Contractor Quandary Over Vax Deniers and Mandates from Owners
Contractors are faced with a dilemma as they find themselves caught between employees hesitant to get vaccinations, and owners that are looking to demand vaccine compliance. Many thought Labor Day would mark a return to office life with the pandemic a thing of the past but spiking infection rates due to the new Covid-19 Delta variant are once again causing anxiety.
Contractors are grappling with what looks to be a return to the protocols that were put in place when the pandemic was at its height. "We started reopening in June, and there was a lot of hope," said Laura Guzman, Vice President of California-based XL Construction. "But as we started to watch the most recent trends, we've had to hit the pause button again."
Daily infection rates have once again surged to 100,000 and healthcare professionals project the number could reach double that within weeks. The construction industry is especially plagued with inordinate levels of vaccine hesitancy. 40 percent of construction workers consistently say that they would not take the vaccine even if given the opportunity.
What is also problematic is once vaccine requirements are in place, how do you enforce them. Kyle Peacock, CEO of Peacock Construction, asks, "Are you going to be checking vaccination cards at the door? It would be relatively easy if it was just our employees, but we have hundreds of subcontractors coming to our jobsites every day, and then you have vendors making deliveries."
During the pandemic, Peacock Construction and other companies have been using a service called Safe Site Check In within the office and they are likely to use the same service to check vaccine status in the field moving forward.
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