Below is a list of COVID-19 updates and information for the Southern Oregon construction industry.
Just click on each grey rectangle and it will drop down with additional information.
You may find the information helpful as we navigate the pandemic in our region. Check back for updates as we progress through these challenging times. Be assured that our organization is advocating daily to keep you working and our community safe.
Give us a call if you have any specific questions or concerns 541.773.2872
OHBA is providing the following guidance to our members based on the most recent Governor’s order:
- Social distancing and reduced exposure are the primary means to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
- Exposure is increased in an indoor setting and when the duration of contact or close proximity between individuals is increased (walking by an individual versus standing/working next to each other for several minutes).
- Contractors and employees working outside should maintain the minimum social distancing and should use a face mask or shield when the distance between individuals is reduced (closer than 6’).
- Anytime 6’ separation cannot be maintained, then a mask or face shield should be worn. Contractors will want to analyze the impact of heat stress that could be caused by certain masks/shields.
When working in an indoor or enclosed construction setting, government regulators will analyze the specific situation to determine if a mask should be worn in addition to maintaining social distancing. This new statewide requirement applies to both workers and employees, but it also applies to visitors to the indoor or enclosed area of the site.
Frequency and duration will impact whether work on a construction site that is enclosed or considered indoors will require a mask. This level of situational analysis may become burdensome, and contractors may want to consider requiring masks in those indoor or enclosed areas of a construction site as a prudent preemptive measure.
Remember: Be a leader. Be smart. Stay six feet apart!
Looks like a statewide mask/face shield requirement is set to begin July 1. From the initial information, it does not appear to apply to outdoor construction activities – business as usual for most of our members. Also, just in case you hear something in the news, we were informed OSHA has now been directed to write employer infectious disease rules effective in August. We don’t know what that means for construction yet, but wanted you to know we are on top of it as best we can in this environment.
We are monitoring all the rapidly changing events and don’t see a need at this time to change protocols for our typical outdoor construction work. See Gov’s press release below and look for updated info in our weekly safety beak bulletin if not sooner!
Portland, OR—Governor Kate Brown announced today that Oregonians statewide will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, beginning this Wednesday July 1. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces. Face covering requirements are already mandated in eight counties.
“From the beginning of the reopening process, I have said that reopening comes with the risk of seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases beyond our health systems’ capacity to test, trace, and isolate them,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Over the last month, we have seen the disease spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties. The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference.
“Modeling from the Oregon Health Authority shows that if we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within weeks.
“The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter.
“Face coverings that cover your nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of this disease because droplets from our breath can carry the virus to others without us realizing it. If we all wear face coverings, practice six feet of physical distancing in public, wash our hands regularly, and stay home when we are sick, then we can avoid the worst-case scenarios that are now playing out in other states.
“I do not want to have to close down businesses again like other states are now doing. If you want your local shops and restaurants to stay open, then wear a face covering when out in public.
“Please keep your Fourth of July celebrations small and local. We saw a lot of new COVID-19 cases following the Memorial Day holiday. Another spike in cases after the upcoming holiday weekend could put Oregon in a dangerous position.
“Oregonians have all made incredible sacrifices over the last several months that have saved thousands of lives. The actions we take now can protect our friends, neighbors, loved ones, and fellow Oregonians from this disease, and prevent the need for another statewide shutdown. We are truly all in this together.”
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) will take the lead, along with other state and local agencies, in enforcing face covering requirements for all covered Oregon businesses.
OHBA Statewide Safety Break & COVID-19 Update
10:30 am, April 1st At Your Job Sites
Tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. the construction industry will pause for an informational statewide safety break and COVID-19 update. These breaks should be led by the safety leaders at each of your job sites and should include a thorough review of all COVID-19 related workplace safety guidance issued to date. This OHBA statewide Safety Break is part of our overall effort to ensure construction continues in Oregon safely.
If you are approached about “OHBA’s Safety Break,” please share the following:
- The Safety Break is part of our commitment to COVID-19 safety practices.
- OHBA has an online COVID-19 Safety Training Program FREE to all contractors and workers.
- Your local HBA provides additional information.
- You can find more information about OHBA’s efforts here.
For your convenience, we have attached OHBA’s latest workplace safety checklist to this notice, as well as new safety posters available to download that we encourage you to display at each of your job sites – you can find these and additional material on our COVID-19 webpage. Our FREE “COVID-19 Job Site Safety Training Program” is found online at www.homebuildersuniversity.com and provides you 1 CE credit as well as job site best practices.
