Recognizing that the construction industry is vital to Pennsylvania’s economy, Governor Tom Wolf announced construction in Pennsylvania could resume beginning May 1, 2020. This brings much relief during the unprecedented closure of businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All businesses in the construction industry in the Commonwealth, including those in new construction, renovation, and repair, as well as land subdivision and design-related field activities are permitted to maintain in-person operations so long as the work is performed in compliance with the CDC/Public Health guidelines. The guidance, developed and created by the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania, provides universal protocols for all construction activity, as well as specific guidance for residential, commercial and public construction projects.
contact a member of the Construction Services Team.
In a press release by the Wolf Administration, the guidance lays out the following measures:
- All businesses and employees in the construction industry must adhere to the Secretary of Health’s order providing for business safety measures, which requires that every person present at a work site wear masks/face coverings unless they are unable for medical or safety reasons and requires that businesses establish protocols upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.
- All construction projects must maintain proper social distancing and provide hand washing and sanitizing stations for workers, as well as cleaning and sanitizing protocols for high-risk transmission areas. Businesses must identify a “pandemic safety officer” for each project or worksite, or, for large scale construction projects, for each contractor at the site.
- Residential construction projects may not permit more than four individuals on the job site at any time, not including individuals who require temporary access to the site and are not directly engaged in the construction activity.
- For non-residential or commercial projects, the number of individuals permitted on enclosed portions of a project varies depending on the size of the enclosed site. Commercial construction companies should also strongly consider establishing a written safety plan for each work location containing site-specific details for the implementation of this guidance to be shared with all employees and implemented and enforced by the pandemic safety officer.
In areas where local jurisdictions impose more stringent requirements than those contained in the guidance, businesses must adhere to those more stringent requirements. Lastly, contractors performing work at the direction of the Commonwealth, municipalities or school districts should defer to those public entities to determine what projects may continue.
Please visit Withum’s COVID-19 Resource Center for more information. We continue to share more details as they become available.