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Finishing Construction Safely with COVID-19: Control, Resilience, and Recovery Planning

The Steel Bridge in Downtown Portland. Photo courtesy of TriMet.

Finishing Construction Safely with COVID-19: Control, Resilience, and Recovery Planning
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
3:00–4:00 p.m. (Eastern)


The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted life worldwide. Despite local and international differences in pandemic responses, in many locations safety measures have allowed some construction to proceed. In the U.S., the accepted safety processes of hazard identification and risk-reduction apply directly to reducing the risk of infection on a jobsite through planning, engineering controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE). However, because infection can occur off-site, a framework that also considers other factors may be necessary to make decisions about when and how to proceed with construction, particularly for projects that must be completed once started.

We will be discussing a Control, Resiliency, and Recovery framework. Control considers the traditional construction safety approach and generally well-known COVID-19 control strategies (e.g. social distancing, disinfecting, and, yes, face coverings). Resiliency considers strategies for reducing the spread of infection through a worksite (e.g. by temperature screenings, compartmentalizing crews and/or shifts, and COVID testing). Recovery considers how construction can continue if workers become infected and/or are quarantined due to exposure (e.g. through clarity of critical-path schedule elements, clarity of critical operational scope features, and identification of auxiliary workers).

The utility of this framework will be tested through dialogue to see if it captures the bulk of the participants’ experience and questions, and if it could add value to planning, reporting, and coordination processes.

Sean Batty, ASLA, RLA
Director, Stations and Guideways Department
Engineering and Construction Division

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