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Can construction projects continue? What rules or safety guidelines must they follow?
As of May 18, all construction projects may resume. Construction projects must follow appropriate mitigation requirements, as outlined below.
Construction projects must adopt policies that include, at minimum, the following requirements:
- Prohibit non-essential visitors from entering the worksite;
- Engage in appropriate social distancing measures when picking up or delivering equipment or materials;
- Limit worksite meetings, inductions, and workgroups to groups of fewer than ten individuals;
- Require individuals to maintain six feet or more distance between them wherever possible;
- Stagger work start and stop times where practicable to limit the number of individuals entering and leaving the worksite concurrently;
- Identify congested and "high-risk areas," including but not limited to lunchrooms, breakrooms, portable rest rooms, and elevators, and limit the number of individuals at those sites concurrently where practicable;
- Stagger lunch breaks and work times where practicable to enable operations to safely continue while utilizing the least number of individuals possible at the site;
- Require workers and visitors to wear cloth face coverings, in accordance with CDC recommendations, while on the premises, except where doing so would inhibit the individual's health or the individual is under two years of age, and require workers to wear gloves while on the premises. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings and gloves for their employees. If a visitor refuses to wear a cloth face covering for non-medical reasons and if such covering cannot be provided to the individual by the business at the point of entry, then businesses must decline entry to the individual. Nothing in the stated policy should prevent workers or visitors from wearing a surgical-grade mask or other more protective face covering if the individual is already in possession of such equipment, or if the businesses is otherwise required to provide such worker with more protective equipment due to the nature of the work involved. Where an individual declines to wear a face covering on the premises due to a medical condition that inhibits such usage, neither the business nor its staff shall require the individual to produce medical documentation verifying the stated condition.
- Require infection control practices, such as regular hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and proper tissue usage and disposal;
- Limit sharing of tools, equipment, and machinery;
- Where running water is not available, provide portable washing stations with soap and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizers that have greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol;
- Require frequent sanitization of high-touch areas like restrooms, breakrooms, equipment, and machinery;
- When the worksite is an occupied residence, require workers to sanitize work areas and keep a distance of at least six feet from the occupants;
- Place conspicuous signage at entrances and throughout the worksite detailing the above mandates;
- Immediately separate and send home workers who appear to have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 illness upon arrival at work or who become sick during the day; and
- Promptly notify workers of any known exposure to COVID-19 at the worksite, consistent with the confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and any other applicable laws;
- Clean and disinfect the worksite in accordance with CDC guidelines when a worker at the site has been diagnosed with COVID-19 illness;
- Continue to follow guidelines and directives issued by the New Jersey Department of Health, the CDC and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, as applicable, for maintaining a clean, safe and healthy work environment.
During New Jersey's public health emergency, timeframes governing the Department of Environmental Protection's provision of public notice, review and decisions on permits and other approvals have been paused or delayed by Executive Order 136.
In addition, a new law extends certain government permits, approvals, and deadlines for certain construction and real estate projects during the COVID-19 emergency so these projects are not abandoned. For more details, refer to Assembly Bill 3919.