This guidance is not a standard or regulation, and it creates no new legal obligations. It contains recommendations as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply with safety and health standards and regulations promulgated by OSHA or by a state with an OSHA-approved state plan. In addition, the Act's General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1), requires employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

Illinois' construction industry is a leading employer across the state, and the current COVID-19 environment poses a risk to its employees. As construction was designated an essential business in Illinois after the outbreak of COVID-19, keeping many people in the industry on the job, some major projects were paused, keeping many others out of work.

To help restart the industry, all Illinois construction companies must do everything they can to both protect their employees and ensure their health and safety. COVID-19 issues specific to the construction industry that must be addressed include:

  1. The necessity for employees to be in close proximity with one another
  2. Ensuring that the use of PPE does not impact an employee's ability to safely do their job
  3. Limiting use of congregated spaces, including construction site elevators
  4. Minimizing the potential risk of site deliveries
  5. Inability to work remotely
  6. Difficulty of staggering employee hours
  7. Visitor screening
The Illinois Department of Labor wants to help Illinois construction companies get back to work safely and rebuild our economy. If you operate a construction company in our state with 250 or fewer employees and would like to schedule a free, confidential health and safety consultation to review your operation and identify best practices for your business, please click here.

The Illinois Department of Labor also offers a COVID-19 Back to Business digital self-certification. This online tutorial will guide you through essential measures and best practices designed to get your business operating safely and effectively. Click here for more information on our self-certification.