As cases of coronavirus continue to rise and are currently at an all-time high in the US, many states are cracking down on restrictions – New Jersey included. As of November 17, indoor and outdoor gatherings are even more limited. For indoor, up to 10 people and for outdoor up to 150 people may be gathered together (while still social distancing, of course). So what does this mean for the construction industry in New Jersey?
On October 24, 2020, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 192, protecting New Jersey’s workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under EO-192 all employees, customers, and visitors must wear a face covering while on the premises (this goes for both indoor and outdoor). The only exceptions to this rule are individuals under the age of two and where it is impractical to wear a face covering. For example, when eating or drinking. Additionally, employers may permit employees to remove their face covering when they are at their workstation at least six feet away from others or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.
Both Executive Order 192 and Executive Order 142 outline requirements to protect employees and others. Here is a summary of both in relation to the New Jersey construction industry.
Construction projects must adopt policies that include, at a minimum, the following requirements:
It’s worth noting that the list above is simply a summary. Businesses are still required to fully comply with all of the terms within EO-192 and EO-142. Be sure that you read the full guidance carefully to ensure that you are complying!
On a happier note, the construction industry continues to be resilient in the face of this pandemic. While there was a deep drop in employment at the beginning, 84,000 jobs were added in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is the largest monthly increase since June. There is still more to be done but we can celebrate the small wins and stay hopeful that more and more jobs become available as the months go on.
NJSPE will continue to update you and new information becomes available from the Governor. Stay up-to-date on njspe.org. If you’re an NJSPE member, keep an eye on your email for breaking updates. If you’re not a member, what are you waiting for? Learn more about our membership benefits and join today!