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Washington: The Official Stance for Construction

Construction Status: Essential

​A statewide stay at home order is announced by Governor Jay Inslee effective untill May 4, 2020. However, a special memo was released by the Governor to share the status of construction and introduce the idea of low-risk construction.

On July 16, 2020, Governor Inslee announced phase 3 of reopening the state in which various restrictions such as gathering of up to 5 people would be lifted with newer provisions like gathering of 10 people. The order will be brought to effect on July 20, 2020.

October 2020 Update: Considering the need for improved health facilities, Governor Inslee has released a latest announcement amending the proclamation that describes the guidelines for behavioral health facilities, long-term care facilities, residential treatment facilities, etc. Though there is no specific update related to construction the public construction work in the eastern and northern parts of the state is prominent. As long as it is concerned to private construction, it is necessary to stick with safety and social distancing rules to keep workers protected at the site.

Governing Body:The Office Of Governor Jay Inslee

FAQs: Washington Construction Updates on the COVID-19 Pandemic

How construction is addressed in the order?

Washington has become the first state to implement advanced construction guidelines under which any site unable to perform social distancing rules guidelines will be suspended.

Also, it was announced by the Governor on March 25 that any residential or commercial construction should be prevented while only essential and emergency service-related construction can be continued.

However, the order released before March 25 addressed construction as essential, permitting residential or commercial construction.

How building material supplier is addressed in the order?

Under the list of essential businesses, hardware, and home improvement material dealers are permitted to function.

Are there any updates released to define workplace guidelines for employers?

Yes, the state has released various updates on workplace guidelines and practices that can help keep the site secure for construction. From rules of social distancing to the planning of break areas & meeting rooms, everything is defined in the document released by the authorities of Washington.

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (OSHA)
Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce the Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus (OSHA)
Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations (DOH)
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers To Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (CDC)

How construction could be kept open amid COVID-19?

Keeping construction open amid COVID-19 to stick with the guidelines issued by the Health Department and Government of Washington. These include safety tips on preparing the workplace as well as other practices which employers and employees must adhere to. The regulations included social distancing, wearing of masks & gloves, and proper sanitation are mandated.
Prevent Worker Exposure to Coronavirus (OSHA)
Worker Exposure Risk to COVID-19 (OSHA)
Higher Risk Jobs Need Extra Protections to Keep Workers Safe (OSHA)

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