As most of you probably already know last week the Governor extended his “stay at home” order until May 4th. There was considerable optimism that the governor would lift restrictions on private and residential construction, falling in line with the Department of Homeland Security guidelines, but that did not materialize. A growing number of State Representatives and Senators as well as local elected officials are pressuring the governor to list private and residential construction as “essential businesses” under his “stay home stay healthy order.” I urge you to call the Governor’s office at 360-902-4111 and let him know that Private and Residential construction are vital to our region during this health care emergency and should be treated the same as government funded construction.
In the meantime I have spoken with numerous members with questions about their business, specific projects and how the governor’s order affects them. Do not hesitate to contact me I’m happy to help in any way I can. Here are some of the topics that may be of interest:
Unless your business is listed as essential here https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/WA%20Essential%20Critical%20Infrastructure%20Workers%20%28Final%29.pdf the Governor’s Order means you risk fines or loss of your business license if you or your employees continue to conduct business.
There are some exceptions to this that may allow you to continue to work provided you meet the social distancing requirements published by the CDC. Here are just a few that may apply.
- If you or your employees can work from home
- If your business supports an essential business
- Such as supplying materials for a public project that is allowed to continue during the shutdown
- Or you supply parts or materials to agriculture, or are building or repairing structures or equipment necessary for an Ag business to function
- This could also apply to performing necessary work at child care facility, or other essential business.
- Construction work is allowed under the following conditions
- Necessary for the structural integrity of an existing structure
- To prevent damage or spoliation
- To prevent erosion
- For health or safety reasons like:
- A deck with no handrail
- Ensuring that a home has a functioning bathroom or kitchen
- Repairing or finishing electrical or plumbing that could he hazardous.
- Emergency repairs
- Broken windows
- Roof damage from a windstorm
- Repairing or replacing exterior doors or windows to prevent theft or vandalism
- Fencing or gates to secure a jobsite
- Installing garage doors to secure a home
If you are going to be open for business, or working on a jobsite during this time I would suggest printing out the list of essential businesses and exceptions above, highlighting the portions you believe are relevant to your situation and maybe making some notes to go along with it. Then if you are questioned by health officials, law enforcement or nosey neighbors you can readily point to your justification for your activity.
None of this is to be construed as legal advice, it is just my opinion, do your own research, make your own judgements and do your best to be safe. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments and please take the time to call the governor’s office 360-902-4111 and send him an email https://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message
Have a great day and be safe out there
LEE PFLUGER, CEO