While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced shutdowns of many global businesses, a coalition of leading critical infrastructure and construction companies has banded together to launch the “Next Coalition” to promote and share industry safety best practices. Black & Veatch, DPR Construction, Haskell and McCarthy Building Companies are leveraging their deep safety expertise and best practices in a campaign to ensure the well-being of crews and office team members facing complex challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
The coalition seeks to identify and advance processes and technologies most likely to bolster construction safety in response to the “next normal” ushered in by COVID-19. To that end, the coalition is launching the “Construction Safety Challenge,” an open call to companies, startups and other innovators with emerging safety solutions that can be quickly deployed and scaled. Click here to read the entire article.
It hasn’t been an easy ride for those applying for or administering Paycheck Protection Program loans since the program went into effect on April 15. A lightning-fast rollout, differing interpretations of the rules, a steady stream of updates, warnings to recipients about audits and penalties, and negative press about public companies that received money while small business applications were held up in lender logjams frustrated many potential borrowers to the point that some withdrew their applications or returned the money. Click here to read the entire article.
While contractors and their legal advisers try to work out how the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated mandatory project shutdowns will affect future jobsite operations and profitability, it’s worth looking ahead to what kind of contract terms construction companies could face in the future.
It is every party’s responsibility to protect their own positions, so how might owners change their preferred contract delivery methods or, at the very least, the terms to help them decrease risk and maximize flexibility? Click here to read the entire article.
The coronavirus crisis has had a negative effect on construction firms across the country but those working in a handful of states, especially those with government-mandated jobsite shutdowns, have been especially hard hit.
A look at government employment statistics and jobsite construction activity pinpoints the states that have been most impacted.
While the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics' data shows deep construction job losses across the country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Vermont experienced all-time lows. All but one state — South Dakota — had a decline in construction employment. Click here to read the entire article.
As officials across the United States give the green light to retail, restaurant and other businesses to reopen their doors, OSHA has announced it will bolster its in-person inspections.
OSHA stated that the newly-issued enforcement guidance to increase inspections "reflects changing circumstances in which many non-critical businesses have begun to reopen in areas of lower community spread." Staff has been directed to prioritize COVID-19 inspections as well as utilize all enforcement tools "as OSHA has historically done." Click here to read the entire article.
On May 15, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the long-awaited Payroll Protection Program Forgiveness Application. Under the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) entrepreneurs may apply to have up to 100 percent of their loan forgiven.
However, the SBA has failed to give clear guidance on the details of loan forgiveness, and this has caused entrepreneurs to question what they need to do to prepare for PPP loan forgiveness. The new application provides clarity on a few points. Click here to read the entire article.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted revised policies for enforcing OSHA’s requirements with respect to coronavirus as economies reopen in states throughout the country.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, understanding about the transmission and prevention of infection has improved. The government and the private sector have taken rapid and evolving measures to slow the virus’s spread, protect employees, and adapt to new ways of doing business.
Now, as states begin reopening their economies, OSHA has issued two revised enforcement policies to ensure employers are taking action to protect their employees. Click here to read the entire article.
So you received your funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, now what? The next step is to make sure you spend the funds in a way that maximizes the forgiveness of the loan. That will take some planning on the front end and monitoring of regulatory guidance during the next eight weeks. Click here to read the entire article.
As businesses across the country begin to reopen and bring people back to work facilities, it’s critical that measures are in place to protect the health of workers and others who enter your facility.
“You should have a pandemic plan for your workplace, and the key here is that you may need to add reentry procedures to that plan,” says Deb Roy, M.P.H., RN, COHN-S, CSP, CIT, FASSP, FAAOHN, president of SafeTech Consultants and ASSP President-Elect. “As part of your planning process, you have to think through how you safely bring people back to work.”
Here are some practical strategies you can use to protect your workforce and the public, as well as some other factors to keep in mind as you plan for bringing people back to your work facilities. Click here to read the entire article.
The AGC has been petitioning Treasury to provide more detailed guidance for the PPP program, which is being administered by the Small Business Administration through traditional lenders. The loans are meant to help business owners continue to pay employees rather than lay them off and cover payroll and other specific expenses for eight weeks after receiving the loan proceeds.
However, the guidance that the federal government has issued thus far regarding which firms are eligible for loans and exactly how that money can be used has been vague, according to the AGC, and has led some companies, including those in the construction industry, to either return or consider returning the money they received through the PPP to avoid potential punitive action. Click here to read the entire article.