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Construction Bulletin

Kentucky Publishes Minimum Requirements for Construction Businesses to Re-open and Remain Open

May 8, 2020

By: K. Brad Oakley

By Executive Order 2020-257, dated March 25, 2020, Governor Beshear announced that the construction industry was a life-sustaining business and permitted to continue operations during the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kentucky. In this Order, the construction industry was instructed to follow all CDC recommendations while conducting business. At that time, the CDC recommendations included ensuring physical separation of employees and customers by at least six feet when possible, ensuring employees practice appropriate hygiene measures (including regular and thorough handwashing or access to hand sanitizer), regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces, and identifying sick employees and requiring them to leave the premises.

As business restrictions are being reduced, the state is now issuing required protocols for re-opening businesses and remaining opening. On May 4, 2020, the state published minimum requirements under the “Health at Work Phase 1 Reopening” that all businesses must implement to protect the health and safety of their employees and customers, as well specific requirements that the construction industry must implement. It appears that the construction industry will need to comply with the new-state required protocols even though construction work continued under less-onerous CDC guidelines.

Below is a chart of the minimum requirements that all Kentucky business must implement in order to re-open and remain open. A copy of the state’s publication setting forth the minimum requirements for all businesses can be found here.

  • Continue telework to the greatest extent practicable.
  • Proper sanitation of frequently touched areas such as door knobs, shared office equipment, etc. More stringent measures are required for areas where a COVID-19 positive employee worked.
  • Phased return to work, including policies for employees who are not able to come into work due to illness, taking care of family members, or lack of childcare options.
  • Conduct daily temperature/health checks of employees, which can either be self-administered or administered by the business prior to workplace entry.
  • Enforce social distancing for workers unable to telework.
  • Create a testing plan for employees with COVID-19 symptoms and ensure that any employee with COVID-19 symptoms is tested immediately.
  • Limit face-to-face interactions by conducting meetings via telephone or internet if possible.
  • Make special accommodations for employees and customers at higher risk for severe illness.
  • Use of cloth masks, gloves, and other PPE, including customer use of cloth masks.
  • Designate a “Healthy at Work” officer responsible for the business’s compliance with guidance.
  • Businesses must supply hand sanitizer (60% alcohol content or higher) for employees and customers and encourage routine and consistent hand washing.
  • Educate and train employees regarding these protocols. This training must be offered during scheduled work times at no cost to employee.
  • Restrict usage of common areas such as lobbies, waiting rooms, break rooms, smoking areas, lunch rooms, and concession areas to maximize social distancing and reduce congregating.
  • Contact tracing if an employee tests positive. This includes answering questions from public health officials and completing the Contact Tracing Form.



Also on May 4, 2020, the state issued required protocols specific to Kentucky construction 

Also on May 4, 2020, the state issued required protocols specific to Kentucky construction businesses that must be implemented in addition to the minimum requirements for all businesses set forth above. Below is a chart of several of the required protocols specific to construction businesses that are distinct from the minimum requirements for all businesses. A copy of the state’s publication setting forth the full list of construction business required protocols can be found here.

  • Engineering controls must be established when 6’ physical distancing is not feasible.
  • Create phased plans for employees to return to onsite work, including using site and project organizational planning to restrict on-site personnel to those required for the day’s activities.
  • Ensure cleaning and sanitation of frequently touched equipment, tools, objects, and surfaces.
  • To the greatest extent practicable, limit the number of people riding in a vehicle together. If riding in separate vehicles is not practicable, maximize physical distance and wear face masks in vehicle.
  • Strongly discourage employees from sharing tools or equipment.
  • No sharing of PPE is permitted.
  • If not required by OSHA for a job task, N95/KN95 masks shall not be provided to non-healthcare sector workers as face coverings.
  • A Safety Coordinator to manage Healthy at Work requirements must be appointed for each construction job or work site and coordinate with the business’s Healthy at Work Officer.



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