coronavirus

Dallas County Judge Revises Order for Construction Industry

The order classified construction for public works, residential, commercial, and schools as critical infrastructure, and prohibits elective additions and maintenance.

Getty Images/Dan Reynolds Photography

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has revised the order regarding the construction industry in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The order, issued Sunday, outlines the steps that employers and employees must take to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, including taking protective measures on the jobsite and enacting cleaning and disinfecting procedures.

The order classified construction for public works, residential, commercial, and schools as critical infrastructure, and prohibits elective additions and maintenance.

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All employers involved in construction activity must follow the requirements stated in the COVID-19 Safety Recommendations issued by the Construction Industry Safety Coalition.

Those rules include mandatory temperature checks for all workers before they leave home. If a worker has a temperature above 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit, they are prohibited from going to work and must stay at their residence.

Temperature checks for all workers must also occur at the construction site before work can begin. If an employee or contractor has a temperature above 99.6 degrees Fahrenheit, they should be sent home immediately.

The order states that employers involved in construction activity must also implement shift work, limit the crossover of subcontractors, and prohibit gatherings during meals or breaks.

A six-foot distance should be kept between workers at all times, unless the work being performed required multiple individuals to ensure the workers' safety.

The order also prohibits use of a common water cooler and states that individual water bottles should be provided, or workers should bring their own. Non-essential personnel should to work from home when possible.

Soap, water, hand sanitizer, and adequate supplies should be available in the workplace, particularly in the restrooms.

The order states that workers must wash their hands for at least 20 seconds before they can begin work, after they remove gloves, before and after the use of shared items such as tools or multi-user devices, before and after any meal or restroom break, and after a worker’s shift or work time ends.

Workers must take mandatory rest breaks for at least 15 minutes for every four hours worked in order to follow hygiene guidelines. One working, flushing toilet should be available for every 15 workers on-site, or one outdoor portable toilet for every 10 workers on-site.

The order states that no adverse action should be taken against an employee who has been quarantined or advised to self-quarantine due to possible exposure to coronavirus, and a designated COVID-19 safety monitor should be present on each site in order to enforce these rules.

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