Fears were realized when mass testing at a construction site in Nashville revealed that over 70 workers had contracted the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This revelation serves as a stark reminder that the threat of COVID-19 is real and that contractors must do everything in their power to prevent the spread of this terrible virus.
Below, a Nashville contractor lawyer with Cotney Construction Law discusses the situation developing at this Nashville construction site. We will also cover ways that construction companies can provide their workers with a hazard-free work environment even during the current pandemic. For information on your rights and responsibilities as an employer, our Nashville construction attorneys are standing by.
Positive Cases Among Multiple Subcontractors
COVID-19 testing on a construction site on the campus of Montgomery Bell Academy demonstrates the challenges facing contractors across the state of Tennessee. As reported by News Channel 5, following the first confirmed positive case of COVID-19 on the jobsite, the general contractor in question quickly isolated the worker, initiated contact tracing, and closed the jobsite for cleaning. The site reopened with heightened safety measures, requiring that all workers be tested.
The results were startling. A total of 74 workers tested positive for COVID-19. Remember, all of this took place over the course of only a few weeks. Although the general contractor acted responsibly, it simply wasn’t enough to prevent the spread of the virus.
How Can Construction Companies Prevent the Spread?
Workers who tested positive were from multiple subcontractors. COVID-19 does not discriminate when it comes to employees of the general contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor. This illustrates just how important it is to coordinate with all parties involved when creating a jobsite preparedness and response plan. This plan should include steps recommended and required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Consider investing in one of our COVID-19 Protection Kits if your company does not already have a jobsite preparedness and response plan.
The general contractor discussed above followed many of the rules implemented by OSHA and the CDC. They quickly isolated the worker, initiated contact tracing, and disinfected the jobsite. Your jobsite would do well to implement similar actions in the event that one of your workers tested positive for COVID-19. Although the general contractor in question was unable to stop the spread of the virus, it doesn’t mean you can’t on your jobsite. For assistance promoting a safe, hazard-free workplace, consult the Nashville contractor lawyers from Cotney Construction Law.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.