Construction Sites Open Back Up in Long Island

Construction worker carrying heavy tube with jobsite in the background.

Construction sites have been allowed to reopen in Long Island once the area moved into phase one of New York’s reopening plan. Along with construction, limited retail, wholesale trade, manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting have been allowed to proceed during the first phase on New York’s road to recovery amidst COVID-19. These are all considered low risk industries, leading to their faster reopening. As the state is now in phase three, these changes have been in effect for the past four weeks.

New York State recently published construction site reopening guidelines, including mandatory physical distancing, protective equipment, hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, communication, and screening. Businesses in New York were also required to submit an affirmation to the state that they will comply with the guidelines given and create a written “safety business plan” summarizing how their business will use safety precautions to prevent spreading COVID-19. Requirements include:

Physical Distancing

  • 6 ft. between workers unless work activity requires a shorter distance with face coverings worn when less than 6 ft. apart
  • 1 worker per 250 sq. ft for indoor work (not including supervisors) unless wearing face coverings at all times and 50% maximum capacity in small spaces
  • Limit non-essential gatherings when possible and have designated pick-up and delivery spots that limit contact

Protective Equipment

  • Employees must be wearing free face coverings provided by employers and adequate supply is necessary
  • Face coverings include cloth and surgical masks (unless work requires Personal Protective Equipment)
  • Face coverings cannot be shared, must be replaced when ruined and must be stored correctly
  • Limited sharing of construction objects, discouraged touching of shared surfaces, wear gloves, sanitize or wash hands when sharing contact

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection

  • Follow hygiene and sanitation procedures from the CDC and DOH while keeping cleaning logs with all information after daily cleaning and disinfection
  • Hand hygiene stations with soap, water, paper towels and hand sanitizer and encourage cleaning/disinfecting of supplies followed by hand hygiene
  • No shared food and beverages


  • Implement and confirm comprehension of state guidelines
  • Signage throughout construction sites with safety reminders and guidelines with all workers being trained on new protocols
  • If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, state and local health departments must be notified along with any person who came into contact with them


  • Sick employees must stay home
  • Plan for cleaning and disinfecting in the event that an employee is tested positive
  • Mandatory health screening assessments before the beginning of the workday for each employee

Along with the mandatory requirements, recommended best practices have been published and can be viewed at the New York Government guidelines web page. In order to keep yourself and your employees safe during this time, it is imperative that guidelines are followed. Physical distance and sanitization precautions are essential to keeping employees safe. If you have any further questions about the construction sites opening back up in Long Island or a construction site injury, call today.

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