Gould + Ratner
Best Practices for Construction Site Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Best Practices for Construction Site Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Now that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Stay at Home Order deemed construction to be an essential service, and the City of Chicago has confirmed that construction can proceed as an essential infrastructure exception, construction is being undertaken in a new and unprecedented environment, with a whole new set of rules.

While Gould & Ratner has offered numerous updates on new safety and employment concerns, it is also crucial that owners and contractors implement a project safety plan that incorporates all possible safeguards to protect workers and others on the site.

Any safety plan has to consider the health and safety of the workforce, comply with government rules and advisory opinions, and maintain adequate flexibility to adapt to future changes and clarifications to any governmental issued order, including a future shutdown. Rules can change suddenly in this climate, and governmental shutdown orders can be issued with little time to secure the site. For example, Pitkin County in Colorado ordered the cessation of all construction and gave contractors one week to secure sites.

Chicago is fortunate to have many general contractors who have developed thoughtful and thorough plans. However, owners, general contractors and subcontractors should all be familiar with and have an understanding of all safety plans.

When implementing a plan, consider some of these best practices:


Minimize workforce interaction as much as possible

Project partner plans

Develop a safety/response plan

As with all other aspects of construction during this pandemic, collaboration, patience and diligence are equally important. For additional information or questions about implementing COVID-19 safety plans, contact a member of Gould & Ratner's Construction Practice.

Return to Publications