COVID-19: Resources and News for BAC Members

COVID-19 is rapidly changing the way we live and work. BAC wants you to have access to the latest and accurate information about how to protect and support yourself and your family, both on the job and at home.

Jobsite Safety and Health

If you're working during the pandemic, these resources will help you identify the elements of a safe jobsite - and help you keep an eye out for unsafe conditions.

Remember that if you have ANY concerns about the safety of your jobsite, you should immediately either alert the steward or contact your Local Union.

CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training
CPWR's Guidelines for COVID-safe Construction Jobs

CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training - is a not-for-profit research organization with strong ties to BAC and other building trades unions.

CPWR researchers are North America's premier experts on construction safety, and have developed all sorts of materials concerning COVID-19 and construction - in English and Spanish - that they are updating regularly. 

A Toolbox Talk about COVID-19 is also available in English and Spanish.

Logos of OSHA and CCOHS
Guidance from US and Canadian Governmental Experts

OSHA, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a vital resource for information regarding what employers in the US must do to keep jobsites safe. See OSHA's Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. Also see Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus in English and Spanish.

On April 3, OSHA published a guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers for enforcing the Respiratory Protection standard, with regard to supply shortage of disposable N95 respirators. See the Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection

CCOHS, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, maintains a COVID-19 information hub.

 

Key Resources for Unemployed Members

Many jobs are shutting down because of the pandemic, and even where work is continuing, many members are choosing not to work and stay home for the sake of the safety of themselves and their families. If you're not working, here are critical resources to help you through this difficult time.

NABTU logo
NABTU Guide for Unemployed Members

 

If you're out of work, or if you've lost hours because of COVID-19, NABTU - the coalition of North America's Building Trades Unions - has a great guide to the benefits that are available to you, from enhanced unemployment to special sick pay and CARES Act direct payments.

 

UI Application
Links to State Unemployment Resources

The National Employment Law Project has compiled an updated list of unemployment benefits and enhancements by state, available here.

The US Department of Labor has put together a comprehensive series of links to each state and territory's unemployment insurance portals, including special links to COVID-19-related state unemployment enhancements. This is the first place you need to visit to find out about all your state's unemployment resources.

Union Resources

BAC and its partner organizations can provide help during this difficult time. Below are two important union resources.

Member Assistance Program (MAP)

Our Member Assistance Program (MAP) recognizes the substantial emotional and behavioral impact of the Coronavirus pandemic for IUBAC members and their families, and is on the job during the crisis. Please click here for helpful links by state/territory to address mental health, substance abuse, and other social service needs.

You may also click here for COVID-19 stress management recommendations.

Union Plus

Union Plus is an organization under the umbrella of the AFL-CIO that provides benefits for union members and their families. If your family has been directly impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit their Hardship Help section.

International Pension Fund (IPF) Updates

The International Pension Fund (IPF) has adopted a remote work policy that began March 18, 2020, but its operations are continuing without a hitch. Participants and applicants can continue to communicate with the Fund staff by phone at 1-888-880-8222, and calls will be routed to  the appropriate staff’s cell phones. The IPF group emails will continue to be monitored and responded in a timely manner.

Participants who are applying for their IPF pension can email: IPFPensionapplicantinfo@ipfweb.org; Participants who are applying or have applied for their BACSave Annuity can email: RSPwithdrawalapplicantinfo@ipfweb.org; Pensioners can reach the IPF Pension Payroll Department at: PensionPayroll@ipfweb.org; Participants who are interested in a future pension estimate can email: Pensionestimate@ipfweb.org

For more information about the IPF, please visit IPF's website.

Construction Industry COVID-19 News (By Region)

OSHA adopts revised COVID-19 enforcement policies (5/21/2020)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced May 19 that it has adopted revised policies for enforcing its requirements with respect to the coronavirus as economies reopen in states throughout the country. Read more.

OSHA COMPLAINT TRACKER (Strikewave, 5/18/2020)

An interactive map of all COVID-19 complaints made nationwide including the names of employers, narrative descriptions of their offenses, and an overall breakdown of complaints by industry: Read more.

