Wisconsin State Pipe Trades Council

Press Release

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Published on Monday, April 20, 2020

Mechanical Contractors Association of WI & Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association

COVID-19 Protocol for Safe Job Sites

CLICK HERE to download the official press release (text is below)

Following the declaration by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers in Emergency Order #12 signed into law on March 24, 2020 and continued in Emergency Order #28 signed into law on April 16, 2020, the construction and labor trades have been deemed “essential” in many instances. Specific citations of this designation can be found throughout the Order including, but not limited to: Section 1(a) – (f); Section 5; Section 8, Section 10, Section 11(d); Section 13(a) – (c), (f), (n), (r), (s), (u) – (z), Section 14(g), Section 16. 
As a response to the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, our industry is adhering to the evolving guidelines as established by the CDC and by OSHA per it’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, and other publications.   
Our employers are working with general contractors and organized labor under the guidance of comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control plans on each and every jobsite. These plans include measures such as social distancing; symptom checking; hygiene monitoring; personal protection equipment, decontamination procedures, and stringent safety and health training.  
These control plans and mandating practices are being adhered to protect our onsite employees and the community and family members they encounter when their workday is complete.  
Our employees are aware that they are to rigorously comply with these rules and regulations and, if they should feel unsafe or concerned about workplace safety, they are to communicate that concern directly to their jobsite leadership or to their employer directly per the jobsite control plan.  
Employers and employees alike understand that a failure to comply with this guidance shall be deemed as creating unsafe conditions and may result in withheld inspections or in shutting down the construction site completely.  
Employers are conducting regular scheduled inspections on projects under construction and working quickly to address and remedy complaints that may be submitted to employer or union management.   
Specifically, our job sites require employers and employees to:

  1. Practice social distancing by maintaining a minimum 6-foot distance from others at all times.
  2.  Preclude gatherings of any size, and anytime two or more people must meet, ensure minimum 6-foot separation.
  3.  Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate for the activity being performed.
  4. The employer may designate a site specific COVID-19 Supervisor (or equivalent role) to enforce this guidance. The designated COVID-19 Supervisor shall be present on the construction site at all time during construction activities. Should the COVID-19 Supervisor not be present all employees shall have access to that person by way of cell phone posted prominently at that site. The COVID-19 Supervisor, or equivalent, can be an on-site worker who is designated to carry this role.
  5.  Identify high-risk areas or, chokepoints, where workers are forced to stand together, such as hallways, hoists and elevators, break areas, and buses, and actively control/schedule/manage them so social distancing is maintained.
  6.  Minimize interactions when picking up or delivering equipment or materials, ensure minimum 6-foot separation.
  7.  Stagger (schedule-wise) the trades work in a given space/site as necessary to reduce density and maintain minimum 6-foot separation social distancing.
  8.  Create and/or clearly identify “Entry” and “Exit” points and routes on all sites to comply with minimum social distancing requirements. These points and routes should include specific schedules when necessary. Included in these points and routes should be instructions on jobsite specific traffic for all activity including, but not limited to, taking scheduled breaks (where/when); using the bathroom (routes and location(s)); entering and exiting the job site on shift changes.
  9.  Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, work tools and equipment. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after all use.
  10.  Post, in areas visible to all workers, required hygienic practices including: not touching face with unwashed hands or with gloves; washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, cleaning AND disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces such as workstation, keyboards, telephones, handrails, machines, shared tools, elevator control buttons, and doorknobs; covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing as well as other hygienic recommendations by the CDC.
  11.  Place (and consistently monitor and refill) wash stations or hand sanitizers in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene.
  12.  Require anyone on the project to stay home if they are sick, except to get medical care.
  13.  Have employees inform their supervisor if they have a sick family member at home that is symptomatic or diagnosed with COVID-19.
  14.  Maintain a daily attendance log of all workers and visitors.