Although many may think that the government has banned all but essential construction work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, that is only the case in Scotland. The decision on whether a construction site should remain open and work continue lies with the individual site supervisor.
For those construction sites that remain open, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has recently issued new advice on how to work where the government’s 2-metre social distancing rule cannot be followed.
The latest Site Operating Procedures (SOP) acknowledges that it is not always feasible for tasks to be carried out with workers 2-metres apart and therefore sets out a number of measures for supervisors for when the rule cannot be adhered to.
These measures include:
- Reducing the chance of workers coming into close contact by getting them to work side by side, as opposed to face to face, limiting the number of workers using hoists and lifts and regularly cleaning common touch points, such as buttons and handles.
- Isolating workers for tasks where they have to work within 2-metres of each other by keeping team sizes small, using the same workers each time instead of swapping and keeping these teams away from other workers on the site.
- For workers that have to work face to face, where possible, tasks should last no longer than 15 minutes. Additional supervision of their work is also recommended.
- The new measures also include guidance for shift patterns and travelling to and from sites.
To read the construction site safety guidance in full, please click here. Please note, the Site Operating Procedures are based on Public Health England (PHE) guidance. The latest advice on social distancing in the workplace for Wales can be found here.
Unoccupied Construction Sites
For construction sites which remain closed due to the Coronavirus crisis, please take a look at our guide below for assistance with the protection of works and safety of unoccupied sites.
Can We Help?
If you have any questions about your policy or need further advice, your Thomas Carroll representative is on hand on to help. Alternatively, you can reach our Construction and Risk Management Services team on 02920 853788 or at email@example.com.