Since the beginning of lockdown, my colleagues and I have continued to visit construction projects around the country providing advice; not only on the steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19 but also to counter the usual health and safety risks that pay no regard to the virus.
At the outset we found high levels of compliance with the guidance published by Public Health England and from the Construction Leadership Council and this continued for most of April and May. Over the last few weeks however, we have noticed a steady decline, as the government has begun to loosen the lockdown.
Whether this is due to an increase in the numbers of people now at work, or a general feeling that the risk has reduced along with the “R” rate, it is difficult to tell, however as the government keep urging us, we must remain alert or face the risk of a second wave.
On 23rd June, the Prime Minister announced that social distancing can be reduced from 2 metres to at least 1 metre with the caveat that other controls be put in place. My concern with this, is that some people may simply chose to ignore the other controls and begin working at the minimum 1 metre distance from their colleagues.
Whilst initially contracting Covid-19 may not be RIDDOR reportable, a second or third case in the workplace may be, particularly if test and trace identifies that the link is your organisation and as many construction companies know this can impact on the ability to win future tenders for work.
It is imperative therefore that companies both implement serious control measures to prevent the spread as well as monitor compliance to ensure that the control measures are being adhered to effectively.
While there are some common control measures that should be implemented, such as hand washing, the particulars will differ for every location. That is why it is important to take the time to consider your unique workplace and to identify which steps will be effective for you.
THSP are here to help. Call us now to discuss how we can help make your workplace Covid-19 safe or to book a site visit giving you the confidence that your staff are working safely. Phone 03456 122144 and speak to one of our team.
Consultant Director, Health and Safety