As a part of Governor Henry McMaster’s accelerateSC initiative to get South Carolina working again, SC Department of Employment and Workforce has launched a Recall Task Force to help employers bring their teams back to work. Most of our members have not needed to furlough employees. In fact, Home Building has been the one bright spot in the economy in the Upstate. However, if you have furloughed employees and need help recalling them, download this letter from SCDEW, which has instructions for recalling employees and resources available for doing so.
With an essential business designation comes a responsibility to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect your customers, employees and trade partners, and yourselves.
To help you clarify your position as an essential business, we have developed these resources:
NEW! COVID-19 Safety Response Plan. A sample plan you can implement in your business to keep your team safe.
NEW! Jobsite Safety Toolbox Talk. Safety talking points for your meeting with your team.
Essential Worker Letter. Provide this letter to employees and trade partners who are performing work for you, particularly in the City of Greenville.
COVID-19 Job Site Sign. Post this sign at all of your job sites so that your employees and trades partners are reminded of safe workplace practices.
COVID-19 Business Resources. Visit this site for resources you can use in your business to weather the Coronavirus crisis.
Job Site Safety Resources. NAHB has published additional resources to help you keep your employees and trade partners safe on your job site.
COVID-19 Safety Stand Aware
Join a unified, statewide effort to help educate our teams about the critical role safety and health plays during this global crisis. Together, we can help flatten the curve and keep our teams safe.
As an industry, we have an obligation on our jobsites to ensure every individual understands the policies
and procedures to keep us safe during the COVID-19 crisis.
Please join a statewide Safety Stand Aware the week of April 13, 2020 to drive home the importance of job site safety.
Use the job site safety plan template and talking points linked above and hold a safety meeting with your entire team.
The City of Greenville also passed an emergency ordinance last week that sets safety standards for businesses that are authorized to remain open. These standards apply only in the City of Greenville:
Businesses permitted to operate in the City of Greenville must take the followings measures:
- Designate with signage, tape, or by other means at least six (6) feet spacing requirements for customers and employees in line to maintain appropriate distance.
- Have hand sanitizer or sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers.
- Implement separate operating hours for elderly and vulnerable customers.
- Provide an alternative means of purchasing and delivering products and services, to include online or telephone orders and curb-side or off-site deliveries provided, however, no business is required to implement an online ordering platform or provide direct delivery service where they do not currently offer such services.
- Make regular announcements or place signage reminding customers and employees of social distancing measures.
- Allow employees to wear protective masks and gloves.
The ordinance does waive the need to implement any of these actions if it creates an undue hardship on the business, which includes lack of availability of labor or materials.
Governor’s Social Distancing Standards
The Governor also ordered that businesses that remain open reduce the occupancy of their places of business. Businesses are ordered to not allow more than five people per 1,000 square feet of space or 20% of the occupancy approved by the Fire Marshal, whichever is less.
President Trump asked construction companies to donate their N95 masks to hospitals. If you have N95 masks you would like to donate, email Michael Dey (mdey@HBAofGreenville.com) and he will put you in touch with representatives at Prisma Health and Bon Secours Health.
Yesterday’s “Home or Work Order” from Governor McMaster provided a great deal of clarity on what constitutes an essential business or service during the state of emergency. It also is an example of the work that your Home Builders Association has been doing to insure that the housing industry is designated essential and ready to meet the needs of our community.
The order declares that all citizens stay home unless they are at work or traveling to work at a business that is essential. It also provides these exceptions:
- Caring for or visiting a family member (including travel).
- Obtaining necessary supplies and services for your family.
- Seeking medical care.
- Caring for pets (walking the dog is essential).
- Exercising and recreating outdoors (turkey hunting is essential).
- Attending religious services.
- Traveling as required by law (going to court is essential).
Violators are subject to a $100 fine, or 30 days in jail, per violation. Each day is a separate violation.
The order not only provides clarity for businesses that have been deemed nonessential, but critical to Home Builders and Remodelers, it clarifies what is deemed essential. Section 1, F, 2 of the Governor’s order states that businesses and services that have been deemed essential in the March 28 guidance from the US Department of Homeland Security are also essential in South Carolina. These sectors are deemed essential:
- Local and state government
- Infrastructure like airlines, trucking, utilities, and telecommunications
- Retail like appliances, gas stations and convenience stores, grocery stores, and hardware and building material stores and suppliers
- Food and Agriculture
- Services including legal, accounting, and real estate
- Food banks and homeless shelters
- Construction and related businesses including engineering, planning, suppliers, and skilled trades
- Safety and sanitation services
- Logistics, technology, childcare, and other services essential to continuing operation of government
- Defense and law enforcement