Governor Inslee has issued a clarification for construction. So far, Washington state is one of only two states that have not considered construction an “essential business.” The new guidance states:
“In general, commercial and residential construction is not authorized under the proclamation because construction is not considered to be an essential activity.
"However, an exception to the order allows for construction in the following limited circumstances:
a) Construction related to essential activities as described in the order;
b) To further a public purpose related to a public entity or governmental function or facility, including but not limited to publicly financed low-income housing; or
c) To prevent spoliation and avoid damage or unsafe conditions, and address emergency repairs at both non-essential businesses and residential structures.
"To that end, it is permissible for workers who are building, construction superintendents, tradesmen, or tradeswomen, or other trades including, but not limited to, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, laborers, sheet metal, iron workers, masonry, pipe trades, fabricators, heavy equipment and crane operators, finishers, exterminators, pesticide applicators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC technicians, painting, moving and relocation services, forestry and arborists, and other service providers to provide services consistent with this guidance.
"All construction activity must meet social distancing and appropriate health and worker protection measures before proceeding.”
This will impact the builders you work with and your business. However, under b — home repairs are allowed. Under c — service is allowed. Home heating is an essential service still so I expect this new clarification will impact primarily new construction at this point in time.
Talk to the contractors you work with to find out what they need from you as this moves forward.
FOR BUSINESS REGISTRATION
- Even though it is not required, NWHPBA does urge all Washington State members to be registered as essential businesses by going to this link to make sure you have the right documents in the event our state moves to further restrictions —
- Your plan to maintain social distancing and both worker and customer safety during the COVID-19 emergency should suffice as a business continuity plan.
- Your general safety plan also should suffice and “trained response personnel” would be ensuring you have done some training on social distancing and sanitation measures in addition to having someone who is CPR trained.