How Do Construction Sites Social Distance?

social distance in construction sites

As some normality starts to return to our lives, and a growing number of us start to return to work, it has become obvious that new ways of working are also going to become a part of everyday life. Construction is an industry that has embraced PPE for longer than almost any other, and with many building roles being the work equivalent of being a social pariah, a bit of social distancing shouldn’t be too difficult, but invariably change of some form will still be needed.  Let’s have a look at the construction site for the 2020’s onward.

What are the government guidelines for Covid-19 and construction works?

The Government has issued a series of guidelines designed to help those in the construction industry and other generally outdoor work, with a view to keeping them and other safe and COVID-free once full work returns.  With this document, the Government hopes to be able to create a work environment that is safe for everyone, and has a few restrictions as possible, while allowing normal work to continue.  The main issues that have to be considered are:

  • Maintaining a social distance of at least two metres.
  • Using the correct anti-COVID PPE alongside any regulatory PPE.
  • Reporting instances of feeling unwell that align with virus symptoms.
  • Self-Isolate in light of virus symptoms and report any contacts within the previous 14 days.

The Government has an ambitious program of home building, and job cuts are unlikely to affect the industry to any great extent, so new ways of safely working have to be the order of the day. The new information augments HSE information and works alongside the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HSWA), and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

The main legal issues which employers have to consider under current health and safety law are:

  • To ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that their employees and importantly other people who might be affected by their business, including contractors engaged to carry out construction works, are not exposed to risks to their health, safety and welfare. This should always consider the protection both physical and mental health.
  • To assess and keep under review, risks arising from what the business does. Risk assessments should be carried out that identify and then evaluate the likelihood that risks will happen and the severity of the consequences if they do. Reasonably practicable methods to eliminate them and, if that is not possible, reduce them should then be identified.

Specifics to construction sites, include a plan that adheres to PHE and CLC guidance and allows open sites to be operated safely needs to be in place to manage the COVID-19 risk without compromising normal working tasks and other site risks.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has stated it is “doing its utmost to keep construction sites operational wherever it is practical and safe to do so.” The council has published guidance designed to protect all site workers and to ensure that consistent measures are in place on sites regardless of size and workforce numbers.  This guidance is in line with the Government’s recommendations on social distancing and PPE, and employers and individuals must ensure that they make every effort to comply with the directive.

The Health and Safety Executive have been given the task of overseeing the guidance and an extra £14m has also been made available to it to help police the new guidelines.

If you need help with working safely on your construction site, get in touch with one of our specialist construction health and safety consultants today!

More Health and Safety Articles

IBO Construction 1

IBO Construction Ltd – Health and Safety Consultant Service Case Study

Acorn Safety Services partnered with IBO Construction Ltd to elevate their health and safety standards, conducting comprehensive audits and providing expert consultancy. This collaboration led to a significant improvement in IBO's safety record, with no RIDDOR incidents, showcasing the importance of independent health and safety assessments in the construction industry.

Case Study -Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) the responsible thing to do 1st!

Acorn Safety Services implemented a Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) program for a Nursery School, focusing on Legionella prevention. Through meticulous planning and minimal disruption, they ensured the school's water systems were safely maintained. The project highlighted the importance of proactive maintenance over costly remedial work, with the client praising Acorn's efficient management and clear communication, ensuring a safe environment for children and staff.

The finished Pharmacy project

Northampton General Hospital – CDM Consultancy Case Study

Acorn Safety Services successfully managed a complex CDM consultancy project at Northampton General Hospital, overseeing the installation of a new automated pharmacy system. Their role as principal contractors ensured a seamless operation, from planning through execution, including the safe removal of asbestos and the installation of modern pharmacy automation. This project not only improved the hospital's efficiency in medicine delivery but also highlighted Acorn's expertise in managing health and safety risks in a critical healthcare setting.

Legionella testing is an essential part of health and safety

Legionella Testing Could Save Your Life this World Water Day

HELD each year since 1993, World Water Day on March 22 is an important day for many, focussing on the importance of access to fresh water. According to the UN, which organises the annual event, as many as 2.2 billion ...

12341 Next