Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services’ COVID-19 Construction Safety Webinar

Senior Safety Manager Anthony Malson of Merriwether & Williams Insurance Services (MWIS) was the key presenter during this Zoom webinar on COVID-19 Construction Safety. As part of our role in providing technical support and training to the small contractor community, we have posted the video to our new YouTube channel, which will be used to share additional education, information and technical support. The Safety webinar is now available to view online.

View Safety Webinar

Governor Gavin Newsom’s Daily Updates

Governor Newsom provides daily briefings at 12 PM on his official Facebook and Twitter pages. You do not need an account to view the briefings on either platform.

COVID-19 Standards for U.S. Construction Sites

CPWR and NABTU released COVID-19 Standards for U.S. Construction Sites, a new national standard for infectious disease exposure control practices for job sites designed to prevent disease, disability and death. They are available in English and Spanish.

Visit the CPWR website for more construction-related COVID-19 news and resources.

Stay Informed About COVID-19 Construction Delays

With COVID-19 causing construction delays throughout the country, you can keep on top of what’s happening in your state by visiting the ConstructConnect website, which tracks delays as well as legislation related to classifying construction as an “essential business activity.”

COVID-19 Contractor Jobsite Best Practices Checklist

In conjunction with our public agency and airport clients, Merriwether & Williams’ Safety Services Team has created this downloadable COVID-19 Contractor Jobsite Checklist, which includes best practices based on the most current guidelines made available to the general public. This checklist is shared for information purposes only – contractors should visit OSHA, CDC and other official sources for additional specific information and guidelines. For convenience, we have included a number of links below to the most prominent COVID-19 workplace and disease prevention sources and encourage you to contact your local agency offices with specific questions.

Emergency Loan Resources List

In conjunction with our public agency clients, Merriwether & Williams’ Safety Services Team has created this downloadable Emergency Loan Resources Chart, which we are updating on a regular basis.  Please also scroll down to review the links below and visit our COVID-19 Resource Links page for additional links to various assistance resources.

What the Governor’s “Shelter in Place” Order means for Contractors

First of all, this virus is not a hoax and it is exponentially more destructive than the flu. COVID-19 is a never-before-seen, highly infectious virus that primarily attacks and destroys the respiratory system, leading to a mortality rate that – so far – is ten times that of regular seasonal flu, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.1.

Many people can become infected and not have symptoms, which is called being “asymptomatic,” but the virus they are carrying can still highly contagious to others. Ongoing studies are suggesting that those who are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms may be causing some of the infection spikes seen throughout the country, because when people believe that they have not been infected because they don’t have symptoms, they often continue in-person interactions, which spreads the virus.2. This is why increasingly more state and local governments are issuing orders for residents to “shelter in place” or basically stay home and not engage in any in-person interactions with others outside of their immediate “locked down” household members.

Because public works construction has been deemed essential, many contractors will be or already are back on job sites, where taking steps to slow the COVID-19’s spread is still vital. Guidelines have been changing rapidly as more about this new virus becomes known. Click here for current Cal/OSHA guidelines.

One key factor in how well the country recovers from this crisis will be how many people heed the safety guidelines until a vaccine is readily available to the general public.3. On a day-to-day level, by minimizing all person-to-person contact, washing hands, coughing or sneezing into one’s elbow to prevent airborne particles, and disinfecting commonly used surfaces and items, the spread of the virus may be slowed down enough to allow our medical facilities to treat those who are ill – when everyone gets sick all at once, our hospitals get overwhelmed.

References:

  1. https://reason.com/2020/03/11/covid-19-mortality-rate-ten-times-worse-than-seasonal-flu-says-dr-anthony-fauci/; https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/11/top-federal-health-official-says-coronavirus-outbreak-is-going-to-get-worse-in-the-us.html
  2. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/6/20-0412_article; https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-study-estimates-rate-of-silent-transmission; https://www.wionews.com/world/are-dormant-carriers-of-covid-19-the-primary-cause-of-spike-in-global-infections-286827
  3. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200312/Flattening-the-curve-why-is-it-important-for-coronavirus.aspx; https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/covid-19-why-social-distancing-having-a-personal-plan-is-important/

Public Works Construction Deemed “Essential.”

The Associated General Contractors of California recently confirmed that CA Governor Gavin Newsom has clarified that many public works construction – including public housing, hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and other necessary public infrastructure projects – are considered “essential” services and as such, will be allowed to resume pursuant to following COVID-19 safety guidelines. Because the COVID-19 safety guidelines are being updated as new scientific and public health information emerges, we will be providing updates on safety guidelines as they are released.  Click here for more information on the Governor’s statewide policy. 

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