On Monday evening the Prime Minister imposed further restrictions on thousands of workers around the UK with the closure of all non-essential shops, community spaces and all restaurants, bars and cafes.
The overriding instruction was that you must stay at home and you are only permitted to leave the house for one of the following reasons;
- Shopping for basic necessities such as food and medicine. This must be done as infrequently as possible.
- For one form of exercise a day, either alone or with one member of your household.
- For any medical need
- Travelling to and from work, but only if this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
There is no specific instruction for construction sites to close from the Government at this time, however you must do everything possible to protect the health of your workers if your construction sites remain open. A number of organisations have put together advice and guidance on how best to keep your construction site operational and abide by the Governments social distancing requirements at the same time.
The Construction Leadership Council has produced Site Operating Procedures to help construction sites protect their workers and minimise the spread of the infection.
Please follow the below link to access the guidance: Construction Leadership Council – Site Operating Procedures
CITB, The Construction Industry Training Board, have also introduced a number of support packages to help employers to protect the skills of workers throughout these challenging times. The CITB has already decided to pay, in advance, any apprenticeship grants for second and third year apprentices which will help towards retaining the next generation of construction workers. With the closure of the testing centres that support CITB, they have also developed a new HS&E app, Both are available on Android, Apple IOS and as a PC version.
- CITB: LITE Operatives and Specialist HSE&E TEST ONLY and
- CITB: LITE Managers and Professionals HS&E TEST ONLY.
This will allow employers to run their own in-house interim testing, helping them to determine if employees have the necessary knowledge to work safely on site. Discussions are currently ongoing as to whether the CITB LITE can be used as a means to issuing a temporary CSCS card. The CITB have also launched a new Employer Support Database which will contain information and guidance for employers throughout this time.
To find out more about from the CITB and all that they are doing to support construction companies during this time follow the below link: CITB Help and Guidance
The next few months are going to be challenging for many within the construction industry and with instructions from the Government changing daily it is important to understand the support and guidance that is available to all employers and employees.
Here at HCS we will endeavour to continue to keep you up to date on developments within the industry as more information becomes available.
We continue to work and support our clients throughout these testing times …