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What construction and real estate workers can expect as they head back to work

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Posted at 5:12 AM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 09:21:53-04

GRAND RAPIDS — Starting Thursday, the construction industry and other related building trades can open back up under the governor's executive order.

It also includes the real estate industry like appraisers and inspectors, and those who perform work outdoors.

There are restrictions these businesses will have to follow under the governor's orders, as they head back to work and adjust to the "new normal."

Varnum Law helped break it down. For instance, in the real estate industry, they must limit the number of people that are present at any given time. There are no open houses allowed and only up to 4 people in any private showing.

"There are a few particulars like that, but I think a lot of the other requirements are not these unique or unusual requirements for those industries. It's more detail on here are some things that you probably would already be considering in connection with preparing your COVID plan," said Varnum Law attorney Melissa Papke.

When it comes to construction, the order includes things like prohibiting gatherings of any in size in which people cannot be six feet apart. The order also requires protocols be put in place to limit the sharing of tools and equipment, along with minimizing personal contact when delivering materials and ensuring there are sufficient places on the work site for hand washing.

"It gives you basically a road, a road map to think about these things. Think about when people are going to be closer and try to implement a best practice, so that people are not just running, taking breaks at common water coolers, you know, altogether, or sharing tools that haven't been cleaned. So there's a lot of things that may be common sense. But wouldn't strike you immediately to do that are integrated in the order. It may be more time consuming but it's not calculated to materially, you know, slow down or impact, being able to get your construction done."
Varnum Law actually has a great break down of the order and the specific details, including what's not covered in this most recent order and the work they're doing to get answers. You can check that out for specific questions here regarding your job.