Members of the Safety and Health Code Board,
As an employee/crew leader in the heavy construction industry, I strongly oppose adopting a Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS CoV-2 Virus that causes COVID 19, 16VAC25-220.
Construction is an essential business performing critical work for the Commonwealth of Virginia, especially since the onset of the pandemic. Health and safety is important for my crew and my company has made it a priority. My employer has implemented all of the CDC and OSHA COVID-19 guidelines as soon as information was available and are in compliance with the CARES Act mandates. I cannot imagine how much this has costs my employer but I know it has pulled resources from my projects for training which has resulted in my projects falling behind. In addition to my normal daily startup procedures I am not required to ask medically related questions each day to make sure each person on the jobsite does not have any sickness, symptom or signs of any illness and perform screenings/temp checks. Our industry, from what I understand, can only hire people 18 or older - this is the definition of an adult at this age and my crew members should be accountable for their own health and not report to work if they are sick. I should not be asked to check people's temperatures and personally invade their medical life when they should be capable of doing this for themselves. Let's ask individuals to rise up to accountability and responsibility as opposed to treating them like children and invading them personally.
I am also shocked that the amendment would broaden to include other flus, viruses, colds etc. to the permanent standard. I do not have a medical degree or training, nor should I have to in order to perform my job in the construction industry (my co-workers should not have to have this responsibility or training either). Making this standard permanent and/or broadening it is such a burden to small businesses and the people who work in the small businesses. I am committed to my employer and my crews and their health and safety, but this over reaching and will ultimately costs the state and consumers more money.