COVID-19 Protocols for Arizona Contractors Will Vary Based on the Construction and Environment Involved
Due to recent and significantly increased spread of COVID-19, additional COVID-19 protocol guidance will be coming for Arizona contractors. For the time being, the best practices for Arizona contractors include following the most up-to-date OSHA COVID-19 guidelines for the construction industry and adhering to the “Requirements for Businesses” (issued with the Arizona Governor’s executive order dated June 19, 2020). Those practices include:
- Keeping employees informed of best practices to prevent spread, including regular hand cleaning and avoiding touching face;
- Conspicuous postings (postings at multiple job entry points is the best practice);
- Reasonable screening measures at start of shifts (the current standard seems to be infrared, non-contact temperature checking);
- Observing and reporting employees with obvious symptoms; and,
- Maintaining physical distancing or, if that is not possible, using proper face coverings/masks or other personal protective equipment that is safe and suitable for the work involved.
We’re all learning to live and work under imperfect and rapidly evolving guidance right now. The current main concern for most contractors is determining whether the type of construction site at issue has sufficient physical distancing. Most construction is a mix, with some activities that are outside and distanced, and others that require workers to be in close proximity or work inside enclosed areas. Even in the absence of specific guidance for construction, to mitigate against potential legal claims and liabilities, contractors should be taking reasonable precautions to keep employees informed, requiring reasonable measures like temperature taking and masks where appropriate, and posting notices, and reminders of on-site protocols, etc. Essentially doing many of the same things that most businesses are now to maintain awareness and safety.
About the Author: Mark Bogard is a partner at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk. With nearly 20 years of experience he has assisted suppliers, contractors, owners/developers, lenders and registered professionals in virtually all areas of construction law.