Remain alert of changing outbreak conditions, including as they relate to community spread of the virus and testing availability, and implement infection prevention measures accordingly. As states or regions satisfy the gating criteria to progress through the phases of the Guidelines, you will likely be able to adapt this guidance to better suit evolving risk levels and necessary control measures in your workplaces.
Assess the hazards to which your workers may be exposed; evaluate the risk of exposure; and select, implement, and ensure workers use controls to prevent exposure. The table below describes construction work tasks associated with the exposure risk levels in OSHA’s occupational exposure risk pyramid, which may serve as a guide to employers in this sector.
Conducting a job hazard analysis can help you to determine whether work activities require close contact (within 6 feet) between workers and customers, visitors, or other members of the public. When a job hazard analysis identifies activities with higher exposure risks, and those activities are not essential, consider delaying them until they can be performed safely (e.g., when appropriate infection prevention measures, as discussed on this page, can be implemented or once community transmission subsides).
In the indoor construction environment, when work is determined to be essential or emergency work, and a person (e.g., coworker, visitor, resident, subcontractor) suspected of having or known to have COVID-19 is present at the worksite in close proximity to where workers would be working:
Use closed doors and walls, whenever feasible, as physical barriers to separate workers from any individuals experiencing signs and/or symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Consider erecting plastic sheeting barriers when workers need to occupy specific areas of an indoor work site where they are in close contact (less than 6 feet) with someone suspected of having or known to have COVID-19.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, periodically reassess engineering controls (as well as work practices and administrative controls) to identify any changes that can be made to decrease the need for N95 respirators (or other respirators with a higher level of protection) and other personal protective equipment (PPE) ordinarily used for work activities that involve exposure to hazardous substances. This can help conserve PPE that is in short supply or needs to be diverted to activities associated with higher SARS-CoV-2 exposure risks. For example, a reassessment of engineering controls may identify improvements to water delivery or dust collection systems that will further reduce ambient dust when cutting, breaking, jackhammering, or drilling.
Use administrative controls, when feasible, to reduce or eliminate the risk of exposure. Implement, and update policies to reflect:
Standard operating procedures that follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OSHA, state/territorial, and local guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 infection.
Training for employees on the spread of the disease in the geographic areas in which they work.
Screening calls when scheduling indoor construction work to assess potential exposures and circumstances in the work environment, before worker entry.
Below are sample questions for screening work assignments before sending a worker to perform construction activities in an indoor indoor environment that may be occupied by a homeowner, customer, worker, or another occupant. Preface these questions with an explanation that they are being asked to protect workers and minimize the spread of COVID-19.