News & Resources

COVID-19 Updates & Resources for the Utility Construction Industry

Massachusetts COVID-19 Guidelines for Construction Sites

We urge you to read these guidelines and share with your crews. Failure to comply will result in the project being shut down until compliance can be attested. Some key highlights from the guidelines include:

  • Workers must travel to the job site in a single occupant vehicle. 
  • Prior to the start of each shift, each employee will self-certify to their supervisor regarding their health to be on the job site. Employees must be asked how they are feeling at all meetings throughout the work day.
  • Workers in confined spaces will have to be privately temperature screened by a medical professional.
  • Gloves are a requirement. Additional PPE are required dependent on the job.
  • Job sites must develop cleaning and decontamination procedures that are posted and shared. Added cleaning procedures must take place throughout the job site. COVID-19 guidelines must also be posted on the job site. 
  • Washing stations are required.
  • Workers may not use or move one another's tools without disinfecting. 
  • Minimum distance of six feet between all personnel, including work crew meetings and toolbox talks.

Contract Performance

We strongly encourage all contractors review their contracts' Force Majeure clauses for both current and future projects. Consult your attorney and your bond underwriter.  Regardless of what happens with the current pandemic, construction disputes are expensive and time consuming, and could lead to a claim against your performance bond. A little bit of work upfront will keep both your employees and your balance sheet healthy.

Is COVID-19 Recordable or Reportable to OSHA?

Generally, we have seen some confusion between something that is recordable versus reportable for OSHA purposes. Review this article for questions and answers that hopefully address employer concerns about recordkeeping and reporting to OSHA COVID-19 employee illnesses. Additionally, NUCA is putting together a webinar to shed more light on this topic in the coming days. 

ToolBox Talks & Resources

NUCA has released a ToolBox Talk on keeping the workplace safe during this crisis, available here.

Additionally, the NUCA pandemic flu page contains a wealth of information to use and consider, such as a sample pandemic flu plan for their company, official USDOL and OSHA links to workplace safety and regulatory information, COVID-19 informational resources from national business organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, legal discussions from the National Law Review on regulations affecting business operations, and select articles discussing construction business operations during this emergency. 

Small Business Loans

Business owners can apply to the SBA for low-interest emergency loans of up to $2 million to provide working capital. Additional information and the application can be found here. Should legislative updates affect these loans, we will update the membership regularly. 

Free Technologies for Remote Work

Microsoft announced that it will offer businesses Office 365 licenses free for six months. Microsoft is making this offer to Rhode Island businesses without restriction, a unique benefit for our state. The Office 365 E1 program includes web-based Microsoft Office applications, resources to support telecommuting such as meetings and instant messaging, as well as remote file sharing. Microsoft is also willing to assist with the set up of these technologies. You can leverage these benefits for your business here

If there are additional ways that NUCARI can serve you as a member, we welcome your ideas and the opportunity to support you. Please contact us.

Winter NUCARI Meeting: Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Changes

Thank you for attending the NUCARI Winter Membership Meeting & Dinner. 

To review the presentation on the new Drug & Alcohol Clearing House regulations and changes, click here. f you have additional questions regarding the program, please let us know and we will be happy to connect you with the presenter.

Prequalification of Public Works Vendors

Please take note that amendments have been made to the RI Procurement Regulations requiring that all vendors who wish to bid on non-Department of Transportation (DOT) public works projects with an estimated value of $1,000,000 or higher must be prequalified by the Division of Purchases prior to bid. The prequalification packet is included below.

The documented amendments, a guide to completing the new packet, and FAQ are also available for review here.

Download Prequalification Packet PDF