AS SCOTLAND EASES restrictions, the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum issues more guidance urging a focus on health and safety.
CICV says construction is “not out of the woods yet” and, with COVID-19 still a real threat, insists each worker has a vitally important role to play in continuing to maintain good hygiene.
With Scotland set to follow England with its own ‘Freedom Day’ on 9 August, the Forum is stressing that companies should continue adhering to standard operating procedures (SOP) to ensure maximum focus on health and safety.
Focus on H&S
Rebecca Crosland, Chair of the Forum’s Health and Safety group, said: “The past 15 months have been an extremely difficult period for everyone, and we have only come this far by pulling together and following the rules.
“This spirit of collaboration and cooperation must now continue over the coming weeks as we prepare for restrictions to be eased further, both in our professional and personal lives.
“Make no mistake – COVID-19 is still a very real threat and we are not out of the woods yet. Vaccinations can only help so much and it is vital that the sector continues to be careful when it comes to health and safety.
“We will still have one metre distancing and businesses should continue to follow the SOP and domestic guidance issued by CICV Forum until at least 9 August when we will be among those meeting with Scottish Government to discuss what action will be taken next.
“Everyone in the sector has done well and played their part over the course of the pandemic and we shouldn’t relax too soon.”
To help further, the Forum has produced a secure site risk assessment template that can be downloaded to help contractors plan COVID-safe working practices.
Close Working Checklist
CICV has produced a close working checklist to help construction professionals plan for projects that involve close contact in enclosed conditions.
Rebecca added: “These two new pieces of guidance will help operatives carry out COVID-19 risk assessments for a range of projects, including where close working is required, and help them consider the safest way for those tasks to continue.
“They also make it clear that, during such activities, appropriate mitigation methods should be put into place including lateral flow testing, increased hand washing and environmental cleaning, face covering, adequate ventilation and keeping any close activity as brief as possible.”
The CICV Forum is made up of 29 trade associations, professional services bodies and companies. Since its inception in March 2020, it has maintained a steady supply of information and practical advice to the sector as well as carrying out surveys, producing animations and posters, hosting webinars and speaking with government ministers.