Construction field readies COVID-19 safety requirements for reopening

Those in the construction industry and readying themselves to officially re-open this week on Thursday, May 7. 

Last week Gov. Whitmer set the requirements for commercial and residential construction sites to reopen, deeming it one of the low-risk jobs. Real estate and outdoor work are also included. 

"A lot of people are nervous about starting back up but a lot of people are raring to go. They want to get out of the house and get back to work," said Patrick Devlin, the secretary treasurer of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. The council represents more than 100,000 workers across the state. 

Whitmer set requirements last week that sites must follow to maintain the health of employees.

Devlin says meetings have been held over the last six weeks to prepare for this moment.

"Everybody should be concerned and I think with the concern it brings the heightened awareness," he said. "This is going to be just another layer for us on these construction projects of keeping our workers safe."

Whitmer's order says sites must dedicate COVID-19 supervisors, conduct daily health screenings, dedicate entry points and identify high-risk areas and control them with social distancing. But Devlin says that may be tough.

"There's a lot of tasks out that are workers aren't going to be able to pull that off, so in that case, we expect them to wear the proper gear. This is going to be stepping it up a lot."

Right now the governors stay home, stay safe order is in place until May 15. Devlin says they will hold sites not following the orders accountable.