Following our previous blog on managing construction sites, additional guidance had been issued to assist in construction project management as the Government extended the lockdown for at least another three weeks.
Construction Leadership Council procedures
The Construction Leadership Council has released version three of the Site Operating Procedures which provides clarification on safe working practices in England during the coronavirus outbreak. Other restrictions may apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
It was clear that the Government wanted the construction industry to remain ‘open for business.’ This was an attempt to keep the economy moving and we were starting to see sites reopen that were once closed – albeit at a reduced capacity.
The latest guidance at the time went further in tackling a number of practical issues all construction sites will and have faced, such as;
- Travelling to work in the same vehicle.
- Working on tasks when social distancing cannot be applied.
- Control of team integration.
- Limitations of team briefings and site gatherings.
This is the clarity that contractors had been looking for, to determine which sites could have been be re-opened as the industry started to pick up the pace of its recovery.
Guidance and supply chain coordination
The guidance needed to work in tandem with the supply chain. Building merchants should open up to support the demands of the increasing number of re-opening sites. As restrictions eased in our European neighbours, we were hopeful for a similar relaxation in the UK construction industry.
That said, with all of the above, the safety and wellbeing of personnel must remain paramount. Since the release of this guidance at Workman, we had witnessed contractors actively seeking permission to reopen sites. This was particularly true for unoccupied buildings. Owners took advantage of the opportunity to carry out essential works with minimal disruption.
by Edward Moore