Finally, join the HBA Thursday, April 2nd, at 1:00 p.m. for a complimentary CARES Act Online webinar via Zoom, and learn about last week’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress, how it works, who is eligible, and how you can take advantage of these forgivable loans. We’ll also be covering the Employee Retention Tax Credits available to employers who suffer a significant loss or had their operations fully or partly suspended due to COVID-19. Presenting will be attorneys with the business law firm of Saalfeld Griggs PC in Salem.
To register for this free webinar, click https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_I7p9GzkKRC69T28a0_BTxA
Mark Long, CEO
Oregon Home Builders Association
Earn 1 CE Credit – quick, easy & online!
Wondering how to navigate the COVID-19 crisis? Looking for tools to help keep you and your business healthy?
Learn construction industry best practices for job site safety and receive a checklist to help you on your job site. HBA Members receive FREE online continuing education with Home Builders University!
Login to take the course at: www.homebuildersuniversity.com
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order – issued in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak- does not include construction among the businesses that must close.
However, the order requires all businesses that continue to operate to follow social-distancing guidelines and to designate an employee or officer to enforce social-distancing policies consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
Construction contractors that continue to operate are encourage to work closely with their safety specialists and, as appropriate, their legal counsels to ensure they operate in compliance with these requirements.
The following information serves as a resource for contractors. Do not consider it legal advice. Do not relay on it to prevent a health or safety violation from being issued by an authority with jurisdiction.
Download or Read Full Article on COVID-19: Job Health,
Safety Resources for Oregon Contractors Here>>
Weathering the Storm: Support Available for Small Business in the Coronavirus Relief Packages
Small businesses in Oregon and across the country have been hit incredibly hard by the coronavirus crisis. Sen. Merkley has fought hard to ensure that congressional action would provide significant support for small businesses during this unprecedented time. The third coronavirus relief package provides significant funding and new programs to support small businesses across the country.
- $349 billion in forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, with no personal guarantee or collateral required. See further details below.
- $10 billion for SBA economic injury disaster loans (EIDL), which provide grants of up to $10,000 or loans of up to $2 million to qualifying small businesses. See further details below.
- $17 billion for SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA backed businesses loans. This is six months of total relief from payments for existing and new applicants, though collateral is required. New applicants have six months from the signing of the legislation to apply through SBA’s Lender Match Portal, with six months of relief for both principal and interest.
- An Employee Retention Tax Credit.
– Employee retention tax credit of 50% of wages for each employee, capped at $10,000 in wages.
– The tax credit is available to small businesses who do not participate in the Paycheck Protection Program, and businesses of all sizes who had to fully or partially suspend operations at the direction of the government due to the COVID-19 outbreak or have gross receipts that are 50% less than the same quarter the previous year, until they reach 80% of their gross receipts.
– This is a refundable payroll tax credit, and the IRS will provide employers with methods to request advance refunds to get the money back faster.
Letter to Gov. Kate Brown from the newly formed Oregon Construction Coalition regarding COVID-19 in the Construction Industry.
COVID-19 Job Site Practices
Download PDF Here>>
All contractors should incorporate COVID-19 transmission and prevention into all job hazard analyses (JHAs) and pre-task safety planning for all aspects of the work. This tool is provided solely as a guideline for contractors and is not to be relied upon to prevent the spread or transmission of COVID-19, or prevent a safety violation from being issued by a jurisdictional authority. This is not legal advice. This information is provided as a courtesy only to OHBA members. Businesses and individuals should consult their safety professionals, legal counsel, government agencies or other entities to ensure they are informed and taking the appropriate steps to address COVID. These guidelines are intended to provide initial information to our members.
Contractors should continually evaluate the specific hazards at their job sites along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to determine the most appropriate job hazard analysis for the project/task as it relates to the spread and/or transmission of COVID-19.
Worker Personal Responsibilities
- Employees need to take steps to protect themselves. Refer to CDC guideline: How to Protect Yourself.
- If employees have symptoms of acute respiratory illness (i.e., fever, cough, shortness of breath), they must stay home and not come to work until free of symptoms for at least 72 hours, without the use of medicine, or as recommended by the CDC.
