Colorado’s Multi-Industry Construction Guidance
As many states allow their stay-at-home orders to expire, Colorado has entered into a new phase named “Safer at Home.” Essential and nonessential businesses alike are open for business, assuming they comply with restrictions. Although construction is essential to the welfare of Colorado Springs citizens, construction companies are no less required to comply with restrictions during the safer-at-home period.
In this article, a Colorado Springs construction lawyer will discuss the Multi-Industry Construction Guidance released by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE). Staying in operation during the COVID-19 pandemic will no doubt be a challenge. Hopefully, this article will provide some clarity for contractors during these uncertain times.
Practicing Social Distancing
The CDPHE is crystal clear with its thoughts on social distancing. “Construction worksites, projects and companies are not exempt from Social/Physical Distancing Requirements, even if compliance means added cost.” Fortunately, AGC of Colorado was able to gain an audience with the CDPHE to articulate the challenge of social distancing and checking temperatures on construction sites. The CDPHE responded by revising the Multi-Industry Construction Guidance. The revised guidance “supersedes all other [Public Health Orders] and guidance for construction that have been released.”
Among its numerous provisions, the revised guidance stipulates that construction sites must reduce the size of work crews and limit interaction among workers and visitors. One suggestion is to stagger shifts to ensure that as few workers are in close proximity to each other as possible. Of note, construction workers must maintain a distance of at least six feet from one another. This aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recommendations on social distancing. However, the guidance does make a critical note: some core construction activities do require some proximity to complete. When that happens, you must still employ “aggressive measures to limit contact,” such as having workers face away from each other. Consult a Colorado Springs construction attorney for additional guidance on social distancing.
Maintaining a Clean Jobsite
Other guidelines we’ve covered have simply required that jobsites be “cleaned.” Fortunately, the CDPHE has provided very specific instruction on what it expects contractors to do. The guidance specifies that cleaning refers to removing germs with “soap, detergents, cleansers and clean water” prior to disinfecting. Once commonly touched surfaces have been clean, you are to have the areas disinfected with approved disinfectants.
Your employees must also do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by continuing to use their standard personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and eye protection. The CDPHE recommends that employees wear a mask or cloth face covering that is consistent with standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). For assistance complying with rules and regulations from multiple government agencies, consult a Colorado Springs contractor attorney.
Stopping the Spread
The Multi-Industry Construction Guidance stipulates that employees must not report to work if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. The CDPHE has even provided a screening form that employers can use when screening employees before their shifts. Instructions state that these forms must be kept in a secure location for at least three months; they may be requested by public health agencies. Consult an attorney from our Colorado Springs construction law firm if you have any questions regarding recordkeeping requirements.
Employees who experience symptoms of COVID-19 should inform their supervisors immediately. Any sick or potentially sick employee should be sent home and encouraged to seek medical attention. They may not return to work until they have self-quarantined for 10 days, have improved, and have been feverless for three days without medication.
The CDPHE stipulates that, although you should have a temperature check station at every entrance, it’s enough for employees to monitor their symptoms at home if temperature check stations are impractical. Remember, you will need to keep a record of screening forms, so employees should report symptoms even when they are at home.
Consult our Colorado Springs Law Firm for Assistance
Although the revised Multi-Industry Construction Guidance is more lenient with regard to social distancing and checking temperatures, construction companies are still under a lot of pressure to provide their workers with a safe, hazard-free workplace. Some practices, such as having employees continue to wear PPE, will be easy to implement, while others will seem extremely challenging. That’s why our Colorado Springs construction law attorneys are here to help.
At Cotney Attorneys & Consultants, we understand that the answer to this question isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve remained steadfast in providing construction companies with invaluable legal assistance during this difficult time. If you’re interested in partnering with a Colorado Springs construction law firm that will help ensure the safety of your workers and the success of your company, contact the team at Cotney Attorneys & Consultants.
If you would like to speak with a Colorado Springs construction litigation attorney, please contact us today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.