Most Chicago PBC work continues despite COVID-19 — Contractors and workers urged to follow safety protocols

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Most of Chicago’s Public Building Commission (PBC) work is continuing with precautions in place, the union/management Construction Industry Service Corporation (CISCO) reported on March 26.

“The City of Chicago released a list of 182 “scopes of work” at various Public Building Commission site locations showing 158 still in progress (24 cancellations),” CISCO says.

PBC has directed some specific protocols for immediate implementation to mitigate the challenge:

  • Increased hand washing stations
  • Staggered trade activities and working hours, including earlier start times, shift work, etc.
  • Limited in person interactions
  • Alternate meeting platforms (conference calls, web based meetings, etc.)
  • Thorough daily cleaning of project offices and sites
  • Installation of appropriate informational signage and educational material (hyperlijnk to Center for Disease Control – CDC) material)
  • Emphasis during contractor’s tool box talks
  • Regular and frequent site inspections by contractor’s quality managers/safety directors
  • Regular informational conference calls (open communication, personal responsibility, knowledge sharing and lessons learned, and transparency is key to success) with clients, general trades, contractors, consultants, suppliers, manufactures and vendors.

“With regard to its school projects, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and PBC have coordinated their efforts during the extended school closing period,” CISCO reported. “CPS’s Facilities Department advised that it will allow work to continue until April 10th.”

PBC’s contractors have been directed to immediately implement the following protocols for work activities within the existing schools, in addition to maintaining updated and accurate sign-in sheets:

  • Maintain full control and proper supervision of any/all planned work
  • Establish and maintain one entry/exit point
  • Furnish sticky pads at entry/exit point
  • – Furnish hand sanitizers at entry/exit point
  • Provide gloves to all personnel, including trade contractors, Consultants, and PBC Staff. Gloves must be worn at all times while inside the schools.
  • Provide footwear covering, which must be worn at all times while inside the school.
  • If available, provide masks, which must be worn at all times while inside the school.

“PBC’s contractors fully understand the gravity of this matter and are committed to continue partnering with PBC and its clients,” CISCO reports. “In addition, PBC directed its contractors to update their COVID-19 protocols, to account for any changes or information as it becomes available. The trades have PBC’s unconditional support.”


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