Oregon COVID-19 Construction Task Force
The task force is a partnership of union and non-union industry professionals, with support from Oregon OSHA. The group meets twice a week to monitor health information and government guidelines, and to collect data and information. It will continue to coordinate job site visits as long as Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order is in place.
The Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences has offered to share the Task Force resources, best practices and innovations on this webpage as a way to enhance their sharing, and to further the work of this Task Force.
- Associated General Contractors-Oregon Columbia Chapter
- Central Oregon Building and Construction Trades Council
- Columbia-Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council
- Hoffman Construction Company
- Lane, Coos, Curry, Douglas Building & Construction Trades Council
- NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center
- O’Neill Construction Group
- Oregon Home Builders Association
- Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
- Oregon OSHA
- Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council
- Oregon Tradeswomen
- Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters
- Pendleton Building Trades Council
- Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association
- Salem Building and Construction Trades Council
- Southern Oregon Building and Construction Trades Council
- University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center, LERC
Better Practices and Innovations Observed in Oregon (updated 9/19/2020)
This webpage shares current better practices and innovations. As this is a changing topic and we continue to learn more about both COVID-19 and accepted practices, and updates will be added. While these tips and ideas come from Oregon employers and workplaces, operations in other locations will likely find them useful. Download better practices and innovations listed below as a PDF (updated 9/19/20).
QR code required to get on site (for screening and also for contact tracing) (9/4/20)
Educate employees and management on the hierarchy of controls to control potential exposure.
Have someone in each crew ensuring that physical distancing is maintained.
Include COVID-19 as a job hazard with the Job Hazard Analysis.
Include updated graphics in educational information so workers can see updated relevant information. Cite sources in all health and policy-based information to enhance credibility. (added 7/20/2020)
Visible signage at site entrances explaining COVID-19 requirements, emphasizing 6’ Social Distancing (SD), types of masks needed (if any).
Post entry sign with phone number of site contacts so anyone needing access can be evaluated and tracked. (added: 7/20/2020)
Provide bilingual postings. (added 7/20/20)
Roll call instead of manual sign in.
Require all workers to watch COVID-19 Safety video
Provide safety video that encourages employees to speak up, and not to follow the crowd.
Temperature checks before workers enter jobsite.
Do not allow any visitors onto site without going through full screening.
Medically trained employees perform temperature checks with cloth masks and face shields.
Temperature checks done in trailer with one-way in and one-way out to streamline process and add privacy.
Standing sideways to each other when taking temperatures, so not breathing toward each other, if thermometer manufacture recommendations allow.
Following temperature check wrist bands provided to workers that show verify normal temperature (band color changes daily).
During daily standup with all workers maintain 6 foot distancing, discuss tasks that can’t be done while maintaining 6’ SD so all workers know it’s only acceptable in those circumstances.
Track employees possibly exposed. Determining response based on the category of exposure (categorize into 3 categories: possible, probable and actual contamination).
Enforce explicit process with exposed workers (i.e. Possible: investigate further; Probable = 72-hour home quarantine; Actual = send them home for 2-weeks).
Disciplinary Program for employees who do not comply with 6’ SD (i.e. three strikes rule).
If COVID-19 rules not followed on the site (i.e. 6’SD, face coverings if required, etc.) general contractor either sends worker home or finds subcontractor $500. Language about this is put into contract.
Put COVID-19 rules and policy into bullets for easier read, laminate and post. (added 7/20/20)
Visible COVID-19 signage throughout jobsite to maintain awareness (6’ SD, hand washing, don’t touch face).
Social Distancing Officer (SDO) is a superintendent with respect to enforce 6’ SD.
Social Distancing Office (SDO) is bilingual to communicate with everyone on site. (added 7/20/20)
Change permit process to do permitting in a separate location to limit employees in trailers.
Explicit process to communicate passage at pinch points, such as announcing self-prior to climbing stairs, two sets of stairs, one-way stairs.
Increase use of electronic materials to reduce use of possibly contaminated paper.
Safety White Board where workers express concerns and contractors reply with solution and date.
Change culture from employees feeling like they would let the employer down if they didn’t come to work when sick, to letting employer down if employees do come to work when sick.
Create procedures to accommodate for employees that may be absent for a larger time.
Offer extra hours/time off specific for Covid-19 related issues.
Provide psychological and mental health assistance via phone.
42” mobile monitor (some in job boxes) to display plans to multiple people while maintaining social distancing
Interlinked and interactive tablets to share building plans with each other
Plans and other frequently reviewed documents in a separate location (tent) that can be visited while maintaining 6’ SD
Send daily updates to contractors and subcontractors.
Create a checklist for cleaning and sanitizing . (new: 7/20/2020)
Contractor has high-touch areas cleaned regularly (as often as every 2 hours) and sanitizes work area prior to the workers’ arrival on site.
Conference rooms sanitized every two hours by cleaning crews.
Regular cleaning of shared tool batteries and high touch work areas (twice a day).
Hand sanitizing or hand washing stations as needed throughout work site (stairs, lunch areas, upper floors of worksites, etc).
Give each employee their own hand sanitizers so they can use when needed.
For sign in sheets, separate clean from dirty (used) pens.
Provide touch-less hand sanitizers with signage to indicate it is touch-less.
Clean all high touch surfaces the night before to allow sufficient sanitizer contact time.
Hire a service to sanitize all surfaces, including hard hats left behind.
Have a touch-less thermometer so employees can check their own temperature every day (include sanitized wipes to clean handle of thermometer).
Sanitize before and after using turnstile.
