The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the construction industry to an unprecedented scale.
Clients and contractors are constantly challenged with reviewing the viability of their projects and the compliance of their sites with the ever-changing guidance coming from the Government and other institutions.
We at ORSA are supporting our clients, project teams and contractors to ensure their operations are carried out putting the safety and health of their staff and operatives first and to prevent the spread of the virus.
This page is constantly updated and contains our COVID-19 procedures as well as regular updates on legislation and guidance
Updated 17 April 2020
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published today the Site Operating Procedures – Version 3. These are now considered industry guidance and they incorporate the latest Public Health England (PHE) guidance on Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID-19), which includes sections on Construction and the use of private vehicles and carpooling for travelling to work.
The headlines of these procedures are:
When social distancing measures cannot be fully implemented, considerations such as working side by side, reducing working activities to 15 mins and introducing additional PPE including RPE should be considered;
RPE should be seen as last resort;
Contractors need to put in place effective arrangements for monitoring of these measures and reviewing compliance;
HSE is confirmed to be the enforcing authority for PHE guidelines.
The main points covered in the latest version of these procedures are:
- Guidance on when to travel to work.
- What to do if travel to work is unavoidable.
- Measures to consider when driving to work.
- Site access and egress points.
- Hand washing (including requirements for hand sanitisers).
- Toilet facilities.
- Canteen and rest areas.
- Changing facilities, showers and drying rooms.
Work planning to avoid close working
- Adoption of hierarchy of controls when not possible to work - while maintaining the 2m rule.
- Reduce (workers operating side by side for example).
- Control (when working face to face within 2m keep activity to 15mins or less and introduce additional supervision).
First aid and emergency response (consider that time of response is highly reduced).
Principal Contractors should include in their Construction Phase Plans site-specific arrangements to comply with these operating procedures.
For more information:
Summary of Social distancing in the workplace during coronavirus (COVID-19): Sector guidance for Construction
Where it is not possible to follow the social distancing guidelines in full in relation to a particular activity, you should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the site to continue to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission.
If you decide the work should go ahead, you should advise the staff to:
A. Wash their hands frequently using soap and water for 20 seconds, and especially after blowing their nose, sneezing or coughing, on arrival at work, before and after eating, after using public transport, and when they arrive home. Where facilities to wash hands are not available, hand sanitiser should be used.
B. Staff should keep 2 metres apart as much as possible.
C. Minimise contact between workers and avoid skin-to-skin and face-to-face contact. Where face-to-face contact is essential, this should be kept to 15 minutes or less wherever possible.
D. Keep groups of workers working together in teams that are as small as possible - For example, you keep vehicle crews working together, rather than mixing crew members on different shifts.
E. Staff should also wash their hands each time before getting into enclosed machinery (such as diggers) with others, and wash their hands every time they get out. To help with this, you should consider adding additional pop-up handwashing stations or facilities, providing soap, water and/or hand sanitiser.
F. Keep windows of enclosed machinery or enclosed spaces open for ventilation
G. All staff should avoid touching their face at all times.
H. Interior of cabs should be regularly cleaned, particularly between use by different operators.
I. Use stairs in preference to lifts or hoists. Where lifts or hoists must be used, you should lower their capacity to reduce congestion and contact at all times, and regularly clean touchpoints, such as doors and buttons.
J. Remind colleagues daily to only come into work if they are well and no one in their household is self-isolating.
The Construction Leadership Council