Keeping Safety Viral

Now more than ever, as the state begins to slowly re-open for business, it is imperative that we all adhere to the safety protocols that have been put in place. It is equally important that each of you continue spreading that message up and down the supply chain. As has been stated many times, COVID-19 is global, but personal. Each of us need to do our part to KEEP SAFETY VIRAL.
  

COVID-19 Timeline of Events

AGC Houston Establishes COVID-19 Recommended Practices for Construction Jobsites

Updated May 21, 2020: We recently compiled a recommended practices document for jobsites. We will continue to monitor the situation, and will update it as needed.
ENGLISH: Click here to download    
SPANISH: Click here to download

For information related to recommended practices or adding resources to this site, contact tamara.h@agchouston.org

Reopening Resources

American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) provides "protecting worker health" guidance: "Returning to Work: Construction Environment"
  
May 18, 2020: State of Texas issues executive order for reopening: download details here.
  
Governor Abbot’s “Strike Force to Open Texas” protocols, which are here (organized by subject matter and constantly updated): https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas
   
Our regional OSHA office has issued a resource document now available for download: 

   

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ: Can employers take temperatures of employees on jobsites?
AGC Answer: Many medical professionals are discouraging the taking of temperatures to make employment decisions because they are an unreliable indicator of who may or may not be infected.  While we do NOT recommend taking employee temperatures,  if a company chooses to do so, they should consult their attorneys. Also, visit the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission for guidance before doing so. AGC Member, Peckar & Abramson has offered these resources.
Additionally, if your jobsite has trained staff for using temporal thermometers, as of March 30th, they can be purchased through the following (however, they are selling out quickly):
iHealthLabs 
Walmart
  
FAQ: What should we do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19?
AGC Answer: You should send home all employees who worked closely with that employee for a 14-day period of time to ensure the infection does not spread. Before the employee departs, ask them to identify all individuals who worked in close proximity (three to six feet) with them in the previous 14 days to ensure that you have a full list of those who should be sent home. When sending the employees home, do not identify by name the infected employee or you could risk a violation of confidentiality laws. If you work in a shared office building or area, you should inform building management so they can take whatever precautions they deem necessary. For more workplace safety guidance, visit https://www.fisherphillips.com/faqs#L2. Additionally, the CDC provides resources for non-healthcare businesses

Click here for Notification Protocol for Employees (courtesy of Andrews Myers, PC

Additionally, we recommend that jobsites be cleaned of contaminates regularly. Click here for a list of vendors in the Houston area who perform specialized sanitation services.
  
FAQ: How do we create a site-specific safety plan that adheres to COVID-19 guidelines for our jobsites?
AGC Answer:
Every jobsite presents a different set of challenges with regard to COVID-19 and worker safety. We therefore recommend that companies incorporate Industry best practices into their existing site specific safety plans and JSA’s for each job (see AGC Houston’s recommended best practices document above); or utilize the AGC of America Sample Safety Plan (which includes a Toolbox Talk)

FAQ: We are short on face masks. What are our options?
AGC Answer: The CDC has published a guide for DIY cloth face coverings. Download it here. Additionally, please be advised that some facial hair impedes proper use. CDC has developed an infographic to assist with guidance.  

For information regarding safety concerns on jobsites, contact kim.m@agchouston.org.
  

Tips for Taking Temperatures on Jobsites

- To ensure accurate temperature readings-set thermometers out at least 30 min prior to acclimate to ambient air.
- If you purchase thermometers from outside the US and the instructions provided are in a foreign language, check Youtube.com for videos in English.
  

Proper Cleaning of Special Equipment

  1. Werner Ladders: Ladders may be washed with warm soapy water(dish soap) with a scrub brush; rinse thoroughly; dry with a clean towel; wipe down with an alcohol based disinfectant; use once evaporated (to eliminate slipping issues, be sure no soap is left on steps and rails). For any other chemical the ladder may come in contact with, see the attached Werner Fiberglass Ladder Technical Manual .
 

