As I hope readers of this construction corner of the “blogosphere” know, Virginia adopted emergency COVID workplace regulations effective July 27, 2020, and with enforcement beginning at the end of September. Among the various items found in these regulations are general requirements for all employers, including among others, the requirement to self determine the employer’s risk level and disinfecting requirements. The regulations also have some requirements that seem specially directed toward construction industry employers. These include among them engineering controls and various requirements relating to communications with subcontractors. For a good overview of these requirements, see this great post at the Virginia Bar Association’s construction law blog.
One item that is not included in the emergency regulations is a statement that following the regulations immunizes an employer from COVID infection-related lawsuits. For this reason, among others, all construction (and other industry) employers should have a COVID plan that meets the requirements of these regulations at whatever “hazard level” that employer meets. These plans should be written and distributed to all employees and include protocols for workplace/job site screening and what to do if there is a need for contact tracing. I also highly recommend that any plan be created with the help of a good Virginia workplace safety consultant well versed in the COVID regulations.