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. 

CPWR also established COVID-19 Construction Clearinghouse, a central resource for construction employers and workers to find the latest research, guidance documents, training and other resources to help prevent the spread of the disease.

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.

On May 29th OSHA released new recommendations for Construction workers

 

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)

Shipping container classrooms and prefab bathrooms: The construction industry evolves amid COVID-19 (EastBayTimes, 7/10,2020)

Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show the nation’s construction sector added 158,000 jobs in June, but employment was still down by 472,000 jobs since February. Read more

Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 in the Construction Industry (engineering, 7/3/2020)

Faced with cancelled projects, supply chain disruption and other short-term issues, approximately 40 percent of U.S. construction firms reported layoffs by the end of April. Read more.

COVID-19 presents new challenges for minority-owned construction firms (Construction Dive, 6/30/2020)

Many minority-owned businesses, for example, pay higher loan interest rates than their nonminority-owned counterparts, according to a report from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC). Read more.

COVID-19 health screenings raise privacy considerations for contractors (ConstructionDive, 6/29/2020)

When workers arrive at a Skanska jobsite at the University of Delaware, they are asked a series of questions such as, “Are you experiencing flu-like symptoms?" and " Have you, or has anyone in your family, been in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19?” They also receive daily temperature checks before beginning work. Read more.

Major stadium projects impacted by COVID-19 slowdowns (ConstructionDive, 6/25/2020)

While major sports leagues have postponed their opening days or suspended play indefinitely until fear around the novel coronavirus subsides, construction on many new stadiums and arenas continues. Read more.

Multiemployer Construction Sites in the COVID-19 Era (National Law Review, 6/23/2020)

EEOC has announced that employers cannot mandate blood tests for COVID-19 antibodies before allowing employees back to work. It is certainly an invasive medical examination. Read more.

COVID-19 Cases on Construction Sites Prompt Need for Health Screening and Contact Tracing New Apps Streamline Process and Improve Safety (ConstructionDive, 6/23/2020)

The Health Screening Free app has been available since May. The new Pro edition targets projects requiring large numbers of workers. Read more.

Should construction be halted in areas showing a rise in COVID-19 cases? (constructiondive, 6/19/2020)

Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas all reported record increases in new cases after recording all-time highs the week before, according to CNBC. Hospitalizations are also rising or at record highs. Read more.

Contractors hire medical professionals for COVID-19 guidance, site visits (constructiondive, 6/9/2020)

For instance, in the San Francisco area, Structure Tone managers have hired an industrial hygienist to set up infection prevention protocols. In other parts of the country, they have brought EMTs and nurses onto jobsites to complete temperature screenings of workers, while other sites have automated screening stations.Read more.

Some airport construction projects grounded by fears of post-coronavirus downturn (archpaper, 6/9/2020)

The options are pause work indefinitely or dramatically scale back plans (San Francisco International Airport, San Diego International Airport, Orlando International Airport) Read more.

COVID-19 pandemic: OSHA launches website with guidance for construction industry (SafetyandHealthMagazine, 6/2/2020)

Aimed at reducing COVID-19 exposure among construction workers, OSHA has created a new website with guidance for employers. Read more.

Moody's: Expect more coronavirus-induced project delays (ConstructionDive, 6/1/2020)

Until a vaccine is rolled out and there are better treatment options for those who are infected by the coronavirus, contractors and other employers must abide by new safety protocols, which could delay projects because of the time it takes to implement them every day and

News in Canada

Construction workers rank high in COVID-19 mental health survey (DailyCommercialNews, 7/8/2020)

But amidst the general decline, the survey shows, construction workers fared better than most other sectors. Read more.

Designed in Canada: Citizen Care Pod is a smart, modular testing unit for COVID-19 (Construction Canada, 6/16/2020)

The Citizen Care Pod is a customizable unit outfitted with the capabilities to enable turnkey mobile COVID-19 testing in high-traffic business environments and communities with the goal of expediting testing, screening, and eventually vaccination on mass scale.

Winnipeg aviation museum begins construction of new facility amidst COVID-19 (JournalofCommerce, 6/8/2020)

The project’s contractor, PCL Construction, for the measures it is taking to ensure that workers are safe, which include testing onsite, social distancing and making cloth face masks available. Read more.

