Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

OSHA Guidance To Protect Construction Workers From Coronavirus

Pennsylvania workers' compensation

Scranton construction accident lawyers reveal what you need to know

Construction sites can be dangerous places where construction accidents happen even under normal circumstances. In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, construction workers need to make sure they protect themselves from contracting the potentially deadly virus. That’s why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued guidelines designed to protect construction workers from contracting or spreading COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

OSHA coronavirus guidelines intended for certain construction workers

OSHA’s coronavirus guidelines can apply to all construction workers. In recent guidelines, however, the federal agency directed its advice to certain specific construction jobs, including:

  • Carpenters
  • Iron workers
  • Plumbers
  • Electricians
  • Heating/ventilation/air conditioning ventilation (HVAC) workers
  • Masons
  • Concrete workers
  • Utility workers
  • Construction workers
  • Workers involved in earthmoving activities

If you have a different type of construction job, consult with your supervisor or OSHA for guidance on steps you can take to avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

4 risk levels for exposure to coronavirus for different construction tasks

OSHA outlined four different levels of risk construction workers may be exposed to on the job when it comes to contracting or spreading the coronavirus. In general, the different levels of risk are based on how much contact workers have with each other and the public as part of their work. The four different levels of risk are also based on whether their work takes place mostly indoors or outdoors.

The four levels of risk for construction workers being exposed to the coronavirus on the job as listed by OSHA are:


Tasks which allow construction employees to work at least six feet apart

Tasks which involve construction workers having little or no contact with the public


Tasks which require construction workers to be within six feet of each other

Tasks which require construction workers to have close contact (within six feet) with customers, visitors or other members of the public


Tasks which require construction workers to be working inside near people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspected to have COVID-19


OSHA notes that most construction sites do not have work tasks normally categorized as “very high” risk.

Questions and recommended actions for assessing coronavirus risk

OSHA lists three questions and corresponding recommended actions for construction workers to assess the level of risk of contracting the coronavirus. The three questions and recommended actions are:

Question 1

Is the construction work essential or urgent work?

Recommended Action

If yes, conduct a hazard assessment to best determine how to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

Question 2

Is there anyone at the construction site in isolation due to a confirmed cased of COVID-19?

Recommended Action

If yes, closely follow OSHA’s recommended infection prevention measures.

Question 3

If the construction work is essential, is there anyone currently working at the construction site with flu-like symptoms?

Recommended Action

If yes, closely follow OSHA’s recommended infection prevention measures.

OSHA’s recommended prevention measures

OSHA recommends several infection prevention measures as part of its guidelines, including:

  • Wear a face mask while working at all times.
  • Whenever possible, keep a distance of at least six feet between co-workers.
  • Wear gloves while working.
  • Wash hands regularly.

Protect yourself and understand your rights as a construction worker

Construction workers face many risks every day on the job. Preventing the spread of the coronavirus at work also needs to be a priority. If you sustained a serious injury in a construction accident or contracted COVID-19 on the job due to unsafe working conditions, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits or may be able to take other legal action. Simply contact a Scranton construction accident attorney at O’Malley & Langan Law Offices to learn more about your legal rights. Schedule your free case evaluation today.

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