Last Revised: October 28, 2021

Contractors and Penn employees completing construction and renovation activities on Penn’s campuses, including the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton Center, must comply with Pennsylvania’s “Guidance for Businesses in the Construction Industry Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency". Work in Philadelphia must also comply with Philadelphia's "Authorization for the Conduct of Certain Construction Activity Currently Prohibited by the March 22, 2020 Emergency Order Temporarily Prohibiting Operation of Non-Essential Businesses and Individual Activity to Prevent the Spread of 2019 Novel CoronaVirus (COVID-19)". See links and summary text below for for specific requirements.

Contractors shall update the site-specific safety plan on record with their COVID-19 safety plan prior to resumption of projects at Penn. New projects require submittal of a COVID-19 safety plan in addition to the site-specific safety plan already required for all projects at Penn. Contractors must also be aware that Penn requires face masks (surgical style or two layer 100% cotton) to be worn at all Penn facilities.

All businesses and employees in the construction industry must comply with the following:

  • Follow all applicable provisions of the Order of the Secretary of Health providing for business safety measures, issued April 15, 2020, including but not limited to, provisions requiring that every person present at a work site be provided with and wear masks/face coverings, and provisions requiring the establishment of protocols for execution upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Follow all applicable provisions of the Order of the Secretary of Health providing for building safety measures, issued April 5, 2020.
  • Follow other applicable Department of Health (DOH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance.
  • Require social distancing (6-feet minimum distance between workers) unless the safety of the public or workers require deviation (e.g. drywalling, team lifting).
  • Provide hand wash stations at appropriate locations on the site such as building entrances, break areas, food truck areas, offices, trailers, and job site egress areas.
  • Implement cleaning or sanitizing protocols at all construction sites and projects. Identify and regularly clean and disinfect areas that are at high risk for transmission (requirements to clean common areas and regularly trafficked spaces periodically).
  • Maximum occupancy for indoor and outdoor events is determined using the maximum occupancy calculator (See frequently asked questions.) 6-foot social distancing and universal masking, when required to meet, even when conducted outside.
  • Limit access to enclosed spaces to the extent feasible.
  • Use virtual meetings, and disseminate information electronically to the extent feasible.
  • Stagger shifts, breaks, work areas and/or stacking of trades where feasible to minimize workers on site.
  • Limit tool sharing and sanitize tools if they must be shared.
  • Employ jobsite screening based on CDC guidance to determine if employees should work. Prohibit from working any employees with any symptoms of COVID-19. Encourage sick employees to stay home.
  • Prohibit unnecessary visitors to any project or work site, and limit supplier deliveries.
  • Ensure workers are traveling to and from the job site separately. Wherever possible, employees should not share a vehicle.
  • Assign a “Pandemic Safety Officer” for each project or work site, or, if a large-scale construction project, then for each contractor at the site. The Pandemic Safety Officer must obtain a COVID-19 training certificate. See links below for providers. The responsibility of the Pandemic Safety Officer will be to convey, implement, and enforce the social distancing and other requirements of this guidance for the protection of employees, suppliers, and other personnel at the site. 
  • A COVID-19 Safety Plan must be maintained at each job site that outlines the site’s plans for complying with all applicable orders and guidance, educating workers on safety precautions, and measures to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19. Said Plan shall be produced upon request by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections.


PA Construction Industry Guidance

PA Business Operating During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency - Business Frequently Asked Questions 11-23-2020 Update


City of Philadelphia Construction Order 4-29-2020

City of Philadelphia Construction Requirements  8-3-2020

City of Philadelphia COVID-19 Safety Officer Training Resource 1

City of Philadelphia COVID-19 Safety Officer Training Resource 2


Focus on Construction Health: COVID-19 American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA)


General Building Contractors Association - COVID-19 Safety Resources


COVID-19 Recommendations for Construction Employers - Poster

CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training


OSHA COVID-19 Guidance for the Construction Workforce - Poster

OSHA COVID-19 Control & Prevention - Construction Work




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