31st March 2020

Construction Site Safety

By Eliot Clarke
Risk Management Executive
Construction site workers

Worried construction site workers are sharing photographs on social media claiming they are unable to maintain social distancing rules. Among the posts are photographs of packed canteens, as well as stories of daily briefings in crowded rooms, and queues for accessing sites with fingerprint recognition systems not being cleaned.

To ensure all construction sites are operating in a similar manner and following the Government’s guidelines on social distancing, the Construction Leadership Council has published Site Operating Procedures which are available here.

These brief procedures provide guidance on

  • Self-isolation
  • What to do if someone falls ill
  • Travel to site
  • Site access
  • Hand-washing
  • Toilet facilities
  • Canteens and eating arrangements
  • Changing facilities and showers
  • Avoiding close working
  • Cleaning

In addition, the Construction Leadership Council has highlighted the importance of construction sites maintaining high levels of general health and safety. It is possible that there will be shortages of trained and qualified personnel to carry out tasks, or that social distancing makes an activity impossible to carry out safely. Construction managers will need to ensure, where this is the case, that such activities are not undertaken or that alternative safe methods are identified and used. This is vital at a time when the emergency services are under enormous strain.