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Builders create task force to assess, share job safety practices amid COVID-19

Bend home construction

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Aiming to increase job safety awareness in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon State Building Trades Council has launched a task force to help construction contractors follow current guidelines and protect workers while continuing to do business.

The COVID-19 Joint Construction Safety Task Force – encompassing representatives from the building trades unions, industry partners, management, and employer representatives – has been meeting online three times a week and scheduling visits to various construction sites in Oregon.

A group of five to seven task force members, assisted by Oregon OSHA consultants, are visiting sites to assess the effectiveness of job safety practices intended to address COVID-19 and to make recommendations for improvements.

All task force members and Oregon OSHA consultants will practice social distancing while visiting construction job sites.

At the same time, the task force – an advisory group – is monitoring the most current health information and government guidelines, and collecting data and information about best jobsite practices. This data and information will be shared with construction contractors and workers.

“The safety of the people who are out there working on construction sites is our highest priority,” said Robert Camarillo, executive secretary for the Oregon State Building Trades Council. “With this task force, our goal is to improve job safety and increase educational resources during an incredibly challenging time.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order – issued in response to the coronavirus outbreak – does not include construction among the businesses that must close.

The COVID-19 Joint Construction Safety Task Force is a partnership of union and non-union industry professionals, with support from Oregon OSHA. Its membership includes:

  • Associated General Contractors-Oregon Columbia Chapter
  • Central Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Columbia-Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Hoffman Construction Company
  • Lane, Coos, Curry, Douglas Building & Construction Trades Council
  • O’Neill Electrical Construction
  • Oregon Home Builders Association
  • Oregon OSHA
  • Oregon State Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Oregon Tradeswomen
  • Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Pendleton Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors Association
  • Salem Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Southern Oregon Building and Construction Trades Council
  • University of Oregon Labor Education and Resource Center, LERC
  • Worksystems

For questions about the construction task force, contact Mary Ann Naylor at Oregon Tradeswomen, 503-819-9201,

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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