Tag Archives: construction

COVID-19: PA Plan now allows re-opening of Construction, Vehicle Dealerships and Real Estate Industry per recent Executive Orders

While Governor Wolf extended the “Stay at Home” order until June 4, 2020 by Amendment to his earlier order, he also updated guidance on opening businesses in PA.  As you are likely aware, PA is employing a regional and industry-specific approach to reopening “non-life-sustaining” businesses.

In counties that have been designated as in the Red Phase, businesses permitted to conduct in-person operations are:

1) those listed as life sustaining according to the Governor’s and Secretary’s Non-Life Sustaining Business Closure Orders (as amended),
2) those that received an exemption from those Orders from the Department of Community and Economic Development, or
3) those permitted to conduct in-person operations pursuant to a subsequent applicable Order or amendment to those Orders from the Governor and Secretary including:

a. Construction Industry;
b. Vehicle Dealerships; and
c. Real Estate Industry.

In counties that have been designated as in the Yellow Phase, all businesses, except those categories specifically excluded in the Governor’s Plan to Reopen Pennsylvania and the Governor’s and Secretary of Health’s orders, are permitted to conduct in-person operations, so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of this guidance.

In counties that have been designated as in the Green Phase, all businesses (including those restricted or prohibited in the Yellow Phase) are authorized to conduct unrestricted in-person operations as long as the businesses follow CDC and Department of Health guidelines.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, David Augustin, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

 

COVID-19: NY announces Phased Approach for Re-Opening

On April 27th, Governor Cuomo outlined a phased plan to re-open New York starting with construction and manufacturing. Based on CDC recommendations, once a region experiences a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate they may begin a phased re-opening. The plan will be implemented in phases and will be based on regional analysis and determinations. NY is closely monitoring the hospitalization rate, the infection rate and the number of positive antibody tests, as well as the overall public health impact, and will make adjustments to their plan and other decisions based on these indicators.

• Phase 1 – Phase 1 will include opening construction and manufacturing functions with low risk.

• Phase 2 – Phase 2 will open certain industries based on priority and risk level. Businesses considered “more essential” with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered “less essential” or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. As the infection rate declines, the pace of reopening businesses will be increased.

• Large Gatherings – the region must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.

• 2 week Monitoring – there will be two weeks in between each phase to monitor the effects of the re-opening and ensure hospitalization and infection rates are not increasing.

• Coordination – the plan will be implemented with multi-state coordination, especially in downstate New York. The plan will also coordinate the opening of transportation systems, parks, schools, beaches and businesses with special attention on summer activities for downstate, public housing and low-income communities, food banks and child care.

• Employee Protections – the phased re-opening will also be based on individual business and industry plans that include new measures to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business. The state is consulting with local leaders in each region and industry to formulate these plans.

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

COVID-19: PA Construction Guidance – May 1, 2020 Return to Work – Philadelphia Follows Form

As the construction industry prepares to resume work, the Wolf Administration today issued guidance for all construction businesses and employees to attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

All businesses in the construction industry in Pennsylvania are permitted to resume in-person operations starting on Friday, May 1 – one week earlier than previously announced.

Previously, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine ordered most construction projects to cease unless they were supporting life-sustaining businesses or activities or were granted an exemption to perform or support life-sustaining activities.

The guidance, developed from guidance created by the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania, provides universal protocols for all construction activity, as well as specific additional guidance for residential, commercial and public construction projects.

All business and employees in the construction industry are required to adhere to the Secretary of Health’s order providing for business safety measures, which requires that every person present at a work site wear masks/face coverings unless they are unable for medical or safety reasons and requires that businesses establish protocols upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

All construction projects must maintain proper social distancing and provide hand washing and sanitizing stations for workers, as well as cleaning and sanitizing protocols for high risk transmission areas. Businesses must identify a “pandemic safety officer” for each project or work site, or, for large scale construction projects, for each contractor at the site.

Residential construction projects may not permit more than 4 individuals on the job site at any time, not including individuals who require temporary access to the site and are not directly engaged in the construction activity.

For non-residential or commercial projects, the number of individuals permitted on enclosed portions of a project varies depending on the size of the enclosed site. Commercial construction firms have been encouraged to strongly consider establishing a written safety plan for each work location containing site specific details for the implementation of this guidance to be shared with all employees and implemented and enforced by the pandemic safety officer.

Contractors performing work at the direction of the Commonwealth, municipalities or school districts should defer to those public entities to determine what projects may continue.

Local governments may elect to impose more stringent requirements than those contained in the guidance and in such instances, businesses must adhere to those more stringent requirements.

