The Department of Labor and Industry Requires All Minnesota General Contractors Create a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Following Governor Walz’s executive orders, all General Contractors in Minnesota (and any business engaged in the construction trades), must develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. The plan will outline the obligations and duties of the General Contractor in regards to the safety of workers and job sites amidst the COVID-19 virus. Plans must be in place by June 29, 2020. While many contractors previously had Preparedness Plans put together, the Governor’s new order has created many additional requirements.  Prior plans will not meet the new criteria.

To start, the new Plan must adhere to the following general requirements:

  • They must be in writing, provided to each worker, posted and readily available at each site.
  • The Plan must be administered and enforced by a designated plan administrator of the General Contractor.
  • The General Contractor must ensure that all subcontractors, independent contractors, or other businesses involved with the project also have their own Plans, and those Plans must be coordinated with the General Contractor’s Plan for consistency.
  • Each General Contractor needs a general Plan plus a Plan for each job site with requirements tailored to that specific job site.
  • Each Plan must comply with the “Ensure Sick Workers Stay Home” requirement, as explained in more detail below.
  • General Contractors must investigate potential COVID-19 infections and implement plans to remedy potential infections.

Each Plan must address, and comply with, the following topics with respect to COVID-19 spread:

  • The “Ensure Sick Workers Stay Home” requirement which sets forth the requirements of a General Contractor to: (i) screen workers for potential infection; (ii) implement plans to send workers home or isolate them if suspected of infection; (iii) establish reporting protocols while protecting privacy of infected workers; (iv) implement contact tracing for infected workers; and among other protocols (v) provide accommodations for “high risk” populations.
  • Implement protocols to ensure social distancing on job sites.
  • Implement protocols with respect to worker hygiene and source controls (providing sufficient PPE materials.)
  • Ensure worksite building and ventilation systems are functioning and capable of handling the number of workers present.
  • Implement protocols with respect to disinfecting tools, vehicles, and other equipment used by workers on the job site.
  • Ensure safe delivery practices, including “contactless” delivery of materials.
  • Communications and training practices to ensure all workers understand the requirements and can act accordingly when encountering potential exposure.

In addition, within each main topic are numerous sub-requirements that must be addressed in the Plan. The DLI has the authority to inspect, regulate, and otherwise determine if a Plan is in compliance with the rules.  This means that failure to have a Plan in place could potentially result in license revocation. Accordingly, Smith Jadin Johnson is here to help you navigate these new DLI requirements and design and implement a fully compliant COVID-19 Preparedness Plan tailored to your company’s needs. Please give us a call to get started.