Handwashing stations, social distancing recruitments for projects
By Sam Catanzaro
As cities like San Francisco order many construction projects to stop during the COVID-19 outbreak, construction in Santa Monica will be allowed to continue with some newly implemented restrictions.
This week San Franciso and other Bay Area cities called for the suspension of most construction, including market-rate residential projects.
Exempt from the Bay Area ban are healthcare projects directly related to COVID-19, construction of housing for homeless individuals, affordable housing projects and mixed-use developments containing 10 percent or greater income-restricted units.
On Wednesday following an LA County order, the City of Santa Monica implemented restrictions for construction projects. The LA County order calls on all construction projects to operate in accordance with social distancing and hygiene requirements.
According to Santa Monica’s rules, handwashing facilities or hand sanitizer must be installed at entrances to construction projects and shared tools and equipment must be sanitized.
Signage must be posted instructing workers of the social distancing and sanitation requirements, while prohibiting entrance for ill workers or those in recent close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
In addition, workers are not allowed to gather in groups larger than three during breaks and to maintain a six-foot social distance during such breaks.
According to the order, if construction is taking place within an occupied residential building, steps must be taken to minimize contact with areas within the building but not within the construction site and to clean and sanitize those areas regularly.
When asked why the City did not take more strict measures and halt projects as San Francisco did, Santa Monica said it choose to act in accordance with the County to “limit confusion”
“Santa Monica is following the County safer at home and State stay at home orders, including requirements for construction. This is done to limit confusion across the 88 cities that make up LA County. This order allows for greater local enforcement, which will be proactive as well as in response to community reports of non-compliance. It is our hope that projects will comply with these important requirements to do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19. If not, we will issue stop work orders,” said Constance Farrel, Public Information Officer for the City. “San Francisco is a city and county and its order, done in coordination with six adjoining counties, was made via their public health officials. Our public health officials of course are LA County Department of Public Health.”
According to the order, the City’s Building Officer is authorized to issue a stop work order at any construction site operating in violation. In addition, the public can report concerns related to non-complaint construction work to email@example.com.