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COVID-19 Updates and Guidelines

It’s important that we all stay informed and exercise best practices regarding public health, so that we ensure the safety of ourselves, our families, and our communities.

As such, in an abundance of caution, we are announcing the following changes due to COVID-19, or coronavirus, concerns: 

  • Union Hall meetings and events will be suspended until further notice.
  • Training Center courses will be suspended for the next four weeks, starting Monday, March 16th. Training will resume Monday, April 13th. Apprentices will be expected to report to work, and updated training schedules will be developed.
  • Please call for an appointment to visit the Union Hall, Funds Office, or Training Center at (617) 296-1680. Local 17 staff continue to be available via phone and email to ensure open lines of communication.
  • We encourage you to pay your dues online or by phone. For instructions on how to make a payment, visit: https://www.smw17boston.org/member-resources/.
  • Visit https://massbuildingtrades.org/coronavirus-best-practices/ for the most up-to-date information on the following:
    • Best practices for workers and employers
    • Unemployment insurance updates
    • Details on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives yesterday. The bill would provide free testing, emergency paid sick days, emergency paid leave, and additional benefits.
    • Updates from healthcare carriers

We are working with our contractors to monitor the situation over the coming days, and will let you know of any economic impact or further updates as needed.

In response to COVID-19, or coronavirus, we have compiled the following common-sense guidelines based on official recommendations from both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Although the risk for workers in our industry remains generally “low,” there are simple things we can all do to prioritize safety and wellbeing today and every day.

Sheet Metal Workers Local 17 is proud to maintain the highest standards of worksite safety in the region and the world. As such, we will also be sharing this information with our contractors, so that all parties are appraised of these protocols.

Please closely review the following information so that together, we can maintain the healthiest workplaces possible. In addition to the following information and guidelines, please continue to stay informed by visiting the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov) and OSHA (https://www.osha.gov) websites.

Prioritize hand hygiene:

  • Clean your hands often with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol or wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Visit the CDC’s coughing and sneezing etiquette and clean hands webpage for more information.

Stay home when sick:

  • If you’re not feeling well or have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, it is recommended that you stay home and not come to work until you are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Please report an illness and subsequent absence from work to your contractor, as well as the Union Hall at (617) 296-1680.
  • Seek medical help if you have a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Information on COVID-19 symptoms can be found on the CDC website.

Before traveling:

  • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from China, and information for aircrew, can be found on the CDC website.
  • Check yourself for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel and stay home if you’re sick.
  • If you become sick while traveling, promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.

Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:

  • Members who are well but who have a sick family member or roommate at home with COVID-19 should notify their contractor, and the Union Hall, and stay home.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.