Covid-19 Update – What has changed?
The Government roadmap moved to Step 4 on July 19th, but what does this mean for construction sites?
You are still required to have a suitable and sufficient risk assessment in place for Covid-19 measures. The risk assessment must be recorded if you have 5 or more employees. Risk assessments are to be updated whenever there is a significant change, therefore with the new measures announced, it would be expected that your Covid-19 risk assessment is reviewed and updated by a competent person.
Social Distancing and Working from Home
The legal requirement for social distancing has now been lifted, however, it is advised that people limit the close contact they have with those they do not usually live with and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity, and duration of social contacts.
Social distancing will no longer be mandatory on sites, however being close to others can increase the risk of contracting the virus. Some sites may continue control measures such as one-way systems or limit numbers in welfare canteens to ease congestion.
The Government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the Government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer.
Travel to Site
Restrictions on travel to work have been removed, however if workers use public transport, they should continue to wear face coverings.
Face coverings are no longer required to be worn in site canteens when not seated, however, this should be assessed by risk assessment and face coverings should be recommended to be worn in enclosed and crowded places on site.
Whilst the legal requirement to wear face coverings has been lifted, the need for wearing them should still be considered within your risk assessment.
The health and wellbeing of everyone on site should be priority and whilst infection rates continue to rise across the country with more people testing positive, we urge you to move forward cautiously taking responsibility for yourself and others.
Remember, some operatives may opt to continue social distancing and wearing face coverings, please respect each other and keep a sufficient distance if others request you do so.
You can use the government guidance on working safely in construction for further information and advice.
Construction and other outdoor work – Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) – Guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Published by Lindsey Moran, Lead Health & Safety Consultant