Whether your construction project has been shut down or is designated as an “essential project” and work is continuing, there are a number of measures the CDC, OSHA and L&I have implemented to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to keep workers as safe as possible.

If your construction project has been shut down, there will come a time when it is reopened. When it does reopen, there is a very real possibility that you will be required to quickly increase the workforce on the project to meet the scheduling demands to make up lost time. When projects are accelerated, the NWCB Labor Productivity Study has clearly shown that planned productivity will be adversely affected. (The Labor Productivity Study and its accompanying User Guide are available to NWCB member contractors free of charge. Contact NWCB you if you need a copy.)

If your construction project is essential and work continues, the measures implemented to keep the workplace as safe as possible from the COVID-19 virus, including social distancing, additional sanitization policies, staggered work shifts, performing tasks singularly rather than with a partner, using stairs rather than lifts, etc., will also have an adverse effect on your planned productivity.

“Force majeure” describes the condition we now find ourselves in. I's an occurrence of an event which is outside the reasonable control of a party and keeps it from performing its obligations under contract. When there is an event that prevents us from performing our contractual obligations, we have an obligation to provide notice of the event.

The NWCB has created two notification templates – one for Washington and one for Oregon - but strongly recommends that you also consult your legal counsel.

The NWCB staffs stands ready to assist you in estimating potential costs associated with this event. Again, the NWCB recommends that you check with your legal counsel what steps should be taken to protect your business from potential losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.