How construction firms can prepare for a potential second wave of COVID-19 (Construction Dive, 5/18/2020)

Staggering start times, designating some stairways as one-way travel only and assigning workers to certain floors to reduce the chance that they will encounter each other. Read more.

Construction industry loses 975,000 jobs in April due to COVID-19 (CSI, 5/12/2020)

The economist said the loss of 975,000 construction jobs from March to April constituted nearly 13 percent of the industry’s employment and was, by far, the worst one-month decline ever. Read more.

US & Canada Delayed Projects Report (ConstructionConnect, Updated Daily)

State-by-state tracker of project delays Read more.

News in Canada

Canadian medical experts warn COVID-19 will spike due to back-to-work push (WSWS, 5/26/2020)

In Quebec, the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada, construction and manufacturing activities have been up and running for at least two weeks. In neighbouring Ontario, retail stores with a street entrance were allowed to reopen as of May 19, the same day all remaining restrictions on the construction industry were lifted. Read more.

Construction sites to reopen in Ontario from 19 May as Canada takes further steps to restart its economy (Design Build Network, 5/18/2020)

construction activities in all construction sectors were allowed to reopen across all regions in Quebec from 11 May, including residential, infrastructure, institutional, commercial, and industrial. With the second largest population in the country, Quebec has been the hardest hit Canadian province by Covid-19 since the coronavirus outbreak began. Read more.

B.C. construction leaders back federal COVID-19 infrastructure stream (Daily Commercial News, 5/14/2020)

“The construction industry will be at the forefront of economic recovery and stimulus and this is a step in the right direction. There are lots of opportunities for retrofitting and hazard abatement investment given there are a lot of empty commercial and government buildings right now,” Read more.

Construction and manufacturing sectors reopen in Quebec amid COVID-19 pandemic (CTVnews, 5/11/2020)

All types of construction sites in Quebec – including residential, institutional, commercial, industrial, etc. – will pick up where they left off mid-March. Read more.

Saskatchewan unveils $7.5-billion infrastructure plan to boost economy (Journal of Commerce, 5/11/2020)

Saskatchewan has announced a $7.5-billion, two-year capital plan to put people back to work and jump-start the province’s economy with infrastructure projects in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

North Central

National Bio and Agro-Defense Center halts construction due to positive COVID-19 case (13WIBW, 5/26/2020)

(Kansas) McCarthy Mortenson Joint Venture has halted construction of the facility and closed the project for the remainder of Tuesday, May 26. Read more.

Construction on Nebraska's football training center delayed (The News-Gazette, May 22, 2020)

Construction on a new home for the University of Nebraska's football program has been delayed in part because of the potential financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, the school's athletic director said Friday. Read more.

Construction stops on LaPorte hospital after 10 workers test positive for COVID-19 (South Bend Tribune, 5/22/2020)

Forsthoffer said the remaining 180 workers at the site are encouraged to be screened for COVID-19 or self-quarantine for 14 days. Read more.

COVID-19 creates more competitive bidding for city construction projects (keloland, 5/11/2020)

Typically, late winter and early spring are the ideal times to get bids so that contractors can plan their work schedules. But COVID-19 could change that as contractors may still be looking to add more work. Read more.

Lights burning once again for Michigan construction after COVID-19 shutdown (The Detroit News, 5/7/2020)

Builders must enforce physical-distancing measures, designate an on-site supervisor to oversee COVID-19 control strategies, conduct daily health screenings of workers, require face masks or shields when physical-distancing is not possible, and ensure that workers have access to hand-washing stations, among other requirements. Read more.

Northeast

COVID-19: Construction, Retail Curbside, Other Long Island Businesses Reopen As Phase 1 Starts (dailyvoicer, 5/27/2020)

Non-essential manufacturing, construction and retail businesses are permitted to begin operations as of Wednesday, May 27, though social distancing protocols and density-reduction precautions are required. Read more.