North Central

Minnesota’s construction industry has been hit hard by COVID-19, and recovery may be slow (MNNPost, 6/24/2020)

More than 40 percent of firms had fewer workers than they did last year, and 10 percent said the job cuts were significant. Read more. 

MSU halts construction projects, including Munn Ice Arena addition, due to COVID-19 outbreak (Lansing State Journal, 6/24/2020)

For the projects that will continue, employees and contractors will be required to take temperature checks and wear face coverings.Read more.

COVID-19 crimps Sidney school construction schedule (kmaland, 6/18/2020)

Iowa - Sidney School Superintendent Tim Hood tells KMA News that action has been delayed for another month to six weeks because of complications related to COVID-19  Read more.

How the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted construction on campus (The Daily Nebraskan, 6/15/2020)

Currently, most construction is happening on the first floor to finish up the welcome desk and the bowling center and on the third floor to finish the meeting rooms and new office suite, according to Smriga. Read more.

Local construction company weathers coronavirus, restaurtant tenant yet to be named (NBC2 Nebraska, 6/12/2020)

Crews say they had a slight delay in the delivery of materials due to the virus, but overall construction is on target for completion in October. Read more.

COVID-19 halts public improvement projects across St. Louis region (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6/11/2020)

Cities have eliminated or indefinitely delayed more than 42% of their planned public improvement projects, worth $16 million, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey conducted by the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis. Read more.

Ohio lawmakers give final OK to $1.2B for construction projects, $350M in federal coronavirus aid (cleveland, 6/11/2020)

The $1.2 billion in re-appropriations money includes hundreds of millions of dollars for previously approved construction projects for colleges and universities, as well as new soccer stadiums in Columbus and Cincinnati. Read more.

Construction companies adjust to working in the COVID-19 era (uppermichigansource, 6/10/2020)

"We've also made up some temporary portable hand wash stations out of five gallon coolers,” said Paternoster. “We put a water spigot on them and a soap dispenser, so that every job that we go on, guys have the ability to wash their hands frequently through the day." Read more.

Construction industry works through coronavirus (The Logan Banner, 6/10/2020)

While some members were able to continue working, others had to file for unemployment. A handful who applied for unemployment, White said, fell between the cracks when the influx of applications were initially filed with Workforce West Virginia. Read more.

It looks bleak for new development in Chicago (TheRealDeal, 6/4/2020)

Nonresidential construction starts fell 58% in April Read more.

Redevelopment of Shenandoah hotel building on track despite COVID-19 (HeraldMailMedia, 6/2/2020)

Wishneff said the firm has experienced a few challenges, including delays in availability of certain construction materials. Read more.

 

Northeast

Weymouth library scheduled to open in September (ThePatriotLedger, 7/17/2020)

Construction came to a halt at the end of March when union tradespeople called off jobs amid the coronavirus. They were designated by the state as nonessential construction. Read more.

NYC construction inspectors issue 41 coronavirus-related stop work orders (ConstructionDive, 7/16/2020)

New York City residents lodged 6,127 complaints against contractors for potential COVID-19 jobsite safety protocol violations since March 30, using the city’s nonemergency 311 phone system, the spokesperson said. Read more.

PHOTOS: Polar Park under construction (MetroWestDailyNews, 7/12/2020)

After a brief break due to COVID-19, crews are continuing to work on Polar Park in Worcester. Read more.

City now issuing fines at construction sites for noncompliance with coronavirus mandates (SILive, 7/11/2020)

“To protect these workers, and the public against the spread of COVID-19, last month we implemented a new set of mandatory health and sanitation regulations for work sites, including new rules for face coverings, social distancing, cleaning protocols, educational signage, and record keeping,” Read more.

Despite COVID, construction continues across Ithaca (IthicaVoice, 6/26/2020)

The commencement of Phase 1 reopening allowed construction to resume Read more.

Legoland, Amy's Kitchen factory, mega projects try to stay on track (recordonline, 6/18/2020)

Legoland’s primary construction, which resumed just after Memorial Day, will ramp up gradually in the coming weeks Read more.