Local officials have been tasked with ensuring that construction businesses are aware that this guidance exists and notifying businesses that a complaint of noncompliance was received.

Businesses that have questions about whether guidance applies to them, may email the Department of Labor and Industry at RA-LIBOIS-BUILDINGS@pa.gov.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should follow www.governor.pa.gov and www.doh.pa.gov.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said on 4-28 that with some limited exceptions, construction projects that were subject to the State Shutdown Order on March 20 will be allowed to resume in Philadelphia this Friday, May 1. This decision comes in light of the earlier announcement by Governor Wolf that construction business in Pennsylvania can resume on Friday.

“We are currently reviewing that order with respect to construction work in Philadelphia, and we will have more details tomorrow on the extent to which work can return in the city,” said the Mayor. “Construction managers and workers will have to consistently follow practices that keep their workers and the community safe. I’m confident that this will prove to be a much-needed boost to economic activity in the city. And I’m equally confident that everyone involved will be vigilant about adhering to these safe procedures and protocols as this work resumes.”

https://www.phila.gov/2020-04-28-city-provides-update-on-covid-19-for-tuesday-april-28-2020/

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this post, please contact Brad A. Molotsky, Elizabeth Mincer or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

Be well and stay safe!

 

COVID-19: PA Extends Closure Order until May 8th but will relax Auto Sales, Liquor Sales and some Construction Activities Restrictions (May 1)

On April 20, Governor Tom Wolf extended Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order until May 8, 2020.

The governor indicated he would be using a region-by-region approach that is data-driven and will include strict social-distancing measures as he considers reopening parts of Pennsylvania.

However, he announced three actions that offer some flexibility to businesses, including permitting curbside pickup of orders at state liquor stores, allowing auto sales online and opening what he said were various construction activities statewide on May 1st. More specific guidelines will be released at a later date.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

COVID-19: New York Issues Updated Guidance on the definition of “Essential Business” and “Non-Essential Business” – Executive Order 202.6

On April 9, the Governor issued and updated Executive Order (202.6) to provide further guidance on determining whether a business is “Essential” (and thereby permitted to operate) or “Non-Essential” (and, thereby NOT permitted to operate).

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIES, including any for-profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are NOT subject to the in-person restriction. Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health (DOH) and every business, even if essential, is strongly urged to maintain social distancing measures to the extent possible.

This guidance is issued by the New York State Department of Economic Development d/b/a Empire State Development (ESD) and applies to each business location individually and is intended to assist businesses in determining whether they are an essential business.

With respect to business or entities that operate or provide both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the workforce reduction restrictions.

State and local governments, including municipalities, authorities, and school districts, are exempt from these essential business reductions, but are subject to other provisions that restrict non-essential, in-person workforce and other operations under Executive Order 202.

For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, “Essential Business,” shall mean businesses operating in or as:

1. Essential health care operations including:

research and laboratory services
hospitals
walk-in-care health clinics and facilities
emergency veterinary, livestock medical services
senior/elder care
medical wholesale and distribution
home health care workers or aides for the elderly
doctor and emergency dental
nursing homes, residential health care facilities, or congregate care facilities
medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers
licensed mental health providers
licensed substance abuse treatment providers
medical billing support personnel
emergency chiropractic services
physical therapy, prescribed by medical professional
occupational therapy, prescribed by medical professional

2. Essential infrastructure including:

public and private utilities including but not limited to power generation, fuel supply, and transmission
public water and wastewater
telecommunications and data centers
airlines/airports
commercial shipping vessels/ports and seaports
transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, for-hire vehicles, garages
hotels, and other places of accommodation

3. Essential manufacturing including

food processing, manufacturing agents including all foods and beverages
chemicals
medical equipment/instruments
pharmaceuticals
sanitary products including personal care products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
telecommunications
microelectronics/semi-conductor
food-producing agriculture/farms
household paper products
defense industry and the transportation infrastructure
automobiles
any parts or components necessary for essential products that are referenced within this guidance

4. Essential retail including:

grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
pharmacies
convenience stores
farmer’s markets
gas stations
restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
hardware, appliance, and building material stores
pet food
telecommunications to service existing customers and accounts
delivery for orders placed remotely via phone or online at non-essential retail establishments; provided, however, that only one employee is physically present at the business location to fulfill orders

