Because of enhanced personal safety programs and procedures, most commercial construction projects in Southern Illinois generally are progressing on schedule during the pandemic, according to Donna Richter, chief executive officer of the Southern Illinois Builders Association and the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program.
State and federal guidelines both consider construction work as “essential” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With about 600 construction crafts people working at 175 job sites in mid-March when the pandemic began to affect the area, about 80 percent of the projects have been able to continue while utilizing new safety guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Most of the other 20 percent of the projects were halted only temporarily, most for less than a week. Included in that 20 percent were 24 projects for which the owners asked that work on their specific jobs be stopped.
The survey of builders also indicated that of the 600 workers, fewer than five showed a positive COVID-19 test, and only about 35 workers required a stay-at-home quarantine to safeguard other workers. The forced quarantines were implemented when an individual either was in contact with someone with symptoms or had symptoms themselves.
In announcing results of the survey, Richter noted the year-around, routine and regular compliance of both workers and contractors with safety training programs made possible the quick adoption of new and additional safety procedures to avoid the COVID-19 and to safeguard all workers.
The Southern Illinois Builders Association and the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program work for the betterment of all aspects of the construction industry, especially by promoting safety and accident prevention and by supporting educational seminars and training programs for all industry personnel.
More information is at www.siba-agc.org.