Booth and Little COVID-19 Response
Protecting You, Our Team and the Community
Spring is a busy time in the construction industry and that includes roofing. The COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to most activity with the shelter-in-place announcement. In California, that order came on March 19, 2020. Only essential businesses could keep working.
In early April, questions about who qualified as an essential business caused a fair amount of confusion. Since it was left to local municipalities to explain which businesses qualified as essential, different jurisdictions might have different qualifications. At one point, according to the Marin Independent Journal, contractors were asking for more details so clarification became an important issue.
With projects in both Marin and Sonoma Counties, wading through the restrictions proved difficult at first. However, Booth and Little had a number of projects in Sonoma County that were considered essential, because they involved the completion of unoccupied, home rebuilds for homeowners who lost their houses during the California wildfires. We completed roofing projects on a number of those rebuilt homes and were also able to make roof repairs for homeowners who were experiencing roof leaks and needed immediate repairs for their health and safety.
Now, restrictions are being eased in stages. Each county, again, has their own guidelines, so before Booth and Little takes on a project, we need to confirm the specific conditions that apply in each jurisdiction. For instance, Marin County recently issued their own specifications, as follows:
Marin County’s Coronavirus information page, on 5-12-20 stated in part:
A Stay at Home (also known as Shelter-In-Place) order is in place for Marin County through May 31…All construction activities, certain businesses that operate primarily outdoors, and some outdoor activities will be allowed to resume with specific conditions.
Those specific conditions are detailed in a special section, divided between small and large construction projects. Small, includes work on single family dwellings and units of 10 or less. Appendix B-1 – Small Construction Project Safety Protocol
Now, that the restrictions are being eased these guidelines are extensive and apply to crews working in Marin to ensure both worker and community safety protections as follows:
The following restrictions and requirements must be in place at all construction job sites subject to this Small Construction Project Safety Protocol (SCP):Comply with all applicable and current laws and regulations including but not limited to OSHA and Cal-OSHA. If there is any conflict, difference, or discrepancy between or among applicable laws and regulations and/or this SCP Protocol, the stricter standard shall apply.
- Designate a site-specific COVID-19 supervisor or supervisors to enforce this guidance. A designated COVID-19 supervisor must be present on the construction site at all times during construction activities. A COVID-19 supervisor may be an on-site worker who is designated to serve in this role.
- The COVID-19 supervisor must review this SCP Protocol with all workers and visitors to the construction site.
- Establish a daily screening protocol for arriving staff to ensure that potentially infected staff do not enter the construction site. If workers leave the jobsite and return the same day, establish a cleaning and decontamination protocol prior to entry and exit of the jobsite. Post the daily screening protocol at all entrances and exits to the jobsite. More information on screening can be found online at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html
- Practice social distancing by maintaining a minimum six-foot distance between workers at all times, except as strictly necessary to carry out a task associated with the construction project.
- Where construction work occurs within an occupied residential unit, separate work areas must be sealed off from the remainder of the unit with physical barriers such as plastic sheeting or closed doors sealed with tape to the extent feasible. If possible, workers must access the work area from an alternative entry/exit door to the entry/exit door used by residents. Available windows and exhaust fans must be used to ventilate the work area. If residents have access to the work area between workdays, the work area must be cleaned and sanitized at the beginning and at the end of workdays. Every effort must be taken to minimize contact between workers and residents, including maintaining a minimum of six feet of social distancing at all times.
- Where construction work occurs within common areas of an occupied residential or commercial building or a mixed-use building in use by on-site employees or residents, separate work areas must be sealed off from the rest of the common areas with physical barriers such as plastic sheeting or closed doors sealed with tape to the extent feasible. If possible, workers must access the work area from an alternative building entry/exit door to the building entry/exit door used by residents or other users of the building. Every effort must be taken to minimize contact between worker and building residents and users, including maintaining a minimum of six feet of social distancing at all times.
- Prohibit gatherings of any size on the jobsite, including gatherings for breaks or eating, except for meetings regarding compliance with this protocol or as strictly necessary to carry out a task associated with the construction project.
- Cal-OSHA requires employers to provide water, which should be provided in single-serve containers. Sharing of any of any food or beverage is strictly prohibited and if sharing is observed, the worker must be sent home for the day.
- Provide personal protective equipment (PPE) specifically for use in construction, including gloves, goggles, face shields, and face coverings as appropriate for the activity being performed. At no time may a contractor secure or use medical-grade PPE unless required due to the medical nature of a jobsite. Face coverings must be worn in compliance with the Health Officer Order Generally Requiring Members of the Public and Workers to Wear Face Coverings, dated April 17, 2020, or any subsequently issued or amended order.
- Strictly control “choke points” and “high-risk areas” where workers are unable to maintain six-foot social distancing and prohibit or limit use to ensure that six-foot distance can easily be maintained between individuals.
- Minimize interactions and maintain social distancing with all site visitors, including delivery workers, design professional and other project consultants, government agency representatives, including building and fire inspectors, and residents at residential construction sites.
- Stagger trades as necessary to reduce density and allow for easy maintenance of minimum six-foot separation.
- Discourage workers from using others’ desks, work tools, and equipment. If more than one worker uses these items, the items must be cleaned and disinfected with disinfectants that are effective against COVID-19 in between use by each new worker. Prohibit sharing of PPE.
- If hand washing facilities are not available at the jobsite, place portable wash stations or hand sanitizers that are effective against COVID-19 at entrances to the jobsite and in multiple locations dispersed throughout the jobsite as warranted.
- Clean and sanitize any hand washing facilities, portable wash stations, jobsite restroom areas, or other enclosed spaces daily with disinfectants that are effective against COVID-19. Frequently clean and disinfect all high touch areas, including entry and exit areas, high traffic areas, rest rooms, hand washing areas, high touch surfaces, tools, and equipment
- Maintain a daily attendance log of all workers and visitors that includes contact information, including name, phone number, address, and email.
- Post a notice in an area visible to all workers and visitors instructing workers and visitors to do the following:
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands or with gloves.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as work stations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, machines, shared tools, elevator control buttons, and doorknobs.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, or cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm at your elbow/sleeve.
- Do not enter the jobsite if you have a fever, cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms. If you feel sick, or have been exposed to anyone who is sick, stay at home.
- Constantly observe your work distances in relation to other staff. Maintain the recommended minimum six feet at all times when not wearing the necessary PPE for working in close proximity to another person.
- Do not carpool to and from the jobsite with anyone except members of your own household unit, or as necessary for workers who have no alternative means of transportation.
- Do not share phones or PPE.
We Are Still Working and Here To Help You
This had not been an easy transition from our regular way of interacting with one another. Socializing at lunch is something our teams were used to engaging in before COVID-19, so monitoring and changing behavior felt unusual for many of our roofers. These are teams that have worked together, sometimes for more than a decade. Yet, for the safety of everyone concerned, we emphasis the importance of abiding by these rules, without exception.
If you are worried that your roof may not make it intact through another winter, give us a call at 415-924-2733 to talk with one of our professionals or to schedule a site visit. The winter rains will be back before you know it. We can help during this COVID-19 pandemic, repair or replace your roof, while keeping your family safe.