As we’re all aware, the construction industry has been declared an essential business to Wisconsin, vital to maintaining our essential infrastructure. This is a role that our men, women and contractors take very seriously and are doing everything necessary to keep all personnel safe and jobs open. Through these difficult times, the construction industry is doing its part to help the community, the economy and everyone impacted by this crisis.
On March 24, in Emergency Executive Order #12, Gov. Tony Evers reached the difficult decision of ordering residents to stay at home, a shelter-in-place move designed to curtail the spread of COVID-19, an effort intended to save lives. To avoid a complete shutdown of our economy and society, essential infrastructure was exempted. And, as a result, the construction industry and the building and construction tradesmen and tradeswomen have been called upon to meet a great challenge.
Fortunately, the commercial construction industry has the infrastructure and resources necessary to rise to the test and takes its role as an essential business very seriously, while at the same time doing everything necessary to keep all employees safe.
Contractors and contractors’ groups banded together early in this crisis to ensure their members have the most current information and best practices available to keep their men and women safe. Through consultation at the national level, and insights from leading experts like the CDC, DOL and WHO, available resources include comprehensive steps on social distancing and sanitation on the jobsite, precautions when carpooling, access and screening, business planning considerations and employee education. In this difficult time, trust and communication are key, and these plans can only be carried out thanks to long-standing partnerships that are at the core of our industry.
Ours is an industry built on risk mitigation, which is made possible through the collaboration of all stakeholders. The building and construction tradesmen and tradeswomen have a long history of extensive training, with an emphasis in safety. The goal of every member and contractor is for their people to go home safe at the end of the day. This current crisis does not change that perspective, it only strengthens the resolve to keep it a reality.
Through their enhanced capacity, our tradespeople are equipped to utilize these new resources and best practices that will help ensure they return home safely. Thankfully, through collaboration and partnership with all stakeholders, tradespeople won’t have to compromise their health in order to meet this new challenge.
These tough men and women take great pride in the sacrifices they make in the name of their trades and what the construction industry stands for. It’s easy to overlook their contribution to their employers, industry and community. Now more than ever during these challenging times, they deserve our thanks and respect.