Following our previous blog on managing construction sites (here), additional guidance has been issued to assist the construction industry as the Government extends the lock down for at least another three weeks. 

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 is clear that the Government wants the construction industry to remain ‘open for business’ in an attempt to keep the economy moving, and we are starting to see sites reopen that were once closed – albeit at a reduced capacity.

The latest guidance goes further in tackling a number of practical issues that 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 have been looking for in order to determine which sites can be re-opened as the industry starts to pick up the pace of its recovery.

The guidance now needs to work in tandem with the supply chain – we need building merchants to open up to support the demands of the increasing number of re-opening sites. We have seen restrictions within our European neighbours being slowly relaxed and remain hopeful the same will follow soon for our construction industry – and the UK as whole.

That said, with all of the above, the safety and wellbeing of personnel must remain paramount. After the release of this guidance here at Workman we have already seen a number of contractors actively requesting permission to re-open sites, especially to buildings that are currently unoccupied as owners seize the opportunity to complete or carry out essential works with minimal disruption.

by Edward Moore