On May 15, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee’s office issued guidance for construction activity in counties that have entered Phase 2 of Washington’s reopening. The memo permits all construction to resume in Phase 2 counties, as long as employers and workers can meet all the criteria listed in the Phase 2 Construction COVID-19 Job Site Requirements. The Phase 2 requirements add to the Phase 1 requirements, on which we previously reported. As with Phase 1, construction contractors operating in Phase 2 are required to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 (coronavirus) control, mitigation, and recovery plan for each job site. Under the Phase 2 requirements, such plans must also include a job hazard analysis (JHA) (also called a job safety analysis, or JSA) for all job site activities defined by Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) as medium and high transmission risk, including a list of engineering controls and proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Employers must make a copy of the safety plan available at each job site during any construction activities.
The Phase 2 guidance contains additional requirements that weren’t part of Phase 1. For example, under Phase 1, employers had to designate a site-specific supervisor to monitor the health of employees and enforce the COVID-19 job site safety plan; under Phase 2, employers must now display the name and contact information of the site-specific supervisor on all COVID-19 required postings at the job site. Additionally, all employees “not working alone (with no chance of human interaction)” must at least wear cloth face coverings, unless their exposure risk requires a higher level of protection under L&I rules and guidance. The guidance directs employers to consult L&I’s risk assessment document, linked above, and the guidance on cloth face coverings from Washington’s Department of Health.