COVID-19 and Construction

COVID-19 and Construction

Indiana has consistently allowed construction work to proceed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indiana’s Stay at Home Order first went into effect on March 24, 2020 and recognized that construction is an “Essential Activity” and thus generally exempted the industry from the Order. Consequently, construction activity in Indiana has likely remained steady. Thus, given that construction work can often involve work in close proximity to others it is anticipated that construction workers could contract the virus while at the job-site. OSHA has issued guidance that employers are responsible for recording COVID-19 cases, meaning that a determination would need to be made about whether the worker contracted the virus at the job. Thus, a worker who contracts the virus may be able to demonstrate that he/she contracted it at the jobsite based on the employer’s determination. Consequently, claims and litigation could ensue wherein the employee alleges that the owner, general contractor or construction manager owed a duty to protect workers from the virus and breached that duty. While such a claim would be unique, Kightlinger & Gray has an established track record of successfully defending entities against construction injury claims.

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