Safety Compliance

COVID Preparedness

Submitted by Dave Ferkul, CIH, CSP, Supervisor, Workplace Safety Consultation


As mandates are lifted and progress continues, be mindful that a few provisions are still expected on construction worksites.

These are listed in the guidance for all Minnesota businesses.

In effect until 70% of Minnesotans 16+ are vaccinated or June 30, MN businesses will be required to implement a written COVID-19 preparedness plan that summarizes requirements for minimizing exposure and transmission per Executive Order and Stay Safe guidance.

• Continue to conduct health screening for persons entering the worksite and have procedures to follow when someone reports symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, including isolation, quarantine, and return to work.
• Maintain hand hygiene practices and regularly scheduled cleaning and disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces.
• Maximize ventilation in indoor spaces through natural and mechanical ventilation. 
• Maintain social distancing regardless of vaccination status.

Employers on multi-employer worksites will each have their own plan and coordinate with the controlling employer. Though the mandate has been lifted for most settings, the MN Dept. of Health has face covering recommendations posted online. Unvaccinated people are strongly recommended to wear face coverings and vaccinations are strongly recommended. 

I’ll remain optimistic that an honest (unbiased) critique of the State’s response to the COVID pandemic will be completed. This type of event will happen again, so it would be advantageous to have a solid response plan for businesses to follow. 

The days have gotten hotter!

Workers need to be reminded of the hazards associated with excessive heat exposure. Discuss heat stress symptoms, prevention methods, and response to symptoms of excessive heat exposure. 

As temperature and humidity levels reach and exceed the heat index danger zone, employers will be expected to manage worker heat stress more actively through more frequent rest breaks, access to cooled areas (where possible) and shade, and maintaining available water. NOAA’s National Weather Service and other weather apps can provide updates on heat advisories. 

Reaching the Danger Zone heat index:

• 90ºF at 70% relative humidity
• 88ºF at 75% relative humidity
• 86ºF at 90% relative humidity

Dave has held multiple positions in various consultant and supervisory roles, within Workplace Safety Consultation (WSC). He is a certified industrial hygienist and safety professional, who has had opportunities to work with a wide range of public and private sector employers, in general industry and construction, providing technical assistance in industrial hygiene, safety, and ergonomics, while gaining insights and guiding employers on more effective management of workplace safety & health. He provides overall program support for WSC, overseeing the Safety Grants and Alliance programs, and current focus on temporary worker safety.

Learn more about MN OSHA Workplace Safety Consultation or call 651-284-5060 / 800-657-3776