COVID-19 Guidance on Construction Projects
These are unusual and unprecedented times as COVID-19 continues to effect people, industries, and governments across the world. Almost all aspects of life will be impacted, including construction projects. If you or your company are involved in a construction project, many unknowns can begin to present themselves.
As construction attorneys, we have outlined a few important steps that project owners, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers can take in order to protect their interests and mitigate the risks posed during these unparalleled times.
- Communicate with the owner and other contractual
parties on the jobsite.
- Inquire whether the jobsite is closed or if access is restricted and what are the conditions for gaining limited access if needed.
- Give notice to other contractors, subcontractors, or suppliers regarding access to the jobsite.
- Determine whether any work is deemed essential or emergency work that needs to be completed.
- Begin discussing potential delays on project, changes in costs or access to materials, or if alternative methods or materials can be used.
- Review contract documents and insurance.
- Determine what your contract says about work suspensions or stoppages, acts of god, government interventions, or other unforeseen circumstances.
- Review the prime contract, subcontracts, and supplier contracts.
- If needed, give proper and timely notices as required by the contract for delays in work, delivery, or payment.
- Document the jobsite.
- Take photographs and gather other documentary evidence of the condition of the jobsite, materials on the jobsite, and your work or any preceding trades if your work has yet to begin.
- Secure the jobsite.
- Determine how best to secure the jobsite to prevent the loss of materials and trespassing.
- Completion of remaining work.
- If there is any “essential” or “emergency” work, give notice or seek approval from the owner or contracting parties before allowing or performing such work.
- Create and implement COVID-19 policies.
- Review and develop a protocol based on federal, state, or local agency policies or notices issued in response to COVID-19.
- Inform others on the jobsite that you are following all CDC guidelines and assure them that certain employees will not be on the jobsite as in accordance with such guidelines.
- Print any applicable CDC guidelines or posters and display them on the jobsite.
In addition, stay up to date on any executive orders issued by governors and mayors that might affect not only the work on the jobsite but your ability to protect your rights to payment. Remember that although work may have come to a halt on a jobsite, other statutory or contractual deadlines may continue to run.