Oregon COVID-19 Construction Task Force Resources

Physical distancing in construction COVID-19 from crane
Using physical distancing on construction site.

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.

Better Practices and Innovations Observed in Oregon (updated 6/8/2020)

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 best practices and innovations listed below as a document.

  • 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.

  • Visible signage at site entrances explaining COVID-19 requirements, emphasizing 6’ Social Distancing (SD), types of masks needed (if any).

  • Roll call instead of manual sign in.

  • Require all workers to watch COVID-19 Safety video

  • Provide safety video that encouragfes 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Sharing Plans

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.
  •  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).


Press and Other Oregon Resources