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Construction begins again

It’s been 43 days since Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he was ordering the shutdown of all non-life sustaining businesses in the state. Only select construction projects were able to continue — health related projects, emergencies and those projects that received waivers — but by and large most construction in the state came to a halt.

But even when construction projects resume there will be a number of changes that the state has put into place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The state has provided guidance, developed from direction created by the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania, that provides universal protocols for all construction activity, as well as specific additional instructions for residential, commercial and public construction projects.

Every person present at a work site must wear masks or some sort of face covering unless they are unable to for medical or safety reasons. All construction projects must maintain proper social distancing and provide hand washing and sanitizing stations for workers, as well as cleaning and sanitizing protocols for high risk transmission areas.

Businesses must have what the state is calling a “pandemic safety officer” for each project or work site, and for large scale construction projects, one “pandemic safety officer” for each contractor at the site. And there are number of other new regulations.

Local governments can impose more stringent requirements than those contained in the guidance and in such instances, businesses must adhere to those more stringent requirements.

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