On April 24, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that residential construction, sidelined by the state’s COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Healthy orders since March 23, could resume, provided contractors follow strict requirements for social distancing, employee monitoring, and hygiene. Estes Builders immediately began updating its policies, practices, and operations to implement those protocols and was able to open its jobsites and offices on April 28.
The return to construction is crucial to the state’s economy: “At a loss of $23 million per day in family-wage jobs, the shutdown of residential construction has now cost Washingtonians nearly $650 million in lost wages,” said the Building Industry Association of Washington, while noting that the construction industry has demonstrated that it can operate in a safe manner consistent with health recommendations.
The requirements put in place by the state government are designed to keep both workers and visitors safe. They include, in part:
• Increased safety training for all jobsites.
• Social distancing practices, including a maximum of six people on site at a time; keeping 6 feet of distance between everyone on site, all day; and identifying potential choke points.
• Personal Protective Equipment (masks, gloves, eye protection) to be worn at all times.
• Handwashing stations and disinfectants available on site; frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
• Posted required hygienic practices.
• Employee health and symptom screening, with requirements for notification of symptoms and/or sick household members.
• Attendance log for all visitors.
Estes Builders takes the health and safety of its employees, subcontractors, vendors, and customers very seriously. If you have any questions about our procedures for maintaining a safe working environment, please do not hesitate to reach out.