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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is urging residential construction companies to halt work for at least 10 minutes on April 16 for a COVID-19 Job Site Safety Stand Down to educate workers on what to do to keep themselves safe from coronavirus, according to NAHB Now.

The Department of Homeland Security recently designated construction of single-family and multifamily housing as an “Essential Infrastructure Business,” allowing construction to continue in places under stay-at-home orders. Although this designation is not binding on state and local governments, it does mean that there could be more workers on construction sites in the coming weeks.

“With more workers coming back to job sites, we need to make sure they have all the information they need to stay healthy and safe,” said NAHB Chairman Dean Mon. “It is critical that everyone on a construction site alter their normal behavior and strictly follow public health guidelines while at work.”

As part of the safety stand down, members are being asked to pause all work for at least 10 minutes to relay coronavirus safety precautions, such as maintaining a distance of no less than six feet with others at all times, cleaning and sanitizing frequently used tools, equipment, and frequently touched surfaces on a regular basis and ensuring the proper sanitation of common surfaces and equipment. The safety information can also be distributed digitally (through email and/or text).

According to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), hundreds of construction firms in the United States participated in a similar stand down on April 9 to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of the coronavirus. The AGC stand down was designed to make sure firms and workers are taking measures outlined by health and safety officials to protect workers on active construction sites and the public. Participating firms were asked to break teams into small, socially distanced groups and cover three different "toolbox" talks that outlined steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus. According to the AGC, more than 31,000 workers participated in the safety stand downs on April 9.

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