Construction unions adapt to new landscape with COVID-19 under Phase I reopening (amNY, 6/16/2020)

Devon Lomax from District Council 9 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades says antibody testing, personal protective equipment and staggered schedules have been a new feature in protecting members, though many do not face the same hazards as some in the construction business as they often own their own respirators. Read more.

Rockport Maine library construction moves forward despite COVID-19 (villagesoup, 6/15/2020)

The crews have also been working on the outside of the building. The masons have almost finished the Russel Ave. side. Read more.

Philadelphia Zoning, Land Use, and Construction COVID-19 Update (JDSupra, 6/12/2020)

This is a current status report on a number of key items, including several changes since our June 2, 2020, update. Read more.

North Quincy ‘Abby’ development not slowed by coronavirus (The Patriot Ledger, 6/12/2020)

The coronavirus has not slowed a mixed-used commercial and residential development around the North Quincy T station called The Abby, according to its builders. Read more.

Construction unions call on Massachusetts governor to strengthen COVID-19 protections (constructiondive, 6/9/2020)

Callahan's letter refers to the "zero tolerance" language used in the board's report, which mandates workers take the proper safety precautions when on the jobsite and stay home when sick, but neglects to impose the same standard on employers as to their own safety responsibilities. Read more.

Construction, real estate finalize terms of reopening (TheRealDeal, 6/8/2020)

Work on 33,500 sites nonessential sites may resume in New York on Monday Read more.

 

South

Austin has six COVID-19 clusters in construction industry, new safety measures now in place (KXAN, 7/15/2020)

Turner explained the new normal of wearing masks, staying six feet apart and staggering shifts actually started in April when the state allowed all types of construction to continue. Read more.

Multifamily construction and design shifting in response to Covid-19 (7/6/2020)

After the economic slowdown in response to the pandemic, fewer renters were searching for new places to live, rents declined and developers wondered about demand for future multifamily construction.Read more

Construction workers top list of 14 COVID-19 clusters being investigated at Travis County businesses (kxan, 6/29/2020)

KXAN received a tip from a wife worried about her husband working at a job site in central Austin, where he told her at least a dozen coworkers have tested positive for COVID-19 over the last two weeks. Read more.

Georgia Power adjusts Vogtle construction sequence (The Augusta Chronicle, 6/23/2020)

Project leaders cut the construction workforce by about 20% in April after several workers at the site became ill. Read more.

More than 300 Austin construction workers to receive free COVID-19 testing Saturday (kxan, 6/20/2020)

Austin’s Hispanic population has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, representing more than half of all cases and about 38% of the city’s COVID-19 related deaths. Read more.

66 total coronavirus cases among Capitol Hill front-line workers (rollcall, 6/19/2020)

Since April 29, the number of coronavirus cases among construction workers assigned to the Cannon House Office Building renovation project has climbed from 17 to 28 Read more.

Three workers test positive for coronavirus at Pulaski County Middle School site (wsls, 6/17/2020)

Virginia - The site is expected to reopen on Wednesday and school leaders are determining if the shutdown will change the project’s overall timeline. Read more.

Mountain View hotel project halted after workers test positive for coronavirus (silicon valley business journal, 6/16/2020)

Louisiana - “We can confirm that in the last few weeks, 32 of the 275-plus daily workers on the project have tested positive for COVID-19,” the statement said. “This post-Memorial Day increase is consistent with what 21 other states, not including Louisiana, are experiencing at this stage of the pandemic as more restrictions have been lifted for travel, shopping, and work.” Read more.

55 construction workers on Texas A&M campus test positive for COVID-19 (KBTX-TV3, 6/16/2020)

Alabama-based Hoar Construction confirms 55 of its 153 workers on-site, including some subcontractors, tested positive for the virus. The first employee confirmed to have COVID-19 was reported on June 1. A second and third employee tested positive in the days immediately following the first case. Read more.

Language barrier, lack of cultural awareness hurting efforts to spread coronavirus warnings, Durham officials say (WRAL, 6/12/2020)

DURHAM, N.C. — Latino residents make up more than half of the coronavirus infections in Durham County, while accounting for only 14 percent of the local population. Read more.

Cluster of COVID-19 cases on WCU construction site? Cleared now? (CitizenTimes, 6/10/2020)

Studenc said work also immediately stopped on the job site "to allow for disinfection and deep cleaning." Work resumed May 5.Read more.

