RIBCTC: Update on Construction Activity during the COVID-19 Crisis
Published on Thursday, April 2, 2020
The Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council has provided the following information to help navigate industry updates and measures that have been put in place as a response to COVID19. Please see the PDF version here or it is also listed below if viewing on a phone.
To: The Rhode Island Construction Industry
From: Michael F. Sabitoni, President
Date: April 1, 2020
Re: Update on Construction Activity during the COVID-19 Crisis
The Rhode Island Building and Construction Trades Council (RIBCTC) is writing to advise our
construction community on key industry updates and measures that our council is implementing to keep
our members healthy and safe on local, critical construction projects.
Working collaboratively with our contractors, we have been a long-standing leader in developing
health and training protocols in order to ensure the safety of our membership. Since the beginning of the
corona crisis, our council has been proactive in our collective approach and implementation of proper
protocols and procedures to address COVID-19 on essential construction sites. Accordingly, we are
strictly following guidance from the State Department of Health, CDC, OSHA, and the State Department
of Labor and Training, as well as collaborating with our contractor and union safety professionals, to
ensure that our members are working safely while strictly adhering to our directions and guidelines.
As a consequence, the RIBCTC has unanimously endorsed and are insisting that there be a
dedicated COVID-19 safety person at every job site. Every job site should also have:
- A contractor representative to greet all employees and ask how they feel
- Temperature checkers on project sites employing more than 10 tradesmen and women
- Proper personal protection equipment for all tradesmen and women
- Numerous stations and areas set up for frequent hand washing and/or hand sanitizers
- Designated lunch time so that the trades eat lunch in groups of 2-3 only
- Elevator restrictions that allow trades in groups of 2-3 only
In addition, RIBCTC members have been informed and have the right to request a voluntary layoff for
any reason including:
- Feeling unsafe or feel that it is in an individual or family’s best interest
- Are not feeling well
- Were informed by their doctor not to go to work
- Have to care for a family member
Any RIBCTC member will have the right to file and receive unemployment insurance or family medical
leave for any of the reasons above.
The RIBCTC has also communicated with our members to contact their local union hall with any
complaint or concern about unsafe work conditions. The RIBCTC has unanimously endorsed an
immediate stand down, suspension, and if necessary, shutdown of any project that is not following the
industry best practices mandated by the agencies referenced above.
In closing, working collaboratively with our contractor partners, I am confident that we will keep the
construction economy going while protecting our members and keeping our job sites safe; and we will not
hesitate to stand down, suspend and even shut down any project in the state of Rhode Island not following
the proper protocols and procedures period.