As summer approaches and construction crews gear up for projects and maintenance activities, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration released worksite safety resources to help contractors and local agencies maintain healthy work practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ODOT Statewide Improvement Program (STIP) projects will continue in accordance with the respective project’s contract along with the guidance provided by Governor Brown’s executive order 20-12 and ODOT’s March 20, 2020 memo regarding engineering and construction contracts.

Best Management Practices for Construction 

  • Promote physical distancing:
    • Limit work in enclosed spaces. 
    • Adjust work schedules and split crews for crews of over 10 people.
    • Avoid carpooling to worksites.
    • Do not swap equipment if possible.
    • Maintain physical distancing (six feet apart) by limiting work in occupied areas, taking breaks in shifts, and restricting outside visitors. 
  • Wear Personal Protective Equipment:
    • Gloves should be worn at all times and changed after contact with outside sources not related to the job site, such as the contact in general public spaces with people and objects, or generally handling trash.
    • Eye protection is required at all times.
    • The federal government has asked that masks be forgone to save supplies for medical personnel, however, all Oregonians are encouraged to wear a face covering in public spaces.
  • Enforce strict sanitation practices:
    • Wash hands frequently.
    • Include hand washing stations at worksites with warm water, if possible, and hand sanitizer where hand washing is not an option.
    • Encourage employees to use tissues and no-touch receptacles when sneezing or coughing, followed immediately by hand washing.
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, pens, keyboards, remote controls, desks, faucets, cookware, etc.
    • Work stations should be disinfected before and after each shift.
    • Vehicle cabs should be disinfected after someone new enters and leaves. 
    • Maintain a cleaning and disinfection plan, which includes what is being cleaned, when cleaning occurs, who does what, and how to do it.
    • Include a safety data sheet for all types of disinfectants.

More Information Regarding Construction Worksite Safety 

For more resources and information, click the links below.

Deschutes County Road Department COVID-19 Best Management Practices

Oregon Department of Transportation COVID-19 Best Management Practices for Staff

Interim Guidance for Oregon OSHA Related to COVID-19

CDC Guidance for Workplace and Employers 

Associated General Contractor COVID-19 Health and Safety

Oregon Homebuilder’s Association COVID-19 Job Site Practices

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW): COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines for Construction Trades

Contributed by: Jocelyn Blake | County Road Program Policy Analyst