The Coronavirus is obviously at the centre of everyone’s conversations, worries and lives in general. Coronavirus is a significant risk and concern but it’s essential to remember that all your other risks still remain.
Wearing a surgical mask and nitrile gloves will not protect a construction worker from the many hazards facing them on a construction site, such as falling objects, incorrectly assembled access equipment or moving plant.
The social impacts of the virus itself may present additional hazards to workers. The distraction of social media updates, mobile phone conversations with concerned, elderly or sick family members, fatigue, etc.
It is imperative therefore that the construction industry maintains supervision during these times. The construction industry is likely to keep working until instructed by the government to stop.
All our consultants recognise the importance of maintaining positive health and safety standards during these difficult times, so we are committed to carrying on providing site inspections.
Just today we were able to identify a potentially dangerous, inadequately supported scaffold on a site, before it could be put into use and place workers at risk of serious injury.
We are also continuing to deliver training, albeit under conditions to ensure social distancing.
Businesses should support home working where possible, avoiding non-essential use of public transport and the associated large gatherings.
For those unable to work at home, the UK government have set out the steps that we should all follow to slow the risk of infection.
For construction, engineering, manufacturing, retail and many other sectors it is not possible to work from home, and therefore it is essential to do all that we can to mitigate the risks by maintaining good hygiene and social distancing.
In many of what we sometimes refer to as the dirty trades, workers wear gloves; it is important that they too wash their hands when they arrive at work, when using bathrooms and before and after eating.
Whilst for some people the effects of the virus are very serious, for others they may be mild. It is important therefore that everyone does their part by self-isolating for at least 7 days in the event that they display any of the symptoms (new and consistent cough or fever) and that those they live with isolate for 14 days.
Work is the place where most of us will spend the majority of our waking adult lives. It is a place where many of us will make friends, with whom we will share tea breaks, lunch breaks or even grab a drink in the pub with when work is finished.
Recognising the terrible impact upon cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs, we sadly need to forego these social conventions for the present time.
Construction sites and staff canteens should consider staggering break times to ensure that social distancing is maintained, as well as wiping down all surfaces at regular intervals.
Whilst the government have told us to prepare for these steps to be in place for a long time, they will not last forever and if we all adhere to the guidance, we will get through this quicker
To ensure you are confident that your team are working safely, call us on 03456 122144 or complete an online form and get us to visit your workplaces.
Keep your staff and business safe.
Director – THSP Risk Management