Some Philly businesses taking reservations ahead of possible ease on outdoor dining restrictions (abc6, 5/27/2020)

The scope of the city's April 29 Construction Authorization Order will be revised to allow construction under building permits issued after March 20. Read me.

New York’s Multi-Faceted Approach to Reopening “Non-Essential” Construction (National Law Review, 5/22/2020)

If a worker tests positive for COVID-19, the employer must immediately notify state and local health departments and cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts, who had close contact with workers or visitors, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations. Read more.

Delta Could Finish LaGuardia Construction ‘Much, Much Sooner’ As Coronavirus Reduces Airport Complexity (Forbes, 5/22/2020)

But if passengers and flights are significantly decreased, more work can be done at once. Read more.

With 23 COVID-19 cases, Augusta construction site adds further safety measures (Mainebiz, 5/21/2020)

As of Wednesday, there were 23 positive cases among workers affiliated with the Maine Veterans' Home construction site on Old Belgrade Road in Augusta, according to Nirav Shah, director of Maine CDC. Read more.

COVID-19 and state shutdowns take a serious strain on construction industry (6news, 5/19/2020)

(Albany NY) “Does that mean that maybe construction is going to go a little farther into the winter than it has in the past? Potentially. Is it gonna mean jobs are gonna start earlier next year? If I had a crystal ball I’d like to say yes.” Read more.

Construction Companies In Boston Submit COVID-19 Safety Plans, Eager To Begin Work (CBS Boston, 5/19/2020)

In construction, there are a lot of two-person tasks and so with face coverings, we also require face shields just to really prevent the spread if anyone has to be in close proximit. Read more.

19 workers on Augusta construction site test positive for COVID-19 (WABI5, 5/18/2020)

Last week, 2 individuals from Maine had been confirmed positive as well as an unknown number of out-of-state workers. Read more.

Nonessential Retail, Construction Reopen With New Rules In New Jersey (NewyorkCBS, 5/18/2020)

Non-essential construction projects are also allowed to resume with proper social distancing. Read more.

How construction will resume in Massachusetts amid coronavirus reopening (Mass Live, 5/18/2020)

Individual work crew meetings should be held outside with workers following social distancing protocols while wearing masks, gloves and eye protection. Read more.

Boston construction reboots with new safety guidelines (Construction Dive, 5/18/2020)

Essential construction work on schools, healthcare facilities and small residential projects, which has been allowed since the March 16 halt, will continue.​ Read more.

Maine CDC investigating COVID-19 cases at Cianbro construction site (pressherald, 5/15/2020)

Two Maine residents associated with the job site have tested positive for the disease and are self-quarantining, an agency spokesman said. Other individuals tested positive in another state and are quarantining in that state. Read more.

Western Pa. builders sue Gov. Wolf over covid-19 construction guidance (triblive, 5/14/2020)

The complaint says both the governor and health secretary have violated the equal protections of member businesses provided under both the state and U.S. Constitutions. Read more.

Shell says it will reintroduce 300 construction workers a week in ramp up at cracker site (Pittsburgh Post-Gazatte, 5/13/2020)

The petrochemical plant in Beaver County is buzzing back to life with 800 workers on site as of last week and a plan to add 300 more workers per week going forward, officials at Shell Chemical Appalachia said. Read more.

Coronavirus Progress: N.J. To Reopen Non-Essential Construction, Allow Retail Curbside Pickup Starting Monday (CBS NY, 5/13/2020)

Gov. Phil Murphy announced that he is signing an executive order that will allow several businesses to resume operations effective Monday morning at 6 a.m., under social distancing guidelines. Read more.

Some construction will resume in Boston. What does that mean for workers? (Boston, 5/13/2020)

Brophy, in his letter, highlighted that the city released new protocols as of April 27, requiring all construction sites to submit a COVID-19 safety plan and a signed affidavit. Read more.

Polar Park construction resumes (Ball Park Digest, 5/12/2020)

Construction at the Worcester construction site was shut down April 1, with a planned relaunch date of May 4 as part of a larger shutdown ordered by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Read more.

