Essential construction projects in California have been allowed to continue under the statewide stay-at-home order issued by Governor Gavin Newson, despite growing concerns the novel coronavirus may spread among workers at job sites. The list of essential critical infrastructure workers names those “who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects, including housing construction.”
The same day a construction worker at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood tested positive for the coronavirus, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) published a new list of guidelines for construction sites based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Employers are urged to develop a COVID-19 exposure control plan, enacting measures such as social distancing, symptom checking, proper hygiene and decontamination procedures.
According to the statement, sites that do not comply with the updated guidelines risk withheld inspections or being shut down completely. LADBS staff will verify compliance during regular scheduled inspections and follow up on complaints that are submitted online or over the phone.
Among the most noteworthy measures are the provision of personal protective equipment, the designation of a COVID-19 Supervisor to enforce the new rules, staggering trades as necessary to maintain social distancing requirements, and placing hand washing or hand sanitizing stations in multiple locations to encourage workers to use them. The full list of guidelines can be found here.
In a televised public address on Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti repeated the stark warning issued by LADBS: “Any [construction] sites that put lives at risk will be shut down, it is as simple as that.”