22nd March 2021
Covid-19 has had a huge impact on business operations in all corners of the world. Many businesses have been forced to adapt their processes to accommodate the new norm and reduce the spread of the virus.
As construction sites up and down the country get back up and running, there are a number of new practices you should be aware of, such as reduced hours, new health and safety measures and a reduced workforce.
First and foremost, there are measures outlined in our H&S policy that you should adopt to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, including:
- Ensuring that you remain vigilant to the symptoms of the virus and, if you do have symptoms, not coming to work.
- Using hand sanitiser frequently.
- If you cough or sneeze, using a tissue and disposing of it immediately.
- Co-operating with managers and supervisors and communicating regularly if you display symptoms or have been exposed to the virus.
When working on any demolition project, all employees must comply with the latest Government advice on coronavirus, so that you can work safely with minimum disruption to productivity.
These Site Operating Procedures are based on Government guidance on working safely during coronavirus (Covid-19). They have been put in place to ensure all construction sites operating during the pandemic are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of infection.
The Government has advised that the following measures should be taken to reduce the risk of transmission between staff:
- No non-essential visitors are allowed on site.
- Staggered start and finish times should be implemented to reduce congestion and contact at all times.
- Plan site access and egress points to enable social distancing. You may need to change the number of access points – either increasing to reduce congestion or decreasing to enable monitoring, including in the case of emergencies.
- Introduce one-way systems.
- Allow plenty of space between people waiting to enter site.
- Use signage such as floor markings, to ensure two metre distance. Where two metres is not viable, one metre distance should be maintained.
- Remind workers not to attend if they have symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) and to follow guidelines.
- Require all workers to wash their hands for 20 seconds using soap and water when entering and leaving the site.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required on all demolition sites. With the potential for dust and debris being present, masks are regularly worn for protection. Additionally:
- Sites do not require the use of PPE for coronavirus where the two metre social distancing guidelines are met.
- Coronavirus needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and the hierarchy of control. These measures should not be overridden by the use of PPE.
- Workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against coronavirus.
- Face-to-face site meetings should only be carried out if absolutely necessary.
Of course, this article provides just an overview of the guidelines for construction sites. A full list of Government advice on coronavirus safety measures can be found within our Site Operating Procedures.