Working group members, headed by Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters’ vice president, Frank Hawk (SWRCC)

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Nevada unions, contractors form Covid-19 watchdog group

3 April 2020 | By GCR Staff | 0 Comments

Labour unions and construction companies in the US state of Nevada have formed a watchdog group to uphold coronavirus site safety protocols, launching a website for workers to submit tip-offs about violations.

The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (SWRCC) said it had been asked by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak to pull the group together.

Senior figures from construction companies like Mortenson, WA Richardson and MJ Construction are members of the group, which is chaired by SWRCC vice president, Frank Hawk.

As GCR reported on Tuesday, state occupational health authorities scolded contractors for flaunting coronavirus safety rules, and threatened to shut sites if they don’t follow them. 

A new website set up by the group urges workers to report virus-site-safety violations anonymously. These will be investigated.

The group will meet weekly to update and monitor safety protocols, develop best practices and action plans for contamination, and collect data on job site workforce and safety personnel.

It will also prepare to assemble emergency construction teams in case Nevada needs to build hospital field units or convert buildings into overflow units.

SWRCC’s Frank Hawk said: “In every disaster that has [befallen] our country, history has proved that having the construction industry standing at the ready to put the pieces back together has been essential to our society.

“In this case of the Covid-19 virus, we must be prepared to build emergency shelters, triage units or in worst case, newly constructed hospitals or convert existing units to medical facilities.”

Image: Working group members. Back row, from left: Yvette Lanau of WA Richardson, John Cannito of Penta, Frank Hawk of SWRCC, William Richardson of WA Richardson, William Stanley of South Nevada Building Trades, and Guy Martin of Martin Harris Construction. Front row, from left: Paul Dudzinzki of McCarthy, Tommy White of Laborers Union, Mike Dean of MJ Dean Construction, Lou DeSalvio of Laborers Union, Mike Hawk of Carpenters Union, and Sean Stewart of AGC.