Earlier this month, the Construction Leadership Council issued an updated version (no. 5) of their Site Operating Procedures for England and Wales to reflect recent changes to the UK Government’s guidance on COVID-19. Here are the main updates you need to be aware of to keep your site running safely and ensure construction phase plans are amended accordingly.
In line with new advice, social distancing guidelines have been amended to ‘one metre plus’ – this means workers are still required to stay two metres apart or, where that’s not possible, one metre with risk mitigation in place e.g. PPE.
Updates to the ‘When to Travel to Work’ section
For workers who have to share transport, journeys should be undertaken with the same people and with as few individuals as possible at any one time. During these shared journeys, the vehicle should be well ventilated with the windows open and passengers are advised to face away from each other to help decrease the risk of transmission. The vehicle should also be regularly cleaned using standard cleaning products and gloves, with particular attention paid to handles and other ‘high touch points’.
Public transport peak times and site entry updates
Workers are being advised to avoid using public transport during ‘peak times’, which have been updated to 05:45 ‐ 8:15 and 16:00 ‐ 17:30. Once people get to work, site entry systems are now to be ‘regularly cleaned’, rather than between each use as it was previously.
Drivers allowed access to welfare facilities
Drivers should remain in their vehicles wherever loading and offloading arrangements on site will allow it. If drivers need to leave their vehicle, they should wash their hands before handling any materials and must be given access to welfare facilities in order to do so.
Canteens that have been closed or offering a limited service are now allowed to re-open. The capacity of canteens and break areas should be clearly signposted at the entrance, and attendants provided where necessary to ensure people are adhering to distancing measures. Break times should be staggered in order to alleviate congestion and contact between workers and drinking water should be provided. The water tap mechanism and all other surfaces must be cleaned frequently and thoroughly.
You can read the full updated version of the Site Operating Procedures here.