- Plexiglass at desks (9/4/20)
- Use mechanical equipment to move materials rather than having workers close together (such as lifts, gecko for lifting glass).
- Ask each subcontractor to update JHA/PTP to incorporate distancing requirements.
- Dots painted on pavement so employees do not get within 6 feet of each other.
- Port-a-potties greater than 6’ apart.
- Additional handwashing stations in/near portable toilets. (Handwashing stations are often 2-3 faucets within a small space, so they provided additional so employees could use faucets greater then 6’ apart.)
- Worker tee-shirts and hard hat stickers that say "be smart, stay 6 feet apart" to maintain awareness
- Personal PPE Bags with “6 feet apart” logo for workers to keep their gear separate from others.
- Allow only one worker in (Conex) equipment trailers at a time, clearly marked with signage.
- Have one-way stairways with direction clearly marked with signs.
- Separate different trades by floors. (added: 7/20/2020)
- If lunch rooms: tables marked to maintain 6’ SD, butcher block paper to put on table, tip chairs up at clean tables.
- Spread out lunch areas or have workers eat in vehicle
- Workers who live together maintain 6’ SD to prevent misconceptions.
- Sheetrock ordered and delivered cut to 4’x 6’ so it can be handled by one worker.
Delivery truck drivers are screened, offload offsite, or stay in vehicle.
Provide additional break trailers but encourage workers to use personal vehicles.
Provide larger platforms to maintain 6 feet distancing.
Secure extra fleet vehicles so employees don't need to carpool. To prevent carpooling to acquire, the vehicles were towed from fleet to site.
Put up signs up on their vehicles and equipment to prevent public from getting closer then 6 feet.
Arrange toilets back to back so workers exist away from each other. (new: 7/20/2020)
To ensure workers are kept safe in situations where 6’ SD is not possible:
- Engineer out situations that require working closer than 6’ SD.
- Delay jobs when 6’ SD not possible.
- Eliminate trade stacking when possible.
- Use equipment instead of close workers to lift/carry materials.
- Establishing larger work areas (less employees per the space).
- Plexiglas barrier between workers when 6’ SD not possible.
- Cloth face covering that meets CDC guidelines (2 ply).
- Look away from other workers.
- Entry and exit points yield to incoming workers.
- Keep entry doors into building propped open to limit contact.
- Two-way pathways, pavement markings to indicate direction of foot trafic, additional stairways.
- Wider paths for workers.
- One-way lanes of travel on paths and stairs.
- Up/down yield on scaffold.
- Only one worker allowed on stairs at a time.
- Use line markings to get into site where there could be a potential of a bottleneck.
- Allow more time to complete jobs so workers can wait for others to pass when working in tight or narrow spaces. (new: 7/20/2020)
Select fire resistant face coverings manufactured for employees when flash or fire risk.
Use light fabric for cloth face coverings.
Evaluate options for safety glasses that don't fog with face coverings (e.g., Uvex Proteg Safety Glasses, Anti-fog).
- Keep office windows open to encourage airflow (added 9/4/20)
- Prop doors open to avoid high touch points and to avoid collisions when opening doors (not if doors are fire doors). (added: 7/20/2020)
- Assign tools to employees so workers do not need to share. (added 7/20/2020)
- Add 3-4 foot extension on equipment handles to allow greater physical distancing from other workers. (added: 7/20/2020)
- Use 4x4 sheetrock so only one employee is needed to carry it. (added: 7/20/2020)
- Use 4x12 sheetrock so two employees can be more physically distanced while carrying it. (added: 7/20/2020)
- Separate Port-a-potties by 6’ or turn every other unit 180 degrees to further separate entrance points.
- Make hand sanitizer/hand washing stations frequent and obvious (such as top and bottom of stairs).
- Increase physical distancing/mask wearing signage to keep people aware.
- Use QR codes to screen people prior to them coming to site.
- Paint dots on the ground to indicate where people stand for morning meetings/stretch-n-flex.
- Use painters tape/paint to delineate lunch and break sites .
- Separate tables and limit numbers of chairs in lunch/break areas to discourage employees from sitting too close .
- Do you have other ideas to add here? Let us know.
Press and Other Oregon Resources
- NEW! CPWR/NIOSH Webinar Series: Responding to COVID-19 on the Job Site – News from the Oregon COVID-19 Joint Construction Safety Task - watch the recording, September 24, 2020
- NEW! AIHA Focus on Construction Health: COVID-19 Guidance Document by the American Industrial Hygiene Association, August 18, 2020
- Oregon Construction Task Force Tip Sheet: 4 Keys to Prevent COVID-19, August 4, 2020.
- NECA-IBEW Assist COVID-19 Joint Construction Safety Task Force to Identify Best Work Practices & Educate Public, June 10, 2020
- COVID-19 Jobsite Checklist
Developed by Oregon State Building Trades Council.
- Oregon construction safety task force seeks to protect crews amid COVID-19
Arielle Brumfield, KTVZ news source, May 11, 2020
- Construction safety guidelines being developed
Daily Journal of Commerce Oregon by Josh Kulia, April 29, 2020
- Physical distancing in construction: what's that look like?
Oregon and the Workplace blog by Dede Montgomery, May 6, 2020
- COVID-19 and Oregon OSHA Resource Page
"First and foremost, employers do need to understand that, even in unusual times like this, employees are still exposed to hazards and it is still the employers’ responsibility to ensure that their employees are adequately protected from those hazards."
- Coronavirus necessitates changes at construction sites
Pamplin Business Tribune by Melody Finnemore, May 26, 2020