Related to recent ECA messages regarding COVID-19, officials in the San Francisco area are urgently considering the removal of the “essential” designation for construction—a designation that most of the construction industry in California has been afforded since the COVID-19 crisis began back in March. This has come about because of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and also because of non-compliant construction firms that have not, or are unwilling to comply with local area guidance, not having Exposure Control Plans in place, and/or not following those plans consistently across their various worksites.
Construction industry compliance to local and regional COVID-19 orders has been overwhelmingly good here in Southern California, but obviously we do not want the “essential” designation to be removed from our industry as the effects of that would be devastating for all. While this movement to remove the designation is occurring in the San Francisco area, we do not want to be the cause of any potential statewide order that removes the designation, or puts in place much more restrictive policies up to and including shutting down construction in the state.
Once again, the ECA urges all of our member contractors to raise the threshold of their safety standards and practices—taking into full account the critical emergency we are all facing as a community and as an industry.
If you have not already done so, it would be prudent to proactively draft a COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan for your company with advice from your legal counsel and/or insurance provider. Then, please make sure that all of your work sites are compliant and consistent in its use.
If you have any questions, please call my mobile number: 657-281-9720
Ray M. Baca
Engineering Contractors’ Association