate any COVID-19 illness and determine if any work-related factors could have contributed to risk of infection. Update the plan as needed to prevent further cases.
- Implement the necessary processes and protocols when a workplace has an outbreak, in accordance with CDPH guidelines.
- Identify close contacts (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) of an infected worker and take steps to isolate COVID-19 positive worker(s) and close contacts
- Adhere to the guidelines below. Failure to do so could result in workplace illnesses that may cause operations to be temporarily closed or limited.
Topics for Worker Training
- Information on COVID-19, how to prevent it from spreading, and which underlying health conditions may make individuals more susceptible to contracting the virus.
- Self-screening at home, including temperature and/or symptom checks using CDC guidelines.
- The importance of not coming to work:
- If a worker has symptoms of COVID-19 as described by the CDC, such as a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, OR
- If a worker was diagnosed with COVID-19 and has not yet been released from isolation, OR
- If, within the past 14 days, a worker has had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is considered potentially infectious (i.e. still on isolation).
- To return to work after a worker receives a COVID-19 diagnosis only if 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, their symptoms have improved, and the worker has had no fevers (without the use of fever reducing medications) for the last 72 hours. A worker without symptoms who was diagnosed with COVID-19 can return to work only if 10 days have passed since the date of the first positive COVID-19 test.
- To seek medical attention if their symptoms become severe, including
- persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face.
- Updates and further details are available on CDC’s webpage.
- The importance of frequent hand washing with soap and water, including scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds (or using hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol (preferred) or 70% isopropanol (if the product is inaccessible to unsupervised children) when workers cannot get to a sink or handwashing station, per CDC guidelines).
- The importance of physical distancing, both at work and off work time.
- Proper use of face coverings, including:
- Face coverings do not protect the wearer and are not personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Face coverings can help protect people near the wearer, but do not replace the need for physical distancing and frequent handwashing.
- Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth.
- Workers should wash or sanitize hands before and after using or adjusting face coverings.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Face coverings must not be shared and should be washed or discarded after each shift.
- Information contained in the CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings, which mandates the circumstances in which face coverings must be worn and the exemptions, as well as any policies, work rules, and practices the employer has adopted to ensure the use of face coverings. Training should also include the employer’s policies on how people who are exempted from wearing a face covering will be handled.
- Ensure any independent contractors, temporary, or contract workers at the worksite are also properly trained in COVID-19 prevention policies and have necessary supplies and PPE. Discuss these responsibilities ahead of time with organizations supplying temporary and/or contract workers
- Information on paid leave benefits the worker may be entitled to receive that would make it financially easier to stay at home. See additional information on government programs supporting sick leave and workers’ compensation for COVID19, including workers’ sick leave rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Governor’s Executive Order N-51-20, and workers’ rights to workers’ compensation benefits and presumption of the work-relatedness of COVID-19 pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order N-62-20 while that Order is in effect.