CISC Recommendations: COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan for Construction
The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) developed this plan is to outline the steps that every construction employer and employee can take to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The plan describes how to prevent worker exposure to coronavirus, protective measures to be taken on the job site, personal protective equipment and work practice controls to be used, cleaning and disinfecting procedures, and what to do if a worker becomes sick. Also included in the plan are:
- Letter for Essential Industry Employees who are traveling to construction jobsites;
- Employee Notification letter if a confirmed case of COVID-19 occurs at work;
- COVID-19 Checklist for Employers and Employees; and
- COVID-19 toolbox training talk.
COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness in Construction
From April 19-23, 2021, Vaccine Awareness Week in Construction was held to raise awareness of the safety, effectiveness, and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination among construction workers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all workers in the U.S. get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they are eligible to end the pandemic and help Americans return to their normal lives.
The Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) supports the CDC’s vaccination efforts and we are encouraging members to participate in COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week. Home builders should take time to share important information with their trade contractors, partners, subcontractors, and their own staff about the benefits of vaccination and encourage them to register to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Learn how you can get a COVID-19 vaccine at cdc.gov/coronavirus/vaccines.
Webinar – COVID-19 Vaccines and Construction: Key Things to Know. On April 22, 2021, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health conducted a special webinar for COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness Week in Construction to provide information on what we know about the current COVID-19 vaccines and discuss when and & how construction workers can get vaccinated. View the webinar slides here.
CISC Opposes OSHA’s Proposal to Expand Coverage of the COVID-19 Final Rule to Include Construction Work in Healthcare Settings
On April 22, 2022, the CISC submitted a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration opposing the proposal to expand coverage under any promulgated final rule to include certain construction work. The CISC believes application of a final Occupational Exposure to COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings Rule to construction is unnecessary and is unsupported. Read the letter here.
CISC Calls on OSHA to Withdraw its COVID-19 COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard
On January 19, 2022, the CISC submitted a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration outlining concerns regarding the lack of stakeholder involvement during the development of the Vaccination and Testing ETS, describing how and why the construction industry is low risk and, thus, applying the ETS to the construction industry is not appropriate under the OSH Act, and calling on OSHA to withdraw the ETS and/or substantially rewrite it to be made consistent with OSHA’s limited authority to protect only workplace safety and health and to adapt the standard to the specialized needs of different, lower risk industries like construction. Read the letter here.
CISC Makes Recommendations to OSHA as it Develops a COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard on Vaccines and Testing
On September 27, 2021, the CISC sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary James “Jim” Frederick that outlined key issues the Agency should consider while developing a 2nd emergency temporary standard that would require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative COVID-19 test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work . President Biden’s recent COVID-19 Action Plan “Path Out of the Pandemic” directed OSHA issue the ETS. Read the letter here.
CISC Submits Comments to OSHA on the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard
On August 20 2021, the CISC sent a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration supporting the Agency’s determination not to include the construction industry within the scope of the rule COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard for the health care industry, as the construction industry has been consistently characterized as low risk for exposure to COVID-19 by OSHA and other regulatory agencies and the industry has been proactive at protecting its employees throughout the pandemic. Read the letter here.
CISC Makes Recommendations to OSHA as it Considers Whether to Issue a COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard
On March 2, 2021, the CISC sent a letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that outlined recommendations that Agency should consider as it deliberates the need for an emergency temporary standard on COVID-19. President Biden’s recent Executive Order 13999 on Protecting Worker Health and Safety directed OSHA to consider whether an ETS is warranted to address COVID-19 in the workplace. Read the letter here.
CISC Raises Concerns with OSHA’s FAQs Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Adverse Reactions
The CISC sent a letter on May 10, 2021 to OSHA raising concerns with the Agency’s recently issued new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the recordability of adverse reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine when the employer has not required the vaccination and the CISC urged OSHA to revise the response to provide an interpretation that is directly tied to the recordkeeping rule. Read the letter here.
On May 21, 2021, OSHA re-evaluated its frequently asked questions related to COVID-19 vaccinations and announced it will not enforce the requirement for employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination through May 2022. Read the revised OSHA FAQ here.
CISC Seeks OSHA Guidance on Recordkeeping Requirements when Conducting Temperature Screenings
The CISC sent a letter on May 19, 2020 to OSHA seeking additional guidance from the agency regarding the application of OSHA’s Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records rule (29 CFR 1910.1020) to certain employer-conducted COVID-19 health screenings. Read the letter here.
CISC Seeks Additional OSHA Guidance on COVID-19 in Construction
The CISC sent a letter on April 17, 2020 to OSHA seeking additional guidance from the agency on the reportability of COVID-19 cases and the recommended approach to social distancing and wearing face coverings in the construction industry. Read the letter here.
CISC Urges OSHA to Stop Treating Coronavirus Positives as Recordable Incidents & Calls for Flexibility for Firms Running Short of N95 Masks
The CISC sent a letter on March 23, 2020 to OSHA regarding recordkeeping and respirator enforcement during the COVID-19 outbreak. The CISC has requested that OSHA re-evaluate its decision to treat cases of employees contracting COVID-19 as recordable incidents. Additionally, the CISC is pushing OSHA to provide flexibility in enforcement with respect to respirator use due to the growing shortage of N95 respirators that are currently being used in the fight against coronavirus. Read the letter here.