Many construction companies, with the safety of their employees and customers in mind, have enacted detailed COVID-19 safety plans. However, OSHA’s newly adopted COVID-19 policies have raised many questions, questions those plans cannot answer. Read why here: OSHA-COVID-19 Article
COVID-19 | Resources
CCA is here to help and provide support in any way as we navigate this crisis together. New information from federal, state and local government health professionals and elected leaders is emerging on a daily basis about how to prevent, control, and mitigate the impacts of the virus. To help our CCA members stay abreast of the latest information, we will continue to post relevant COVID-19 updates and provide links to information and industry-specific guidance.
The Mid-Hudson Region is expected to reach Phase 2 of the reopening of New York during the coronavirus pandemic by Tuesday, June 9, allowing for the opening of outdoor dinning, retail and professional services and drive-in and drive-thru graduations for students.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced graduation ceremonies will be allowed as long as people stay in vehicles.
Outdoor dining at restaurants will now be permitted in phase two of reopening. Outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated. Phase 2 of the four-phase reopening that started May 15 allows professional services to resume in-person operations, as well as finance and insurance, administrative support services, real estate transactions and retail. Malls cannot until Phase 4.
Cuomo has tasked a group of international experts to review the data of each region before any final approval is given by the state to move into the next phase of reopening.
New York City is expected to go to Phase 1 on June 8.
Construction Contractors Association Executive Director Alan Seidman and Administrative Assistant Millie Rodriguez pack up gloves, thermometers, commercial wipes and masks that were ordered by CCA members to protect workers and customers. Members can contact the CCA office for information on how to place an order..
Joan Cusack-McGuirk, president and CEO of Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh hospital shares how COVID-19 has impacted patients, staff and visitors to the health care facility. A longtime nurse and administrator, Cusack-McGuirk offers a hard, emotional insight into the challenges that lie ahead.View video
Hudson Valley DKI uses high grade disinfectant throughout the Orange County Emergency Communications Center on Wednesday morning as a precautionary measure to help keep county employees safe. Company president Angelo Ferrante says that while his technicians can clean surfaces for germs people still need to practice CDC guidelines to stay safe.View video
Gov. Cuomo: State Will Monitor Four Core Factors to Determine if a Region Can Re-Open https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/amid-ongoing-covid-19-pandemic-governor-cuomo-outlines-additional-guidelines-when-regions-can?fbclid=IwAR15yo4ZEYJT38xtLNlawKrzqkVa_U6zEdBfU2TmGWCSPIPOrk-ij0DF0k0
By Michael E. Catania
COVID-19 has altered the very framework of construction projects and their underlying contracts. Orders relative to what are essential business and/or projects, virus mitigation rules and social distancing best practices seem to change on a weekly, if not daily, basis. With all of this going on, the last thing a Contractor may be contemplating is how to it can preserve and protect its contractual rights for delay damages or extras caused by this pandemic. Below are a few helpful guidelines based off of the AIA’s A201, General Conditions that are used on many jobs here in the North East. Please note, the following assumes an unaltered version of A201 2017. Owner’s and their counsel tend to heavily revise the general conditions so please pull the actual terms referenced below and make sure they have not been altered.
1. I am worried about getting paid
a. Given the pandemic’s impact on the economy, and in particular certain industries, you may be worried that your once flush Owner is no longer liquid enough to meet his/her payment obligations on the project. If your project is controlled by AIA’s A201, then you can look to section 2.2, “Proof of Financing” for some reassurance. This clause requires an Owner, in response to a written request by a Contractor with a “reasonable concern,” to furnish “reasonable evidence that the Owner has made financial arrangements to fulfill the Owner’s obligations.” If a Contractor makes such a request, and the Owner ignores it, the Contractor is permitted to stop work.
b. In addition, and under sec 9.7, non-payment by the Owner is also grounds to stop work and for the contract time to be extended.
2. I am worried about delays and possible Liquidated Damages
a. Take a look at section 8.3. If it was not modified, it allows for delays for “causes beyond the Contractor’s control.” In fact, where such a cause is present, the contract time “shall be extended for such reasonable time as the Architect may determine.”
b. COVID-19 delays can fall within Section 8.3.1, thus entitling the contractor to more time. Examples might include building permit delays due to lack building inspectors or a Covid-caused backlog, unusual delays in the delivery of construction material, or labor delays caused by the inherent inefficiencies in the social distancing mandates on construction sites. Frequent time-outs for cleaning, coupled with the extra time it takes workers to put on and take of PPE after every break, can waste hours over any given work week.
c. This section does not talk about delay damages (and is frequently revised by owners to preclude them).
3. My Job has been suspended due to Governmental orders; can I terminate?
a. Section 14.1.1 allows a Contractor to terminate the Contract if the Work is stopped for a period of 30 consecutive days, through no act or fault of the Contractor (or any of its Subcontractors/suppliers). As a result of:
i. Issuance of an order of a court or other public authority having jurisdiction that requires all Work to be stopped;
ii. An act of government, such as a declaration of national emergency, that requires all Work to be stopped.
b. As you are all aware, some projects have been suspended by Executive Orders as “non-essential.” If you are on a suspended job, and it has lasted more than 30 days, contact your construction attorney for guidance on whether and how to terminate. This is especially true if you fear the Owner will force you to accelerate once the suspension is lifted, or that your profit on the job will be eaten away by material price increases.
c. If you terminate under Section 14.1.1, and per Section 14.1.3, you will also be entitled to lost profits on the yet to be completed portion of your Work. Again, check your contracts carefully as Owners typically will have modified these provisions. There are also certain notice and claim provisions that must be strictly followed. If not, your termination may be held unlawful.
Michael E. Catania with the firm of Catania, Mahon & Rider, PLLC, email@example.com
The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) will host a nationwide Safety Stand Down for COVID-19 on April 29. Electrical contractors across the country will invite employees, subcontractors, owners, architects and engineers to join the event to review company protocols and jobsite conditions, and ask questions, bringing focus to health and safety guidance offered by the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
Participants of the stand down are invited to talk about their own experiences and ask questions about such things as proper use of personal protective equipment and how to effectively follow social distancing recommendations. Companies will review safety programs and policies to ensure all workers are protected.
Construction Contractor Association members Alfrandre Architecture, Hudson Valley DKI, LeChase Construction and Specialty Trades Contracting were quick to respond to the emergency need for the donation of N-95 masks to protect medical workers from the coronavirus.
On Monday, CCA Executive Director Alan Seidman delivered the masks to Brendan Casey, Commissioner of Orange County Emergency Services to be distributed to emergency responders throughout Orange County.