Staying Safe on Construction Sites

With many construction sites staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic it it essential that businesses are protecting their workers.

The Construction Leadership Council, with help from Build UK, has written a guideline on Site Operating and Protection. It outlines the best ways to ensure that their workers are protected and to minimise the spread of infection.

 

It is important to know that any construction site found not to be implementing the below measures will be closed down.

 

Self-Isolation

Anyone who meets one of the following criteria should not come to site:

  • Has a high temperature or a new persistent cough
  • Is a vulnerable person (based on age, underlying health condition, clinical condition or are pregnant)
  • Is living with someone in self-isolation or a vulnerable person

 

Procedure if Someone Falls Ill

If a worker develops a high temperature or a persistent cough while at work, they should:

  • ¬†Return home immediately
  • Avoid touching anything
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the
    crook of their elbow

They must then follow the Governments guidelines on self isolatating and only return to work once their period of self isolation has finished.

 

Travel to Site

Wherever possible workers should travel to site alone using their own transport and sites need to consider:

  • Parking arrangements for additional cars and bicycle
  • Other means of transport to avoid public transport e.g. cycling
  • Providing hand cleaning facilities at entrances and exits. This should be soap and water wherever possible or hand sanitiser if water is not available
  • How someone taken ill would get home

 

Site Access Points

  • Stop all non-essential visitors
  • Introduce staggered start and finish times to reduce congestion and contact at all times
  • Monitor site access points to enable social distancing
  • Remove or disable entry systems that require skin contact e.g. fingerprint scanners
  • Require all workers to wash or clean their hands before entering or leaving the site
  • Allow plenty of space (two meters) between people waiting to enter site
  • Regularly clean common contact surfaces in reception, office, access control and delivery areas e.g. scanners, turnstiles, screens, telephone handsets, desks, particularly during peak flow times
  • Reduce the number of people in attendance at site inductions and consider holding them outdoors wherever
    possible
  • Drivers should remain in their vehicles if the load will allow it and must wash or clean their hands before
    unloading goods and materials

 

Hand Washing

  • Provide additional hand washing facilities to the usual welfare facilities if a large spread out site or significant
    numbers of personnel on site
  • Ensure soap and fresh water is readily available and kept topped up at all times
  • Provide hand sanitiser where hand washing facilities are unavailable
  • Regularly clean the hand washing facilities and check soap and sanitiser levels
  • Provide suitable and sufficient rubbish bins for hand towels with regular removal and disposal

 

Toilet Facilities

  • Restrict the number of people using toilet facilities at any one time e.g. use a welfare attendant
  • Wash hands before and after using the facilities
  • Enhance the cleaning regimes for toilet facilities particularly door handles, locks and the toilet flush
  • Portable toilets should be avoided wherever possible, but where in use these should be cleaned and emptied more frequently
  • Provide suitable and sufficient rubbish bins for hand towels with regular removal and disposal

 

Canteens & Eating Arrangements

  • Canteens can not operate as usual
  • Keep kettles, microwaves and other essential clean between uses, if this is not possible then they will have to be removed from site
  • All workers should stay on site once they have entered it and should not be going to shops for lunches
  • Dedicated eating areas should be identified on site to reduce food waste and contamination
  • Break times should be staggered to reduce congestion and contact at all times
  • Hand cleaning facilities or hand sanitiser should be available at the entrance of any room where people eat
    and should be used by workers when entering and leaving the area
  • The workforce should be asked to bring pre-prepared meals and refillable drinking bottles from home
  • Workers should sit 2 meters apart from each other whilst eating and avoid all contact
  • Where catering is provided on site, it should provide pre-prepared and wrapped food only
  • Payments should be taken by contactless card wherever possible
  • Crockery, eating utensils, cups etc. should not be used
  • Drinking water should be provided with enhanced cleaning measures of the tap mechanism introduced
  • Tables should be cleaned between each use
  • All rubbish should be put straight in the bin and not left for someone else to clear up
  • All areas used for eating must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each break and shift, including chairs,
    door handles, vending machines and payment devices

 

Avoiding Close Working

  • Non-essential physical work that requires close contact between workers should not be carried out
  • Work requiring skin to skin contact should not be carried out
  • Plan all other work to minimise contact between workers
  • Re-usable PPE should be thoroughly cleaned after use and not shared between workers
  • Single use PPE should be disposed of so that it cannot be reused
  • Stairs should be used in preference to lifts or hoists
  • Where lifts or hoists must be used: lower their capacity to reduce congestion and contact at all times and regularly clean touchpoints, doors, buttons etc.
  • Increase ventilation in enclosed spaces
  • Regularly clean the inside of vehicle cabs and between use by different operators

 

Cleaning

Enhanced cleaning procedures should be in place across the site, particularly in communal areas and at
touch points including:

  • Taps and washing facilities
  • Toilet flush and seats
  • Door handles and push plates
  • Hand rails on staircases and corridors¬†Lift and hoist controls
  • Machinery and equipment controls
  • Food preparation and eating surfaces
  • Telephone equipment
  • Key boards, photocopiers and other office equipment

 

For more information please see the original document by the CLC and Build UK.