NWHPBA: Stronger Together
Grab your coffee and join us for our weekly COVID-19 NWHPBA Support Webinar & Call. We will update you on pertinent updates, take your questions, and offer advice to one another!

When:
Thursday, April 9th at 9:30-10:00am

Cost:
Free for NWHPBA Community
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Washington State Important COVID-19 Updates
from Carolyn Logue, NWHPBA Lobbyist
  • Update on Bringing Construction Back: The Governor has started meetings with representatives from the construction industry, unions and other agencies to talk about what would be needed to restart residential and private commercial construction (and transportation construction). No decisions made yet but it is good to know that these discussions are occurring. I am in touch frequently with representatives of AGC and BIAW (Homebuilders) who are both in the “room” for these meetings. We know that the discussions are surrounding things like safety plans, availability of PPE — particularly masks. Even if the 6 foot distancing rule is not an issue, mask availability will still be a topic of discussion. The group will be meeting twice a week with this Thursday being the next meeting. I don’t expect a fast resolution. In the meantime, it looks like the city of Seattle is shutting down all public construction too for the time being.

  • Working Washington Small Business Emergency Assistance Grants: Gov. Jay Inslee announced yesterday that he is setting aside $5 million of the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund for a new emergency grant program that offers small businesses up to $10,000 to offset losses caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis. More information here. Department of Commerce is also offering Business Resiliency Assistance In the meantime if you have questions on any of the other loan, paid sick leave, UI, or paid family leave programs and you can’t find the information HERE, please let nwhpba@aminc.org know.

  • Workers’ Comp Grace Period: The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is providing emergency relief through the Employer Assistance Program to help employers struggling to pay their workers’ compensation premiums during the coronavirus outbreak. L&I is now offering a grace period for premium payments, along with payment plans for employers facing financial difficulties during the pandemic.

  • L&I Beginning Focused Enforcement of the Governor’s Order: We just learned that L&I, through its Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), has issued a new directive  focused on the construction industry as they work to ensure compliance with the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. If they receive a complaint about a possible violation of the order, construction contractors can expect to be contacted by L&I. Staff will reach out to the contractor to determine if work is being done and, if yes, if it is an essential business.
 
  • If the business is essential, L&I will provide safety and health guidance, including sanitation and social distancing recommendations. If it is not essential, the contractor will be notified on the phone and in writing that they must stop work. Repeat violators may be referred to the Attorney General’s Office or local law enforcement.

***If you are visited by a Washington State DOSH inspector and they ask you to stop working, PLEASE let nwhpba@aminc.org know ASAP!!!
  • NOTE:  The state of Oregon has reported that scam “OSHA Inspectors” are showing up on construction sites and demanding immediate payment of fines and penalties. Remember that “OSHA” does not do enforcement in Washington State since we are a delegated state to L&I. In addition, you should never have to pay the inspector on site.

  • HERE is a link to L&I’s latest Electrical Newsletter that contains information regarding inspections, training and certification during the COVID-19 Crisis