Phase 1 Plan Allows Existing Construction Projects to Restart

On April 24, Gov. Inslee authorized Phase 1 of the restart of residential construction, effective immediately in Washington State. It is imperative that residential construction leads the way to demonstrate that construction jobsites are safe and sanitary in order to have our industry completely re-opened. Phase 1 construction includes all activities that can only be performed with six-foot social distancing requirements and following a COVID-specific jobsite safety plan.

On April 29, Gov. Inlsee issued a memo clarifying “existing construction” as construction activity that is a) needed to fulfill an obligation under a contract effective prior to March 23, 2020, or b) authorized by a government-issued permit obtained prior to March 23, 2020

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Phase 1 is only for existing projects under construction, it doesn’t allow new projects to start (yet); that will be Phase 2.
  • Phase 1 includes work that can be performed while social distancing by six feet. Any work that needs to be performed more closely is not allowed and work will be done to get that opened under Phase 2.
  • There is no delay on the implementation, if members follow the requirements, they can work as early as today.
  • Job site safety plans are required. Download BIAW’s safety plan for your use.
  • Employers must check temperatures and ask if workers are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms prior to their start on a jobsite.
    • Reassure your employees that temperature readings will NOT be recorded.
  • PPE will be required and employer provided. PPE masks are any facial covering, not just N95.
  • Job site signage is required. Access BIAW’s required signage for your use.
  • Job site visitor logs must be utilized. Access a template.
  • Jobsite COVID-19 training is required. Access a toolbox talk and sign-in sheet.


Before returning to work, you MUST have 100% PPE and safety protocols in place.
Not part of the protocol, not just notices, not just PPE… ALL!

We already have reports of builders and subs on-site without following proper protocol including required PPE equipment. Not only does that put you at risk, you are jeopardizing the ability for the whole industry to continue working.

Governor Inslee was clear; If we are unable to abide by the terms of the agreed upon protocols, the industry could be shut down again. The governor also reiterated the escalation of enforcement.

1. Warning
2. Fines and removal from site
3. Rescinding of permits
4. Legal enforcement including a gross misdemeanor charge (up to a year in jail and $5,000 fine)
5. Referral to the attorney general for further action

*In addition, local jurisdictions are not prohibited from passing emergency orders more restrictive than the governor’s proclamation if they feel our industry is not abiding by the requirements.

*BIAW has produced a Safety Plan and templates for all of the required documents you need to have at every jobsite in order to return to work access

Watch the BIAW Member Town Hall on How to Get Back to Work Safely in Phase 1


Planning to go back to work? We’ve got you covered… literally! Reusable masks, thermometers, gloves, etc.



Who is responsible for providing PPE, GC, or Sub?

The employer is responsible for providing PPE for their employees; however, the GC is responsible for making sure everyone on site follows all the Phase 1 requirements.  We suggest having extra of all required equipment in case someone arrives on site without it.

Who is responsible for temperature checks and screening?

The direct employer is responsible for daily temperature checks and screening, although the GC is responsible for project compliance (see previous question).  We suggest you have your subs do the daily temperature check and screening for their employees and send you an e-mail or text confirmation before they arrive on site.  Another tip: you or your subs can have their employees take their temperature and complete screening by phone prior to leaving for work that day. You just must record they complied with the screening process, but not their temperature or answers.

The project has been considered essential since March 25th; we don’t need to follow the new rules, do we?

Yes, as of Friday, May 1, all construction must comply with the Phase 1 requirements.


Reminder: Wash stations must be in compliance with plumbing and health regulations. They cannot drain to the ground.


*For more answers, join us for our weekly Builders Update on Tuesday mornings. Register here.