Yesterday’s “clarification” on mask use by Governor DeWine was, unfortunately, not as clear as we would have liked. While we seek additional information, ABC Central Ohio’s current interpretation is that the requirement for employees to wear masksremains in place with the following exceptions:

  • Where is it prohibited by law, regulation, or documented industry best practices
  • Not advisable for health purposes
  • Not needed because the employee is alone in an enclosed workspace
  • Impractical because of workplace conditions – i.e., extreme heat or the need for speech to be heard clearly for safety reasons.

Additionally, if a company believe it falls within one of the exceptions – which I think may of our members will – they must provide written justification upon request.

ABC Central Ohio is working with the other Ohio chapters to create an “Industry Best Practices” document to help guide your decisions regarding PPE; this document will be shared as soon as it is completed, which we expect will be before the May 4 construction sector re-opening.

We are also currently seeking legal advice regarding the “written justification” mandate, including sample documentation that you can use in the event that is necessary.

Finally, our government affairs arm – ABC of Ohio – will continue it’s conversation with Governor DeWine’s office and state legislators to promote your efforts to create and implement meaningful workplace procedures that have successfully kept your tradesmen healthy and safe. We believe that as we move forward, our political leaders should trust you to continue to implement task appropriate safety processes in lieu of a state mandated, one-size-fits-all approach.

More information will be forthcoming as we learn of it; in the meantime, should you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at

Be safe.

Barton Hacker, CAE