Dear ABC Central Ohio Members,
As you know, government affairs efforts by our lobbyist Bryan Williams helped keep all current and future construction work listed as “Essential” when the Ohio Department of Health issued its recent Stay at Home Order. We’re appreciative that the Governor’s administration understands the impact that construction has on the marketplace, public health and quality of life.
ABC Central Ohio has since tried to communicate that these efforts protect your right to make a decision that works best for you and your company. That while construction activity has been deemed “essential” overall and will therefore not be subject to further government control unless required safety measures are not followed, this does not mean that every project must be viewed as such.
Safety is Paramount!
Construction activities do not always lend themselves to some of the required COVID-19 safety procedures. In fact, in order to be safely done, some work is performed in pairs or small teams. This has the potential to place men and women at greater risk for COVID-19 if this cannot be done without additional protective measures, which may or may not exist.
Furthermore, employees may feel they are being put at risk regardless of the measures taken. This is especially true when messages from the Governor’s Office and the Ohio Department of Health encourage people stay at home unless it is essential that an employee report to work. Additionally, Dr. Acton has repeatedly stated that COVID-19 is serious, and that Ohioans need to take it seriously for ourselves and our families.
If you do not believe you can maintain appropriate safety guidelines, consider heeding the Order’s overall intent: “to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible, while enabling services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent possible.” Open the line of communication between owner, general contractor, and sub-contractor with regard to this.
For those of you who can continue to perform safely, It is critical that your safety manual provides appropriate guidance to your employees. A clear procedure may be all that is needed to address employee concerns. ABC Central Ohio has compiled some sample language that can be used, which can be found here.
As always, should you have any comments, questions, or concerns about this or any other topic, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 614-529-4300.