Governor Jay Inslee announced during a press conference on Friday that the first phase of reopening Washington’s economy was ready to move forward.
This phase allows low-risk construction work to resume, as long as contractors and workers follow set safety guidelines.
“We have found a way to safely allow low risk construction to resume,” Inslee said in a press conference. “We have been working toward this measure for some time.”
Prior to recommending work, all contractors will be required to develop a safety plan that follows the guidelines and post the plan at each job site.
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All contractors will need to appoint a site-specific coronavirus supervisor to ensure that the site is complying with new safety practices. All employees will need to be trained weekly about protective measures, as well as the importance of social distancing, which must be maintained at all times.
Employers will also need to provide personal protective equipment to workers on the job site, who must also wear eye protection and gloves at all times. The workers will also need to take breaks in shifts, to ensure correct distancing.
Soap and running water must be provided on all job sites, as well as disinfectants. Workers’ health must also be monitored and will have their temperature taken and recorded before each shift.
As we look to reopen other industries, my office and @WAStateCommerce will convene similar stakeholder groups to ensure we protect public health.
We will not lift measures until health experts and data say it’s safe to do so. 3/4 pic.twitter.com/VYg2ZZUQo0
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) April 24, 2020
“We cannot state unequivocally when other businesses can reopen,” he noted. “The date of reopening is not today — if we did this today, this virus would return with a vengeance.”