5. Essential services including:

trash and recycling collection, processing, and disposal
mail and shipping services
laundromats and other clothing/fabric cleaning services
building cleaning and maintenance
child care services
bicycle repair
auto repair
automotive sales conducted remotely or electronically, with in-person vehicle return and delivery by appointment only
marine vessel repair and marinas, but only to support government or essential commercial operations and not for recreational purposes
warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
storage for essential businesses
maintenance for the infrastructure of the facility or to maintain or safeguard materials or products therein
animal shelters and animal care including dog walking, animal boarding
landscaping, but only for maintenance or pest control and not cosmetic purposes
designing, printing, publishing and signage companies to the extent that they support essential businesses or services
remote instruction or streaming of classes from public or private schools or health/fitness centers; provided, however, that no in-person congregate classes are permitted

6. The news media

7. Financial Institutions including:

banks or lending institution
insurance
payroll
accounting
services related to financial markets, except debt collection

8. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including:

homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
food banks
human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support

9. Construction:

All non-essential construction must safely shut down, except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone, but only to the point that it is safe to suspend work).

Essential construction may proceed, to the extent that:

the construction is for, or your business supports, roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, or public or private schools;

the construction is for affordable housing, as defined as construction work where either (i) a minimum of 20% of the residential units are or will be deemed affordable and are or will be subject to a regulatory agreement and/or a declaration from a local, state, or federal government agency or (ii) where the project is being undertaken by, or on behalf of, a public housing authority;

the construction is necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants of a structure;

the construction is necessary to continue a project if allowing the project to remain undone would be unsafe, provided that the construction must be shut down when it is safe to do so;

the construction is for projects in the energy industry in accordance with Question No. 14 in the FAQ at: https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/ESD_EssentialEmployerFAQ_033120.pdf;

the construction is for existing (i.e. currently underway) projects of an essential business; or

the construction work is being completed by a single worker who is the sole employee/worker on the job site.

At every site, it is required that the personnel working on the site maintain an appropriate social distance, including for purposes of elevators/meals/entry and exits. Sites that cannot maintain appropriate social distancing, as well as cleaning/disinfecting protocols must close. Enforcement will be conducted by state and local governments, including fines up to $10,000 per violation.

Construction may continue solely with respect to those employees that must be present at the business location/construction site in support of essential business activities. No other employees/personnel shall be permitted to work in-person at the business location/construction site. Any other business activities being completed that are not essential are still subject to the restrictions provided by Executive Order 202.

As noted above, local governments, including municipalities and school districts, are allowed to continue construction projects at this time as government entities are exempt from these essential business restrictions. However, to the greatest extent possible, local governments should postpone any non-essential projects and only proceed with essential projects when they can implement appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols. Essential projects should be considered those that have a nexus to health and safety of the building occupants or to support the broader essential services that are required to fulfill the critical operations of government or the emergency response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

10. Defense – defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government

11. Essential services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other businesses including:

law enforcement, including corrections and community supervision
fire prevention and response
building code enforcement
security
emergency management and response, EMS and 911 dispatch
building cleaners or janitors
general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
automotive repair
disinfection
residential moving services

12. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services including, but not limited to:

logistics
technology support for online services
child care programs and services
government owned or leased buildings
essential government services
any personnel necessary for online or distance learning or classes delivered via remote means

13. Recreation

Parks and other open public spaces, except playgrounds and other areas of congregation where social distancing cannot be abided

However, golf courses are not essential and the use of boat launches and marinas for recreational vessels are not considered essential

14. Professional services with extensive restrictions

Lawyers may continue to perform all work necessary for any service so long as it is performed remotely. Any in-person work presence shall be limited to work only in support of essential businesses or services; however, even work in support of an essential business or service should be conducted as remotely as possible.

Real estate services shall be conducted remotely for all transactions, including but not limited to title searches, appraisals, permitting, inspections, and the recordation, legal, financial and other services necessary to complete a transfer of real property; provided, however, that any services and parts therein may be conducted in-person only to the extent legally necessary and in accordance with appropriate social distancing and

cleaning/disinfecting protocols; and nothing within this provision should be construed to allow brokerage and branch offices to remain open to the general public (i.e. not clients).

Pursuant to Executive Order 202.10, all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reasons (e.g. worship services, parties, celebrations, or other social events) are canceled or postponed.

Congregate services within houses of worship are prohibited. Houses of worship may only be used by individuals and only where appropriate social distancing of, at least, six feet between people can be maintained. Further, individuals should not gather in houses of worship, homes, or other locations for religious services until the end of this public health emergency. If possible, religious leaders should consider alternative forms of worship, replacing in-person gatherings with virtual services, such as phone or conference calls, videoconference calls, or online streaming.

If the function of your business is not listed, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, the guidance allows you to request designation as an essential business.

