Back to work Safely – Stay Alert – Stay Safe
As Government begins to ease the national lockdown, the clear message for the construction sector is that it should go back to work – with sites operating appropriate social distancing measures.
Getting to work could be problematic. The government recommendation is to avoid public transport if possible. Of course people will be able to walk or cycle to site, but many will probably have to drive. The Construction Leadership Council’s latest Site Operating Procedures (V4) advice on ‘Travel to Work’, indicates that ‘wherever possible workers should travel to site alone using their own transport’ but if they have to share transport:
- Journeys should be shared with the same individuals and with the minimum number of people at any one time
- Good ventilation (i.e. keeping the windows open) and facing away from each other may help to reduce the risk of transmission
- The vehicle should be cleaned regularly using gloves and standard cleaning products, with particular emphasis on handles and other areas where passengers may touch surfaces
The full document can be found at: https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/news/site-operating-procedures-version-4-published/
We’ve also found a very useful section on travelling to and from work in the Construction Industry Federation’s Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures. These SOPs are aimed at the Irish construction industry, but the advice is relevant to the UK too, and goes into slightly more detail. https://cif.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/CIF-Covid-19-Operating-Procedure-Report.pdf
Did you know that more than 4,500 complaints relating to Covid-19 have been made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) since the first UK case of the virus was confirmed? Where it identifies employers who are not complying with relevant public health legislation and guidance to control public health risks, HSE has stated that it will take appropriate action, including imposing enforcement notices.
As part of the back to work process we’re having lots of discussions with clients about suitable policies & procedures for their workforce to returning to sites/ offices safely, particular in regard to the Government’s requirements to carry out COVID-19 risk assessments. There is no doubt that the workplace is going to look a little different moving forward, so If you need any advice about how to ensure everyone can be safe, give us a call on 01206 890558 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
To help employers manage the risk appropriately HSE has provided comprehensive online resources which you may find useful, including a Guide to Working Safely https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/assets/docs/working-safely-guide.pdf and a Guide to Talking to your Workforce about how to prevent coronavirus spreading. https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/assets/docs/talking-with-your-workers.pdf