Gov. Inslee relaxes restrictions on construction during stay-at-home order

Apr 24, 2020, 11:47 AM | Updated: 4:39 pm

Gov. Inslee announced Friday that he would be lifting some restrictions on construction work during the ongoing stay-at-home order, allowing it to resume provided job sites meet safety standards.

“We have found a way to safely allow low risk construction to resume,” Inslee said in a press conference. “We have been working toward this measure for some time.”

The governor detailed a 30-point coronavirus construction safety plan, with benchmarks contractors will need to clear in order to return to work.

The plan includes COVID-19 safety training for all workers, a site supervisor responsible for implementation, stringent sanitation requirements, and posted written notice of the work performed at job sites to this effect.

Work sites that don’t adhere to these guidelines could face being shutdown.

These new requirements take effect Friday.

This comes after the governor’s office convened a stakeholder group with representatives from the construction industry in early April, “to develop a plan that set high standards for when we were able to return to some of this work.” That group included workers, contractors, health and safety workers, and local government officials.

Gov. Inslee noted that similar stakeholder groups across a variety of industries will soon take shape as it becomes safe to reopen other businesses.

An exact timeline for reopening those businesses remains unclear.

“We cannot state unequivocally when other businesses can reopen,” he noted. “The date of reopening is not today — if we did this today, this virus would return with a vengeance.”

The Washington State Department of Health hinted Thursday that Gov. Inslee could soon relax restrictions on things like outdoor recreation and elective surgeries.

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