With the passing of local and state stay-at-home orders, construction services have been deemed essential across Florida, under one condition: construction crews abide by certain safety standards. Among these standards are the requirements that workers stand six feet apart and wear gloves at all times. Unfortunately, not all construction sites in Tampa are abiding by these rules, and it may result in individual project shutdowns or worse, a blanket shutdown order.
In this article, a Tampa construction lawyer discusses what must be done to improve the safety of workers on construction sites across Tampa Bay. Failure to take the necessary precautions to protect your workers could result in an unsafe work environment, employee absenteeism, or a project shutdown. For assistance ensuring that your jobsite is abiding by safety regulations during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, consult a coronavirus construction attorney with our law firm.
Keeping a Safe Distance
As ABC Action News Reports, some construction crews around Tampa have been seen working without gloves or masks. Workers were also seen huddling close together, sharing small lifts and elevators, and handing items to each other — rules also state that hand tools are not to be shared. ABC Action News reported seeing instances of workers failing to abide by these safety rules throughout the region and not just in Tampa.
In the news report, Brian Turmail, Vice President of the Associated General Contractors of America, said, “It takes just a stroke of a pen for all construction activity in a region to be shut down if construction workers [and] the people who run firms are not taking this seriously.” As we’ve discussed previously, it’s a logistical challenge for construction workers to work on the same site together without coming into close proximity with each other; however, it’s a challenge your site must nonetheless overcome.
Avoiding a Project Shutdown
In Tampa, city officials have yet to take action against construction companies whose workers fail to abide by safety rules. But that could change at any moment. Abiding by safety rules and avoiding a project shutdown will only become more challenging for construction firms in the coming months as $2.1 billion in road projects may be sped up across the state.
For assistance ensuring your jobsite is compliant with safety regulations, we recommend our COVID-19 Protection Kit, which comes with a jobsite preparedness and response plan. Alternatively, you could invest in one of our subscription plans, thereby gaining access to an on-demand attorney who can answer all of your construction-related legal questions. For assistance taking the necessary steps to safeguard your jobsite, project, and business, partner with the Tampa construction 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.