In anticipation of reopening all construction activities statewide, on May 22, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that construction staging activities would be allowed to commence before the Regions officially reopen. On May 31, 2020, the New York Empire State Development (“ESD”) updated its Guidance on Executive Order 202.6 (“NY Guidelines”) to provide specifications regarding construction staging. With most Regions currently in Phase One or Phase Two, the staging guidance is most applicable to New York City which is currently restricted to conducting only essential construction until it is cleared for a Phase One reopening. The allowed activities include the following:
- Clean, sanitize, and/or disinfect common work areas;
- Test run hoists, elevators, cranes and other equipment;
- Establish new and multiple entrances/exits to control the movement of personnel and allow for health screening, including temperature taking;
- Install hand hygiene/wash stations or retrofit existing ones with touchless faucets and dispensers;
- Install health screening stations or devices at entrances;
- Affix social distancing, hygiene, and cleaning/disinfecting signage, including posters, markers, and directional arrows;
- Deliver and stockpile personal protective equipment (e.g. face coverings, face shields, gloves); and
- Order, unload, and rough set materials that specialty contractors or subcontractors need to perform work (e.g. structural supports, piping, conduits, drywall).
The NY Guidelines further emphasize that construction staging is allowed only if personnel maintain social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Enforcement will be conducted by state and local governments, including fines up to $10,000 per violation.