Vigilant Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law, HR, safety & workers' comp

May 21, 2020

WASHINGTON: Governor issues Phase 2 construction requirements

COVID-19Safety and Health 

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.

Tips: Read the Phase 2 guidance in detail. In addition to the industry-specific requirements, construction employers in Phase 2 counties must still comply with L&I’s General Requirements and Prevention Ideas for Workplaces, which was also updated on May 15, 2020, as well as the Department of Health’s Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations. Many areas of the guidance documents overlap. Tailor Vigilant’s Model Form, Job Safety Analysis, and include it in the safety plan kept at each job site. If you have questions, contact your Vigilant safety professional.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.