New HISD high school delays opening to January 2021 amid COVID-19 (click2Houston, 6/7/2020)

Austin is among 40 schools, including 29 high schools, across the district that are being renovated or rebuilt as part of the 2012 Bond Program, according to the district. More than 80 percent of all HISD construction projects are complete. Read more.

Construction worker at Wilmington school tests positive for COVID-19 (starnewonline, 6/5/2020)

The infected construction work does not appear to have had contact with any Noble staff or other people at the school, which is located on North Market Street. Read more.

Tampa Airport delays construction of Airside D due to COVID-19 (internationalairportreview, 6/5/2020)

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tampa Airport has submitted a plan to defer or abandon $900 million in projects over the next four to five years. Read more.

Construction starts in SoFla continue to plummet (TheRealDeal, 6/3/2020)

Construction fell 33%, its second monthly decline, as contractors face challenges with supplies and labor Read more.

Dallas-Fort Worth construction starts plunged as COVID-19 spread (dallasnews, 6/3/2020)

The Houston area had a one-month construction employment loss of almost 23,000 jobs. Read more.

West

COVID-19 among construction workers threatens on-time opening of new Salt Lake City International Airport (SaltLakeTribune, 7/15/2020)

Just before the July 4 holiday weekend, seven construction workers had either tested positive for the virus or were in quarantine after being in close contact with someone with the disease... ...But all of a sudden we saw it jump from one week to the next and we had about 75 — a tenfold increase Read more.

Employee sues construction group, says she was fired for voicing COVID-19 safety concerns (KATU2, 7/15/2020)

Fuller said his client was taking temperatures at a site under Gray Construction this spring. She claims management asked her to lie to employees about their temperatures, and use thermometers that did not give accurate readings. Read more.

Multiple COVID-19 cases connected to Hawaii State Hospital temporarily halt construction at site (HawaiiNewsNow, 7/9/2020)

Early Tuesday, hospital Administrator Run Heidelberg informed staff that “construction of the new patient facility was immediately shut down ‘until they get a handle on things’” and that it was a “precautionary measure by HP due to potential exposure(s) to COVID-19 over the long weekend.” Read more.

Lower Kuskokwim resumes school construction projects after COVID-19 restrictions lift (AlaskaPublicMedia, 7/7/2020)

White says, if Tuntutuliak locks down again, the existing construction workers would be allowed to stay. Read more,

Three more SoFi Stadium construction workers test positive for COVID-19 (LA Times, 7/2/2020)

 Twenty-eight workers are known to have tested positive; 10 of the cases have been announced since June 23. Read more.

10 construction workers test positive for COVID-19 in Minot (Valley News Live, 6/26/2020)

Interim City Manager David Lakefield said those who tested positive have been isolated and have not returned to the work site. Read more.

COVID-19 cases found at several Mountain View construction sites (Mountain View Vaoice, 6/24/2020)

One site had 10 infected workers and 30 potential exposures, according to county Read more.

L.A. County health department opens inquiry as SoFi Stadium COVID-19 cases rise (LA Times, 6/18/2020)

Eighteen people at the 298-acre development are known to have contracted the illness. Thirteen of the cases have been announced since May 27. About 3,000 people work at the site each day Read more.

Scammers claiming to be COVID enforcement targeting Colorado Springs construction sites (KRDO, 6/16/2020)

a group of about six people came onto the job site wearing red jackets and red hard hats and claimed they were a "COVID-19 compliance team." Read more.

Coronavirus: Workers at a dozen South Bay construction sites test positive (Mercury News, 6/12/2020)

Developers have lobbied to make industry essential under coronavirus health orders Read more.

School construction during COVID-19 (pamplinmedia, 6/6/2020)

(Oregon) There are 220 workers on site. Read more.

Coronavirus outbreak at Durango construction site (krqe, 6/3/2020)

Coronavirus outbreak at Durango construction site Read more.

Ninth COVID-19 case confirmed as construction employee (The Union, 6/3/2020)

The employee, who had no contact with the campus community outside of the enclosed construction zone, was last on campus Thursday, May 21, according to an email by ECC’s Office of Marketing and Communications. Read more.