The construction industry issued a collective sigh of relief when Governor Wolf’s office issued press releases in the last few days advising that all businesses in the construction industry in the Commonwealth would be permitted to resume work beginning May 1, 2020. However, last evening, the Governor’s Office issued Guidelines for Businesses in the Construction Industry that businesses must “strictly adhere to” in order to resume work. These Guidelines (which are published in full at the bottom of this article) include numerous and onerous requirements, restrictions and limitations, including:
- Requiring all businesses to follow the strict safety protocols identified in: (1) the Order of the Secretary of Health providing for business safety measures, issued April 15, 2020; (2) the Order of the Secretary of Health providing for building safety measures, issued April 5, 2020; and (3) other applicable Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance;
- Limiting the number of workers on residential construction sites to no more than four (4) persons on site at any time. Persons are defined to include both the employees of prime contractors and their subcontractors, but not delivery persons or code inspectors;
- Limiting the number of workers on enclosed or semi-enclose commercial construction sites to no more than four (4) persons on site at any time for job sites of 2,000 square feet or less. The Guidelines allow one additional person per additional 500 square feet of space on sites in excess of 2,000 square feet;
- Requiring businesses to obtain express authorization from local public units or authorities before they can resume work on Public projects.
The Guidelines for Businesses in the Construction Industry is shown below. The Secretary of Health Safety Protocols and general guidance on their requirements are available on our COVID-19 Guidance and Resource Center. Attorneys at our office have also been tracking these developments and are available if you need assistance in interpreting these requirements or developing required safety plans and protocols to satisfy the Guidelines.