With the memo released by OSHA on April 10, they made it clear that hardscape contractors do not have to record COVID-19 case, except where: (1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and (2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. However, there are a few issues that still need to be addressed.
Reporting Cases: In the Interim Enforcement Program, OSHA discusses employer’s reporting obligations, but does not clarify whether the guidance given for recording COVID-19 cases is also applicable to reporting COVID-19 cases.
Social Distancing: One of the most basic recommendations by OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) relates to social distancing. However, there are times where it could be difficult to work six feet apart on construction jobsites. The nature of some construction activities makes social distancing challenging.
Face Coverings: Since the CDC issued a recommendation that persons wear face coverings when in public, several states and localities have issued similar recommendations for essential employers. As a result, several contractors are questioning whether such face coverings are PPE or whether there are any other requirements that contractors must consider when allowing or mandating their use.
The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) has sent a letter to OSHA asking for this additional guidance. Click here to read the full letter