Refer to CDC guideline: What To Do if You Are Sick.
- Employees must notify their supervisors and stay home if they are sick. They must consult medical attention if they develop symptoms of acute respiratory illness.
Refer to CDC guideline: What To Do if You Are Sick.
- Work in occupied areas should be limited to only those tasks that are strictly necessary.
- Limit physical contact with others. Direct employees to increase personal space (to at least 6 feet, where possible).
- When possible, limit out-of-office meetings and replace them with phone or online meetings.
- Take breaks and lunch in shifts to reduce the size of the group in the lunch area at any one time to less than 10 people.
- Subcontractor foremen and project managers should communicate with their general contractors about prohibiting large gatherings (currently no more than 10 people) on the job site, such as the all-hands meeting and all-hands lunches.
General Job Site/ Office Practices
- Employers should reference the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers. Employers should check CDC recommendations frequently and update JHAs and safety plans accordingly.
- Employers should consider designating a representative to monitor for signs of illness in the workplace, and if someone is showing symptoms, ask them to leave. They should NOT be allowed to enter any occupied area before leaving.
- Employers should consider designating a representative to take employees’ temperatures with a digital forehead thermometer that is disinfected appropriately between applications. Note that some people with COVID-19 may not have a fever, so this should not be the only means of detection.
- If an employee is well but has a family member at home with COVID-19, they should notify their supervisor. Refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, inform fellow employees of possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Ask the affected employee to identify those other employees whom he/she came into contact with before the employee departs. Employees who worked in close proximity (3- to 6-feet) to a coworker with confirmed COVID-19 should also be sent home and referred to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment.
- Attendance at safety meetings should be communicated verbally and the foreman/superintendent will sign in each attendee. Contractors should not pass around a sign-in sheet or mobile device (iPad, tablet, or mobile phone) to confirm attendance.
- iPad and mobile device use should be limited to a single user.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Gloves: Gloves should be worn at all times while on site. The type of glove worn should be appropriate to the task. If gloves are not typically required for the task, then any type of glove is acceptable, including latex gloves.
- Eye protection: Eye protection should be worn all times while on site.
- The CDC is currently not recommending that healthy people wear face masks. On March 17, 2020, the government asked all construction companies to donate N95 face masks to local hospitals and forego future orders for the time being. Contractors should continue to provide and direct employees to wear face masks if required by the work.
Sanitation and Cleanliness
- Promote frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Employers should also provide hand sanitizer when hand washing facilities are not available.
Refer to CDC guideline: When and How to Wash Your Hands.
- All workers should wash hands often, especially before eating, smoking, or drinking, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Workers should refrain from touching their face.
- All sites should have hand washing stations readily available to all workers on site. If you have a large site, get a hand washing station from your portable job site toilet provider.
- Providing hand sanitizer is acceptable in the interim between availability of hand washing facilities.
- All workers should wash hands before and after entering any unit, as well as regularly and periodically throughout the day.
- Some job sites may have access to hot water for hand washing. If this is an option, please get permission from the facility owner to use their sink and disinfect frequently.
- If on a remote project, fill an Igloo-type water cooler with water (hot water, if available) and label “hand washing only.” This is a good option for vehicles as well. The CDC has posters and fact sheets available for posting.
- Subcontractor foremen and project managers shall communicate with their general contractor as to what steps the general contractor is taking to provide adequate sanitary/hand-washing facilities on the project.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces within the workplace multiple times each day.
Refer to CDC guideline: Clean & Disinfect.
- Disinfectant wipes should be available and used to wipe down any surfaces (doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) that are commonly touched periodically each day.
- Portable job site toilets should be cleaned by the leasing company at least twice per week (disinfected on the inside). Double check that hand sanitizer dispensers are filled—if not, fill them. Frequently touched items (i.e., door pulls and toilet seats) should be disinfected frequently, ideally after each use.
- Job site offices/trailers and break/lunchrooms must be cleaned at least twice per day.
- Employees performing cleaning will be issued proper PPE, such as nitrile gloves and eye or face protection as needed.
- Maintain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) of all disinfectants on site.
- Employers should provide tissues and encourage employees to cover their noses and mouths with a tissue (or elbow or shoulder if a tissue is not available) when coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands after each time you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose, and any time before touching your face or food.
Refer to CDC guideline: Coughing & Sneezing.
