Empire Chapter Members,
The recent spike in COVID-19 cases across New York state, coupled with outcry from workers and word of positive cases on construction sites around New York City, has today caused Governor Cuomo to narrow the definition of construction as an essential business.
The new definition reads as follows:
All non-essential construction must shut down
except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).
Essential construction may continue and includes roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters.
At every site, if essential or emergency non-essential construction, this includes maintaining social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exit.
Sites that cannot maintain distance and safety best practices must close and enforcement will be provided by the state in coordination with the city/local governments.
This will include fines of up to $10,000 per violation.
Construction work does not include a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker on a job site.
While we continue to seek further clarification, at the direction of your company's safety professional, we recommend efforts to safely secure and shut down your jobsites should begin soon. If you have questions about whether or not your project qualifies, you can still request a waiver from Empire State Development.
You can find that waiver here
For those that are able to continue moving forward with projects that meet the new definition, we implore you to continue to implement best practices at your sites and offices.
Please send us your questions. We will work to get you answers as soon as possible.