Construction workers halt work to learn onsite COVID-19 safety protocols

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- While most of the nation is working from home, those working on homes continue to show up to work.

"If construction were to shut down that includes all your emergency services, heating plumbing, roofing, electrical," said Gaye Orr of the Raleigh-Wake Builders Association.

In the Triangle, there is an estimated 50,000 plus construction workers, designated essential by local and state government. The Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County is calling on more than 1,400 member businesses to stand down to discuss what they should do to keep themselves safe from coronavirus and to help 'flatten the curve' for everyone. COVID-19-related job site safety protocols and CDC guidelines will be thoroughly reviewed. There will also be an opportunity to acknowledge and thank front-line workers.

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"We are asking everyone to stand down for 10-15 minutes to help educate employees about the protocols by the CDC," said Orr.

Gaye Orr heads up the Home Builders Association of Raleigh and Wake County. Today she's counting on construction crews to follow the rules.

"Well it's certainly the 6 feet distancing, masks are recommended especially if you're close to each other, gloves should be worn at all times, no sharing of gloves, no sharing of tools," said Orr.

The spread of COVID-19 would not only hurt the health of employees but could hinder the local economy.

"We don't have enough labor in our market to lose anybody. We have a huge shortage in this industry."

In Wake County, there's a shortage of homes.

"We have over 60 people a day moving into the triangle and we have to have housing for them. We planned to build 12,500 homes this year in wake county and if we were to shut down for any length of time, that puts us 2 months behind and we won't have housing for people," Orr explained.
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