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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is continuing to place a strong emphasis on jobsite safety and combating the risks of the coronavirus (COVID-19) for construction workers. In a letter sent to residential construction workers, newly appointed NAHB chairman Chuck Fowke encouraged the industry to continue following guidelines designed to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

“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,” Fowke wrote in the letter. “None of this should be at the expense of safety, however.”

Fowke said amid rising case numbers around the United States, it is important to recommit efforts to implement and maintain jobsite safety measures. The NAHB developed a Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction in coordination with the Construction Industry Safety Coalition that outlines steps every employer and employee should take to reduce the risk of exposure and transmission of COVID-19.

In April, the NAHB also encouraged the residential construction industry to take part in a COVID-19 Job Site Safety Stand Down. As part of the safety stand down, NAHB members were asked to pause all work for at least 10 minutes to relay COVID-19 safety precautions, such as maintaining a six feet distance with others at all times, cleaning and sanitizing frequently-used tools, equipment, and frequently-touched surfaces on a regular basis, and ensuring the proper sanitation of common surfaces and equipment. The initiative was strongly supported by the lumber and building materials community.