- Any trash from the trailers or the job site should be changed frequently by someone wearing gloves. After changing the trash, the employee should throw the gloves away and wash their hands.
Job Site Visitors
- Restrict the number of visitors to the job site, including the trailer or office.
- All visitors should be screened in advance. If the visitor can answer “yes” to any of the following questions (without identifying which question applies), the visitor will not be permitted to access the facility.
- Have you been asked to self-quarantine since December 2019?
- Have you been in close contact with any person(s) who has been asked to self-quarantine since December 2019?
- Have you experienced a recent onset of any illness-related symptoms, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
- Have you traveled outside of North America in the past 14 days?
- Have you been in close contact with any person(s) who have traveled outside of North America in the last 14 days?
- Have you been in close contact with any person(s) who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Workers Entering Occupied Buildings and Homes
- Many contractors and service technicians perform construction and maintenance activities within occupied homes, office buildings, and other establishments. Although these are not large job sites, these work locations present their own unique hazards with regards to COVID-19 exposures. Plumbers, electricians, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians are examples of these types of workers. All such
workers should evaluate the specific hazards when determining best practices related to COVID-19.
- Require the customer to clean and sanitize the work area prior to the workers’ arrival on site.
- Technicians should sanitize the work areas themselves upon arrival, throughout the workday, and immediately before departure.
Refer to CDC guideline: Clean & Disinfect.
- Require customers to keep household pets away from work area.
- Ask that occupants keep a personal distance of 10 feet at minimum.
- Do not accept payments on site (no cash or checks exchanged). Require electronic payments over the phone or online.
- Workers should wash hands immediately before starting and after completing the work.
Refer to CDC guideline: When and How to Wash Your Hands
A Special Message from Brad Bennington, Executive Officer
of Builders Association Southern Oregon (BASO)
March 31st, 2020
“Not only did OHBA keep our industry open when others were getting shut down,
Not only did OHBA create it’s own Covid19 Safety Protocols in cooperation with the Governor and state building officials,
Not only did OHBA create it’s own Covid19 Safety Course and put it online for everyone for FREE,
NOW OHBA has organized a State Wide Safety Event for everyone in our industry!
Help us get this information out to everybody!
There isn’t a White Hat big enough for these guys to wear!”
OHBA Rallied For the Construction Industry and We’re Still Working!
Thank you to Mark Long, CEO of OHBA!
Dear OHBA/BASO members,
On Monday, Gov. Kate Brown issued a new executive order with expanded business closure requirements for those businesses unable to implement stay-at-home work practices and include mandatory social distancing practices. If a business or industry is not specifically listed for closure, it can continue to operate with the required social distancing measures – see the list of closed businesses on page four of the executive order.
**Construction is NOT on the closed list.**
All businesses and nonprofits that can telework must do so to the maximum extent possible. Where it is not possible, businesses must do the following:
• Appoint a person who oversees setting and enforcing social distancing guidelines at your business
• Maintain appropriate social distancing guidelines for employees
• All office employees must telework to the maximum extent possible.
For individuals, it includes:
- Prohibiting non-essential social and recreational gatherings outside of a home
- Any time you leave your home, always maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any person
- Individuals can go outside to walk, hike, or other similar, non-contact recreational activities while still maintaining social distancing.
Governor Brown’s order is outcome-based: If you can operate safely and comply with CDC and social distancing guidelines, then for now, you may continue to operate (unless listed on page four and impacted by previous orders). What does this mean? It means we must follow the jobsite safety guidelines OHBA provided previously; you should assign a specific person to ensure the guidelines are met, and you should take other actions in an abundance of caution to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.
You should manage the flow of subcontractors and other workers to ensure safe social distances are made, and take any other precautions to protect yourself, your employees and other individuals who interact with your business. We also recommend separate vehicle travel. Governor Brown’s order put the responsibility on the business owner to prove they can meet the standards and implement social distancing measures. Businesses should adopt safety protocols, (including OHBA information and other protocols as necessary to follow the order) assign an individual to enforce safety measures, seek legal advice, and document how you intend to comply as part of your operating procedures.
Your local HBA associations are good resources for information, and your national association has information here. OHBA and your local HBAs (BASO) will be taking other steps to provide training and safety information to its members in the future. This information is in partnership between the state association and your local HBA covering Oregon specific information to align with the recent executive order.
Please see the Governor’s Executive Order here>>