Mayor Durkan Announces Two Day Temporary Suspension of Public Works Construction to Conduct Health and Safety Training for Workers, Update Protocols

Seattle (April 7, 2020) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced that the City of Seattle will require contractors and employees working on public works projects in Seattle to suspend work until Saturday, April 11. While these projects are permitted to continue under Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, the two day temporary construction suspension of active public works projects will allow contractors and staff to implement rigorous social distancing requirements and update health and safety plans. 

“Our foremost priority is the safety of our essential workers. While critical infrastructure and public safety projects continue, including the repair of the West Seattle Bridge and construction of affordable housing, it is also imperative our job sites have implemented public health guidance that ensures the health and safety of their workers,” said Mayor Durkan. “We are looking forward to using this time to ensure all contractors are using protocols to keep essential construction workers healthy.”

Contractors were notified today that on Thursday, April 9th, all contracted public works projects in active construction will be temporarily suspended until April 11th. The City is requesting that contractors use this a time to review and update their Health and Safety Plans to ensure they reflect the most recent guidance regarding jobsite health screenings, personal protection equipment, social distancing, worker hygiene, worksite sanitation measures, decontamination measures following an incident and employee training.

All City contractors are required to operate with a City approved Health and Safety Plan. City departments have been working proactively with contractors since early March to ensure Health and Safety Plans responsive to COVID-19 are in place and protecting workers. The City will use this time to work with its contractors to review the updated plans to ensure they have implemented the latest CDC, OSHA and Washington State DOH public health guidance. The City also will be utilizing suspension time to provide additional safety training to construction management teams and ensure policies are consistent with City guidance as it relates to COVID-19.

Project work may continue upon the expiration of the 2-day suspension. If the City identifies an issue with a project HSP, a written notice will be issued and the suspension may be extended for that project until the issue has been resolved.