March 16, 2020
As a family owned/family run company we have the utmost concern for the health and wellbeing of our employees and their families during the coronavirus outbreak. It is our desire to insure the safety of all employees.
By now, everyone has heard the precautions they should be taking:
· Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
· Cover your cough or sneeze.
· If you are sick, stay home.
· Keep your distance. Stay a minimum of 6′-8′ from others.
In addition, until further notice, all offices, shops and teams should follow these best practices:
· All meetings or other gatherings are to be kept to a maximum of 5 people.
· No more than 2 employees working in close proximity to each other at a time (i.e. on one piece of equipment).
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces on a regular basis.
As a company, we are working to set up the following adjustments where feasible:
· Where workloads allow and with supervisor approval, office staff will be allowed to work from home. Please discuss this option with your supervisor. Instructions for working from home are attached.
· Flexible schedules will be set up to keep a minimum number of employees in one location at a time.
While the federal government debates the current legislation regarding paid sick leave for those employees affected by the coronavirus, Central Washington Asphalt, North Central Construction, Shamrock Paving, AAA Ready-Mix, AAA Concrete and all subsidiary companies will be doing the following:
· 10 days of paid sick leave for any employee diagnosed with the coronavirus or exhibiting symptoms that require they remain home under quarantine, or if they have to miss work to take care of a family member who has the coronavirus. This will also include any employee that has to stay home because they have a child whose school or child care facility has closed due to the coronavirus. This is in addition to any regular accrued sick leave or any earned vacation pay.
· We have adjusted our medical benefit plans thru Premera Blue Cross to cover testing and treatment for the coronavirus with co-pays and deductibles waived.
· Outside visitors to all locations should be limited as much as possible.
The above changes will be reviewed as needed to insure we are doing everything we can as a company to keep our employees and their families healthy and safe.
Human Resources Manager
Central Manufacturing, Inc
AAA Concrete, Inc.
North Central Construction, Inc.
Palmer Lake Ranches, LLC
WAPA COVID-19 Bulletin
March 17, 2020
The Washington Asphalt Pavement Association (WAPA) is monitoring events related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to assess the impacts public policy and government/ industry mandates may have on the paving industry in our state and its related associated industries.
As you know, events are moving quickly. Public mandates related to COVID-19 can be local, regional, statewide or national and are often unprecedented and imposed without notice. WAPA has been in contact with the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and is sharing information with its sister State Asphalt Pavement Associations (SAPAs) on an on-going basis in an attempt to keep track of what is happening in other states, and across the country, as we begin to move into Washington’s traditional peak road construction season.
Every Washingtonian should act responsively to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We believe that some sectors of the economy can continue to operate if reasonable precautions are included in training (a sample Toolbox Talk from AGCWA is HERE) and are followed diligently (e.g. “social distancing” guidelines). Failure to train and enforce precautionary habits on the worksite not only endangers fellow workers and the public but it could lead to shutting down construction projects.
Of particular interest to WAPA members – What will be the impacts related to road construction during this health emergency? Early indications are that road construction is generally being considered an “essential service” and is therefore widely expected (as of today) to be able to continue unimpeded from a contractual/ government action standpoint (the City of Boston and PennDOT are exceptions to date). The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has not moved to delay any existing projects and it is working to ensure that its systems are still working seamlessly (contractors are paid on time etc.) even though approximately 60% of WSDOT personnel are telecommuting as of yesterday. WAPA members are encouraged to continue to be in close (remote) contact with non-WSDOT project owners and other health and safety officials for guidance on how the health emergency may impact them specifically.
Current Items of Interest:
New health advisories continue to be issued daily at the local, state and federal level regarding COVID-19. The virus has been spreading quickly in many states, including Washington state, particularly in the King/ Pierce/ Snohomish County region. The Governor has declared a state of emergency and all levels of government are mobilizing resources to understand the nature of the virus, how it is spread, and what health implications it will bring with it. Business operations and daily life in the region have already been disrupted. A link to the Washington State Department of Health Corona Virus page is provided below.
WAPA has been in contact with the leaders of WSDOT’s Construction Division and participated in a COVID-19 update teleconference yesterday. A similar conference will be held weekly until policies are in place that respond to the impacts and challenges WSDOT and road construction firms will face as a result COVID-19.
It is still early in adapting to meet this unique challenge, but items of immediate interest include:
WSDOT will be providing guidance for how contracts/ specifications will be viewed when considering impacts related to COVID-19. Of key importance will be flexibility in allowing for non-working days in anticipation of potential work interruptions (e.g. a depleted work force on critical path crews or key supply chain interruptions).
Extending expiring certifications for key workers (Inspectors, Lab Technicians, Flaggers etc.) due to the restricted ability to attend training and re-certification classes. We specifically discussed flagger certifications and accepting/ approving flagging cards that will expire in the first half of 2020.
Limited meetings – WSDOT has aggressively instituted telecommuting for its workforce so face-to-face meetings will be very limited and will be size-restricted (10-people or less). Teleconferences will become much more common. Limited in-person meetings will be the “new normal” for at least the next 60 days.
Information sharing and teleconferences tied to time-sensitive issues are continuing to be held. For instance, the WAPA and WSDOT subcommittee reviewing VMA and compaction specifications continues to discuss the issues and review data, but we will do so without holding in-person meetings. This should not impede our progress on the key issues at hand.
Many state DOTs that have been impacted by COVID-19 mandates are operating as “essential functions” or “vital services” of government. WSDOT will consider the need for this designation if the state-imposed guidelines/ mandates begin to impede highway construction work. Please note that, if this designation becomes necessary, it is likely “non-critical” construction projects might be delayed.
WAPA will keep in contact with NAPA, the SAPAs and WSDOT and will update our members on any challenges/ policy changes that we become aware of that likely will impact your operations or contracting/ bidding considerations.
The Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 webpage, with additional resources is HERE.
The NAPA website will add a COVID-19 Resources/ Information page, targeted to “go live” on 3/18/2020. NAPA’s website is www.asphaltpavement.org. As an alternate, the national AGC has a robust Coronavirus webpage up and running HERE.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage with information about the novel coronavirus is HERE.
The Seattle Times is providing COVID-19 live updates/ daily news at its website. The latest update is HERE.
Contact WAPA Executive Director Dave Gent at (253) 261-4486 or by e-mail at Dave.Gent@AsphaltWA.com with any questions or concerns.