OSHA Resources

May 26, 2020: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched a webpage with coronavirus-related guidance for construction employers and workers. The guidance includes recommended actions to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
   
Additional OSHA Resources:
OSHA Publication:
 Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 
OSHA Publication: Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection and the N95 Shortage Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
OSHA Publication: Expanded Temporary Enforcement Guidance on Respiratory Protection Fit-Testing for N95 Filtering Facepieces in All Industries During the Coronavirus 
OSHA Publication: Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of COVID-19
OSHA Publication: Interim Enforcement Response Plan for COVID
OSHA Publication: COVID-19 Guidance for the Construction Workforce (English)
OSHA Publication: COVID-19 Guidance for the Construction Workforce (Spanish)
  

Other Government Resources Related to COVID-19

EEOC: What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19 

EEOC: Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and Americans with Disabilities Act
  
CDC: Managing Anxiety and Stress
  
SBA: Small Business Administration offers disaster assistance in response to Coronavirus
SBA: Houston District Office offers resources for small businesses
  
DOL: U.S. Department of Labor's COVID-19 Resources
DOL: Information on common issues employers and workers face when responding to COVID-19

EPA: On Mar. 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued a new, temporary enforcement discretion policy for certain noncompliance events that can be documented and tied to the COVID-19 epidemic. U.S. EPA has emphasized that this new policy is not a "license to pollute." Click here to learn more.

EPA: The U.S. EPA has aggregated a listing of disinfectants to use when cleaning to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The U.S. EPA-registered disinfectant products on the Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 list have qualified under EPA's emerging viral pathogen program for use against SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Click here to learn more.
  

  

Harris County Provides Reopening Guidance for Construction Workforce

May 21, 2020: The construction industry and a healthy construction workforce are vital to the Harris County economy. Construction companies, construction sites, and construction workers are strongly encouraged to take the following steps to protect the health of their workers and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Harris County: Click here to access guidance document.
  

   

CDC Provides Reopening Guidance 

April 30, 2020: This guidance is intended for all Americans, whether you own a business, run a school, or want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your home. Reopening America requires all of us to move forward together by practicing social distancing and other daily habits to reduce our risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19. Click here for CDC Resources.

   

AGC of America Offers COVID-19 Resources for Employers

AGC has assembled general guidance and links to information from our federal agency partners and health organizations. AGC will continue to monitor the situation and update the information on this page accordingly. https://www.agc.org/coronavirus-covid-19

NEW! April 6, 2020: New Small Business Administration Loan Guidance Appears To Exclude Many Construction Firms That Employ Fewer Than 500 People: click here for details.  Update April 7, 2020: the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued guidance in response to AGC’s concerns regarding the SBA Paycheck Protection Program eligibility criteria, found HERE.

AGC's Comprehensive Analysis of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
March 27, 2020: AGC of America’s government relations team has combed through the details of the coronavirus relief bill set for passage in the House. They provided this initial analysis of what is in the bill and how it will impact the construction industry. We will, of course, share even more details as we continue to comb through the measure.

March 19, 2020: Summary of Paid Leave Mandates under the Families First Coronavirus Act, H.R. 6201
March 17, 2020: AGC of America shares Labor and Employment Checklist to consider when formulating responses to the situation as an employer. 
  


AGC Member, Andrews Myers, offered this chart related to emergency leave and FMLA (click chart to download):

Jobsite Posters

OSHA 3394 - English : Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus
OSHA 3395 - Spanish : Diez Medidas que Todos los Lugares de Trabajo Pueden Tomar para Prevenir la Exposición al Coronavirus

AGC of America's National Safety Stand Down Resources (includes tool box talks, job site posters, and more!)
  

  

Houston-Area Counties Define Construction as Essential Business

March 24, 2020: A huge win for our industry! Commercial Construction is listed as an essential business under "Infrastructure, Development, Operation and Construction" of the Harris County "Stay Home, Work Safe" order. Construction in Houston will remain open for business, however it is important to continue following COVID-19 safety protocols at all times. 
Other counties in our area who have followed suit: Galveston County, Fort Bend County, Liberty County, 

For information regarding these ordinances, contact william.m@agchouston.org

Resources for Operating Businesses Under "Exemption" Classification

March 25, 2020:  AGC Member, Cokinos|Young, offers template language for use on construction jobsites in Harris and Galveston counties and for "essential business" employees to carry on their person.
  
March 25, 2020: Greater Houston Partnership offers employee access language for use by all essential employees.  They have also created a badge employers can place outside of their businesses. Click here for GHP guidelines for "Work Safe" companies.

March 31, 2020: The following AGC members offer printing services for any necessary jobsite signage, including CDC recommended signage. Contact one of the following for assistance:
ARC - Charlie Turco (281-928-4596)
Triangle Printing and Marketing - Chuck Winfree (832-499-4349)

For information regarding employment practices, contact charlene.a@agchouston.org
  
   

 

Become a Member/Find a Member

When you join a local AGC Chapter, you become a member of the national organization. Being active at both the local and national level is the best way to maximize your membership. Visit our membership page  for more information.