Note, however, that pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Orders, the following businesses are specifically enumerated as non-essential and are, therefore, unable to request a designation:

Any large gathering or event venues, including but not limited to establishments that host concerts, conferences, or other in-person performances or presentations in front of an in-person audience;

Any dine-in or on-premise restaurant or bar service, excluding take-out or delivery for off-premise consumption;

Any facility authorized to conduct video lottery gaming or casino gaming;

Any gym, fitness centers, or exercise classes, except the remote or streaming service noted above;

Any movie theater;

Any indoor common portions of retail shopping malls with 100,000 or more square feet of retail space available for lease;

All places of public amusement, whether indoors or outdoors, including but not limited to, locations with amusement rides, carnivals, amusement parks, water parks, aquariums, zoos, arcades, fairs, children’s play centers, funplexes, theme parks, bowling alleys, family and children’s attractions; and

Any barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors and related personal care services, including nail technicians, cosmetologists and estheticians, and the provision of electrolysis, laser hair removal services.

About Duane Morris:

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Please see our COVID-19 site or contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact  Brad A. Molotsky, Meghan DiPerna, Ken Lazaruk,  Elizabeth Mincer, or any member of our COVID-19 Strategy Team or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.

COVID-19 – NJ updates its Executive Order – “Non-Essential” Construction Activity Shut Down and Retail Limitations – effective April 8th – 8PM

Governor Murphy announced on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, an Executive Order (“EO”) that will impact business operations across the State of New Jersey. A copy of the Executive Order can be found at: https://nj.gov/infobank/eo/056murphy/pdf/EO-122.pdf

New Guidelines for “Non-Essential Construction“:

Per the EO, all non-essential construction operations in NJ must be shut down at 8 PM on 4-10-2020.  Below is the definition for “essential construction” that may remain operational.  The EO also requires construction projects that remain active to adopt special social distancing and cleanliness standards.

  1. Projects necessary for the delivery of health care services, including but not limited to hospitals, other health care facilities, and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities;
  2. Transportation projects, including roads, bridges, and mass transit facilities or physical infrastructure, including work done at airports or seaports;
  3. Utility projects, including those necessary for energy and electricity production and transmission, and any decommissioning of facilities used for electricity generation;
  4. Residential projects that are exclusively designated as affordable housing;
  5. Projects involving pre-K-12 schools, including but not limited to projects in Schools Development Authority districts, and projects involving higher education facilities;
  6. Projects already underway involving individual single-family homes, or an individual apartment unit where an individual already resides, with a construction crew of 5 or fewer individuals. This includes additions to single-family homes such as solar panels;
  7. Projects already underway involving a residential unit for which a tenant or buyer has already entered into a legally binding agreement to occupy the unit by a certain date, and construction is necessary to ensure the unit’s availability by that date;
  8. Projects involving facilities at which any one or more of the following takes place: the manufacture, distribution, storage, or servicing of goods or products that are sold by online retail businesses or essential retail businesses, as defined by Executive Order No. 107 (2020) and subsequent Administrative Orders adopted pursuant to that Order;
  9. Projects involving data centers or facilities that are critical to a business’s ability to function;
  10. Projects necessary for the delivery of essential social services, including homeless shelters;
  11. Any project necessary to support law enforcement agencies or first responder units in their response to the COVID-19 emergency;
  12. Any project that is ordered or contracted for by Federal, State, county, or municipal government, or any project that must be completed to meet a deadline established by the Federal government;
  13. Any work on a non-essential construction project that is required to physically secure the site of the project, ensure the structural integrity of any buildings on the site, abate any hazards that would exist on the site if the construction were to remain in its current condition, remediate a site, or otherwise ensure that the site and any buildings therein are appropriately protected and safe during the suspension of the project; and
  14. Any emergency repairs necessary to ensure the health and safety of residents.

New Guidelines for Essential Retail Stores:

All essential retail must indefinitely limit the number of customers in their stores to 50 percent of their approved capacity.Customers and employees must wear face coverings. Stores must provide special shopping hours for high-risk individuals, erect physical barriers between customers and cashiers and baggers where practicable, and regularly sanitize areas used by their employees.

New Guidelines for Warehouses and Manufacturing Facilities:

The order will also put greater protections in place for the workers in warehouses and in manufacturing and will required social distancing to be practiced to its fullest extent.

About Duane Morris:

Duane Morris has created a COVID-19 Strategy Team to help organizations plan, respond to and address this fast-moving situation. Please see our COVID-19 site or contact your Duane Morris attorney for more information. Prior Alerts on the topic are available on the team’s webpage.

For Further Information:

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact  Brad A. Molotsky, Paul Josephson, Elizabeth Mincer, James Greenberg, or any member of our COVID-19 Strategy Team or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.