Washington, DC (May 5, 2020) – Today, the INGAA Foundation published COVID-19 prevention and control Guidance for its members and other interested parties active in the development, construction and maintenance of natural gas transmission and storage infrastructure. Since the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic and national emergency, our members have been taking concrete steps to ensure that frontline medical facilities, homes, and businesses have safe and reliable natural gas deliveries. The INGAA Foundation developed this Guidance to assist its members with the development and implementation of additional steps to eliminate or minimize COVID-19 related risks in the workplace.
This Guidance is primarily intended to address construction activities occurring in a field setting, however some of the practices may also be considered for other settings, such as routine pipeline operations activities. This Guidance does not cover employee activities when not at work. We urge employees to follow state and local health guidelines and requirements when away from the job site.
“Workplace safety is at the core of every task and project our members undertake each day as they build and maintain the nation’s natural gas transmission and storage systems,” said Tony Straquadine, executive director of the INGAA Foundation. “We developed this Guidance to serve as a one-stop-shop for our members and other interested parties to minimize and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on job sites.”
To develop this Guidance, the INGAA Foundation utilized control and prevention practices from member companies, consulted with infectious disease and industrial hygiene experts, and relied heavily on guidance from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This Guidance outlines reasonable COVID-19 prevention and control methods based on member companies’ learnings to date that are specific to the nature, scope, and scale of pipeline field work. It is designed to complement, not supersede, any federal, state or local regulatory requirements. The INGAA Foundation will be updating this guidance document as circumstances or recommendations warrant.
Included are recommendations on how to communicate on the job site, working to manage physical and social distancing, proper use and disposal of personnel protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and disinfecting work spaces and PPE, and how to manage and care for employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and planning for their eventual return to a job site. The Guidance also outlines steps operators should consider when shutting down a job site.
To view the Guidance, click here.