As construction in Maryland continues amid coronavirus, some are grateful for work while others worry about safety (BaltimoreSun, 5/8/2020)

Hogan has issued an executive order allowing the health department to shut down any construction site that is deemed unsafe, but his office has not issued any specific guidelines to follow. Read more.

Home Owners, Builders On Long Island Want Residential Construction Deemed An Essential Business (WLNY, 5/7/2020)

(New York) Home construction in New York is deemed non-essential, but nowhere else in the country. Read more.

South

Moving Forward with COVID-19 & Construction in Chattanooga Webinar (thepulse, 5/27/2020)

The City of Chattanooga is partnering with The Associated General Contractors to host this webinar in hopes to provide general contractors, subcontractors, and other industry professionals the necessary information to ensure the health and safety of themselves, their employees, and the Chattanooga community. Read more.

Tampa hires nurses to check COVID-19 safety at construction sites (Fox13 Tampa Bay, 5/26/2020)

"Some construction workers live together so you especially want to know if they have a positive case if they live with anybody else and quarantine the whole group,” explained Masters. Read more.

Allegiant stops work on $1B Florida resort due to coronavirus (ConstructionDive, 5/26/2020)

Nevertheless, Allegiant spokesperson Hilarie Grey told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the company has no plans to abandon its sponsorship of the $2 billion Allegiant Stadium, now under construction in Las Vegas. Read more.

COVID-19 delays construction on Monument of Courage (everythingLubbock, 5/25/2020)

Granite to be used for the monument is being shipped from Georgia but crews expect to complete the project this summer with a rescheduled dedication date. Read more.

38 workers test positive for COVID-19 at uptown construction site (WCNC, 5/22/2020)

"While the site is closed, we will conduct a deep cleaning and sterilization of the area. Additionally, we will be working with a 3rd party to provide enhanced onsite screening upon reopening." Read more.

Workers voice fears as 19 construction Covid clusters emerge in Austin, Texas (GCR, 5/22/2020)

Nine are among general contractors, three involve electrical, heating and air-conditioning work, two affect concrete work, two plumbing, two special trades and one has hit excavation, reports radio station KVUE. Read more.

COVID-19 OUTBREAK HITS CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AT BRYANT-DENNY STADIUM (wvua23, 5/22/2020)

 

More than 10 construction workers and subcontractors working at Bryant-Denny stadium have tested positive for COVID-19. Read more.

Mass testing at construction site reveals 74 workers with COVID-19 (newschannel5, 5/21/2020)

Workers voiced concerns about close working conditions. NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked one worker, "Why don't you just walk off the job? The worker responded, "Because you can't get unemployment if you just quit. So I have to provide for my family." Read more.

Harris County updates Covid-19 guidance for construction, manufacturing (BizJournals, 5/21/2020)

(Texas) The guidance released by Hidalgo’s office advises manufacturers and contractors to stagger employee start times, provide 15-minute rest periods every four hours for workers to wash their hands, identify a designated safety monitor to oversee safety protocols and screen employees for symptoms of Covid-19. Read more.

Report: Bryant-Denny construction resumes after COVID-19 delay (247Sports, 5/20/2020)

(Alabama) The delay was prompted after an undisclosed number of workers tested positive for COVID-19. Read more. 

Coronavirus in Austin: Virus clusters showing up in construction, other industries (Statesman, 5/19/2020)

At least 57 construction workers tested positive. The clusters represent cases identified from May 1 to 17. Read more.

COVID-19 in Charlotte: Outbreaks reported on construction sites. Meck records 3 more deaths (WBTV3, 5/19/2020)

“We are seeing some outbreaks in construction sites that we need to pay attention to,” said Health Director Gibbie Harris. Read more.

Tracking more COVID-19 cases among construction workers, their families (KXAN, 5/18/2020)

The city does say it was actively monitoring clusters or possible clusters at “25 businesses or construction locations” during the first two weeks of May. Read more.

