New York State’s Construction Guidelines: What Workers Need to Know

New York State’s Construction Guidelines: What Workers Need to Know

As part of Building Skills’ work to maintain open lines of communication with all of our participants, we are committed to sharing with you the latest on construction site safety and other industry resources. To that end, we will continue to provide information on the state’s instructions and what they mean for you as a worker. As New York City worksites begin to reopen, no construction activity can occur without meeting New York State’s standards, as well as relevant federal requirements, including the standards of the American with Disability Acts (ADA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Environmental Health Agency (EPA), and OSHA. The new safety regulations that have been issued by New York State incorporate the guidelines from these federal agencies to help prioritize health and safety throughout the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic. New York State’s guidelines are subdivided into three categories: people, places, and processes. Learn more:


This section includes guidance on physical distancing, gatherings, workplace activity, and movement. You are already well aware that social distancing is perhaps the number one safety guideline in response to COVID-19. All workers are advised to avoid physical contact with others and maintain a distance of at least six feet whenever possible. When a task requires you to come within a closer distance than six feet, make sure you are wearing a proper face covering. When you participate in any in-person meetings, try to find open, well-ventilated spaces that allow everyone to remain socially distant. Read more about guidelines for people.


This section includes guidance on protective equipment, hygiene and cleaning, phased reopening, and communications plans. Even as it gets hot outside, protective face coverings will be required for the foreseeable future. In addition to existing personal protective equipment (PPE) needed for workplace activities, you must be diligent about wearing proper face coverings. Make sure you have received a briefing on proper protocols for cleaning and disinfecting workspaces and tools. The Department of Environmental Conservation provides a guide for what products are identified by the EPA as effective against COVID-19. Read more about guidelines for places.


This section includes guidance on screening, testing and contact tracing. Always err on the side of caution if you feel sick or have any symptoms that may be COVID-19. Disclose any safety or health concerns you may have to your supervisor. If you or one of your fellow workers tests positive for COVID-19, make sure your worksite has immediately informed the local health department and DOH to trace all previous contact. Read more about guidelines for processes.

Ready to find your next construction job? You can get access to Building Skills NY construction job and training opportunities by checking out our Job Seekers page. As of March 2020, our in-person interview events have been moved to Zoom video-conferencing in response to COVID-19.