NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke today sent an open letter to the nation's residential construction workers imploring them to continue following guidance to prevent the transmission of coronavirus in the face of rising cases nationwide. Read the letter below:
As chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), I commend your dedication to building our nation's homes and your steadfast commitment to jobsite safety during this unprecedented time. The pandemic has highlighted the country's housing affordability crisis and the need for new housing is more important now than ever. NAHB has worked hard to have home building designated as "essential infrastructure workforce" at the federal, state and local levels to allow our industry to continue building homes. None of this should be at the expense of safety, however. Fortunately, the safety measures taken by home builders and remodelers have allowed our workers to stay on the job without jeopardizing their safety.
Yet, today, as we witness spikes in the spread of the coronavirus around the country, it is time to recommit our efforts to implement and maintain jobsite safety measures. NAHB, in collaboration with the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, developed a comprehensive Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction that outlines the steps every employer and employee should take to reduce the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19.
We all know the basics: maintain a distance of at least six feet, wear face coverings and wash your hands frequently. These simple steps can help stop the virus from spreading. For those of us in construction, we must take additional precautions, like avoiding the sharing of tools, properly disinfecting equipment that must be handled by others, using individual water containers rather than shared ones like water coolers, and minimizing the total number of workers on a site at any one time. Employers also must have written exposure prevention plans in place as well as procedures to follow if a worker does become sick.
Safety will always be our industry's number one priority. This COVID-19 guidance complements NAHB's year-round Safety 365 campaign that provides information and resources to help keep construction workers safe and eliminate preventable accidents, injuries and deaths. Thank you for continuing to put the health and safety of your fellow workers and community members first. Together, we can lead the way out of the crisis and lift our economy back on its feet as we work to provide safe, affordable housing for all.
John "Chuck" Fowke | NAHB Chairman
For more information on NAHB's job site coronavirus safety resources, visit nahb.org.