Media Center

News Publications Articles Videos
INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR RE-OPENING CONSTRUCTION AND MANUFACTURING BUSINESSES IN UTAH (JUNE 2)
June 02, 2020


All information in this COVID-19 Response Resource issue is effective as of June 2, 2020.

On May 15, 2020, Utah’s Governor Herbert issued an Order stating that the COVID-19 public health risk status would move from orange (moderate risk) to yellow (low risk) for many Utah counties beginning Saturday, May 16. However, pursuant to another Order issued on May 29, 2020, three areas in Utah remain in the orange moderate risk category. Those areas are: Salt Lake City, the town of Bluff, and the census-designated place Mexican Hat.[1] The Order from May 29 superseded prior orders and is in effect until June 5, 2020 at 11:59pm. Notably, areas can request a modification to their status (e.g., to go from orange to yellow), and some areas have been moved from yellow to orange after further evaluation.

The risk-levels and respective safety measures to be taken by employers and employees are detailed in version 4.5 of the Utah Department of Health’s Phased Guidelines for the General Public and Businesses to Maximize Public Health and Economic Reactivation (“Phased Guidelines”). It is important to recognize that the May 29 Order requires businesses to comply with the provisions of the Phased Guidelines that correspond to the risk level of the area they operate in (i.e., businesses in low risk areas must comply with the Phased Guidelines for low risk areas). However, where the Phased Guidelines state that an employee should wear a face mask, the Order appears to modify that requirement so that an employee must only wear a face mask when the employee “is unable to maintain a distance of six feet from another individual.”[2]

In addition, to assist employers with protecting employees who are high-risk[3] for COVID-19, the Utah Labor Commission has also issued guidance for developing safety measures in the workplace. The Phased Guidelines and the guidance from the Labor Commission provide general as well as industry-specific measures.

This memorandum provides the industry-specific guidelines for the construction and manufacturing industries in Utah’s low and moderate risk areas. For a breakdown of general guidelines that apply to all industries in addition to the specific guidelines provided here, review page 11 of the Phased Guidelines and pages 2–3 of the Labor Commission’s guidance.  

I. PHASED GUIDELINES FOR CONSTRUCTION AND MANUFACTURING BUSINESSES IN MODERATE AND LOW RISK AREAS

This section covers construction and manufacturing businesses in both moderate and low risk areas, as the guidelines are the same for both, with one exception: construction and manufacturing businesses in both moderate and low risk areas must operate under strict hygiene procedures, but only those in moderate risk areas must also reduce group interaction.[4] The Phased Guidelines also recommend that employers:

(1) ensure that nobody with COVID-19 symptoms enters a job site;

(2) implement additional hand washing stations;

(3) require employees to wear face coverings and gloves and wash or sanitize hands before and after leaving a site;

(4) clean and disinfect project sites and materials frequently, including high-touch surfaces and tools; and

(5) provide estimates, invoices, and other documentation to customers electronically.[5]

II. LABOR COMMISSION GUIDANCE FOR ALL CONSTRUCTION AND MANUFACTURING BUSINESSES

To protect high-risk employees of construction and manufacturing businesses, the Labor Commission recommends that employers:

(1) For construction businesses, specifically:

(a) sanitize portable restrooms regularly; and

(b) require employees to maintain a 6-foot distance from others as
much as possible on a construction jobsite – where physical distancing is not possible, require employees to wear a protective face mask

(2) For manufacturing businesses, specifically:

(a) require employees to maintain a 6-foot distance from others as much as possible – when not possible, install physical barriers;

(b) require high-risk employees to always wear protective masks while working; and

(c) ensure that employees wear gloves while assembling parts.[6]

To ensure compliance with the Governor’s Order, the Phased Guidelines, and the Labor Commission’s guidance, it is strongly recommended that employers seek legal advice prior to re-opening or requiring employees to return to the workplace.

For questions, please contact Christina Jepson by sending an email to cjepson@parsonsbehle.com or calling 801-536-6820. 

 

[1] https://rules.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/Utah-Executive-Order-No.-27.pdf (last visited June 1, 2020).

[2] https://rules.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/Utah-Executive-Order-No.-27.pdf (last visited June 1, 2020).

[3]  High risk individuals include those who are 65 or older; live in a nursing home or long-term care facility; have chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma; have serious heart conditions; are immunocompromised; are severely obese or have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or liver disease; or are pregnant. Pregnant women have not been shown to be at higher risk for COVID-19, specifically, but are “known to be at risk with severe viral illness.” https://laborcommission.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/COVID19RECOMMENDATIONS (last visited June 1, 2020).

[4] https://coronavirus-download.utah.gov/Health/Phased_Health_Guidelines_V4.5.3_05262020.pdf (last visited June 1, 2020).

[5] https://coronavirus-download.utah.gov/Health/Phased_Health_Guidelines_V4.5.3_05262020.pdf (last visited June 1, 2020).

[6] https://laborcommission.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/COVID19RECOMMENDATIONS (last visited June 1, 2020)