Several construction industry organizations have filed a petition to challenge OSHA’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, which was set to go into effect Jan. 4 for businesses with 100 or more employees. The mandate was blocked by a federal appeals court Nov. 6 and is pending review.
The industry organizations—which include the Associated General Contractors of America, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association and the Signatory Wall & Ceiling Contractors Alliance—say the mandate will push unvaccinated workers to smaller companies that won’t be impacted by the mandate.
“We all want to see more construction workers vaccinated and we are all doing our part to make that happen,” stated AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. “Encouraging vaccine-hesitant workers to shift to smaller employers won’t improve health and safety. It will just put firms that employ 100 or more workers at grave risk of losing the workers they need to complete projects.”
The organizations noted that approximately 64% of jobs in the construction industry are with smaller companies.
“With nearly 90 percent of construction firms reporting they are having a hard time filling positions, and many other sectors eager for workers, many vaccine-hesitant workers will have little difficulty finding career opportunities at the smaller firms that are not covered by the OSHA mandate,” the organizations said in a joint statement.
A study published in May found construction workers to be the most hesitant to be vaccinated compared with any other occupation.