16 App State construction workers test positive for COVID-19 (wataugademocrat, 5/14/2020)

Appalachian State announced on May 14 that 16 subcontracted workers for a campus construction project have tested positive for COVID-19. The workers are not Watauga County residents. Read more.

Construction workers on Sun Bowl project being tested for coronavirus (fKOX14, 5/14/2020)

KFOX14 received an anonymous report from a person who claims they work for a remodeling company working at the stadium. This person said construction has been shut down after concerns that there could be a coronavirus outbreak at the site. Read more.

Austin Public Health's Preliminary Data Shows Construction One Of Top Industries For COVID-19 Cases (KUT, 5/13/2020)

People have been reaching out to complain about potential violations at construction sites and about other violations of stay-at-home orders. Read more.

Construction sites in Travis County become hot spots for COVID-19 cases (Fox 7 Austin, 5/11/2020)

The Workers Defense Project, a nonprofit advocating for low wage workers rights, worked with the city of Austin in creating guidelines for workers to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Read more.

Coronavirus not slowing construction of two Abilene ISD elementary schools (KTXS12ABC, 5/8/2020)

(Texas) Young said crews have been following safety guidelines like washing their hands regularly, staying six feet apart and wearing masks. Read more.

Construction worker on UTC project tested positive for coronavirus (Chattanooga Times Free Press, 5/7/2020)

(Tennessee) On all of our jobs for a month now, we've been fully masked, gloved, social distancing has been enforced in addition to having hand wash stations. Read more.

West

The only recorded coronavirus outbreak at a construction site in Denver has been at DIA (Denverite, 5/22/2020)

An outbreak at a Denver International Airport job site affecting 14 employees from an insulation company last month has been the only reported novel coronavirus outbreak at a construction site in Denver, according to the Department of Public Health and Environment. Read more.

300-unit Palo Alto Luxury Apartments under construction in Pflugerville (Round Rock, 5/18/2020)

Palo Alto Luxury Apartments, a 300-unit complex, is set to open in Pflugerville this summer, Kaleigh Wallace, JCI Residential marketing coordinator, confirmed in a May 14 email. Read more.

Construction sites remain active in Truckee-Tahoe amid COVID-19 (Sierrasun, 5/15/2020)

Construction projects across the region have either stayed on schedule or have been able to take advantage of less vehicle and foot traffic to accelerate work. Read more.

City of San Diego implements online permitting, safety protocols to keep construction going amid COVID-19 (CBS8, 5/14/2020)

While other cities have slowed construction in response to the pandemic, the City of San Diego moved forward with plans to make permitting available online to keep construction moving. Read more.

With North Bay coronavirus restrictions relaxing on construction, some work resumes. Here's the outlook for future projects (Business Journal, 5/13/2020)

There are differences in the revised county orders, each with two pages of rules on how to operate safely as the COVID-19 pandemic continues and with varying procedures third-party inspection policies and other details.Read more.

Despite Gov. Inslee’s order – and complaints from the public – construction projects kept swinging hammers during coronavirus lockdown (The Seattle Times, 5/12/2020)

“There was no enforcement of any kind. There were no steps taken,” said a supervisor on the project, who feared retribution if he was identified. “It was basically, put your blinders on and keep working, going forward.” Read more.

Downtown construction during COVID-19 pandemic (News 4 Tucson, 5/11/2020)

Two employees walk around the job site every day, wiping down everything with disinfectant, and cleaning the restrooms. Read more.

Oregon construction safety task force seeks to protect crews amid COVID-19 (KTVZ, 5/11/2020)

Best practices:  http://www.oregonbuildingtrades.com/covid-19-safety-best-practices/

Safety photographs:  http://www.oregonbuildingtrades.com/covid-19-safety-photographs/

From April 15 through May 7, groups of five to seven task force members, assisted by an Oregon OSHA consultant, visited nine job sites in Portland, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Salem, Eugene, Oregon City, and sites in Eastern and Central Oregon to assess job safety practices addressing COVID-19 and to make recommendations for improvements. Read more.