Best practices for construction site safety during COVID-19

Update: As of March 27, 2020, all non-essential construction has been ordered to stop in New York State because of the coronavirus pandemic. Refer to this DOB bulletin for guidance on how to secure construction and demolition sites.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to reshare the guidance provided by the NYC Department of Buildings on how to properly protect your construction workers and maintain construction site safety during these difficult and challenging times.

In order to protect the health and safety of construction workers, job sites must be vigilant in following the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene’s guidance on limiting the spread of COVID-19 as well as best practices for preventing the contamination of germs on construction sites.

Preventing and Remediating the Contamination of Germs on Const. Sites - ... (1)

It’s also important to note here that construction sites that require a site safety manager will not be allowed to operate without one. If a job site’s site safety manager is out due to illness, they must be replaced or the permitted work cannot be performed.

Construction Site Monitoring

In the event that you must close a construction site, the DOB asks that you email and include the following details in the subject line:

  • the location of the construction site
  • the period of time that you expect the site to be closed

A follow-up email should be sent to when the site is reopened.

As construction sites closed for an extended period of time can pose a hazard to the health and safety of the public, the DOB requires contractors to perform the following steps to properly secure the site:

  • Have the site secured to prevent access from any unauthorized personnel. This includes maintenance of construction fencing and posting of permits.
  • Maintain and secure all scaffolding, debris netting, sidewalk sheds, and temporary walkways.
  • Maintain all adjoining property protection.
  • Maintain all guardrails, edge protection systems such as netting and cocoon systems, and floor and shaft opening protection.
  • Store and maintain cranes in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and approved CN drawings.
  • Ensure the proper shoring of excavated sites or backfill.
  • Ensure construction equipment is safely stored and maintained in accordance with manufacturer recommendations.
  • Ensure construction materials are safely stored. Any light-weight materials susceptible to becoming wind-borne must be removed from the site, tied-down, or ballasted.
  • Maintain any fire suppression and detection systems.
  • Maintain all essential utilities.
  • Remove any volatile gases and liquids.
  • Remove any standing water and construction debris.
  • Ensure public sidewalks are clear and clean.

At Milrose, our hearts go out to all those whose lives have been impacted by this global tragedy. We take solace in knowing we will all come together as a community to navigate and overcome these challenging times. As we move forward, we will be tracking and sharing all updates from municipal agencies that could impact your project schedules at - please bookmark it and stay tuned.

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BY Admin / Industry News, DOB, Safety