Preventing the spread of Covid-19 is a priority for the steelwork industry. Understanding how to operate successfully within the context of the virus means that operations can resume, and people can stay safe. The British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA) has revised its safety measures. Here’s what you need to know.
The Construction Industry: Is it Still Open for Business?
This is one of the most contentious questions of recent weeks. Initially, sites were quickly closed. However, there is an urgency to re-open as many as possible, as long as it is safe to do so, and in practice a lot of construction projects have continued. The purpose of the new BCSA Safe Site Handover Certificate is to ensure this can happen swiftly and with minimal disruption. The guidelines have therefore been updated to include Public Health England (PHE) measures for the control of Covid-19. Once the measures have been implemented, sites can resume.
Arguably the buzzword of the pandemic, social distancing means maintaining a two-metre separation between people. To avoid the potential for cross-contamination, self-distancing also requires surfaces to be regularly cleaned, and hand sanitisers need to be installed in bathrooms, canteens, and any other primary areas of social contact. If these rules are followed, PHE describes the risk as minimal.
Duty of Care
The construction industry is covered by the Safety at Work Act. This gives employers a contractual obligation to ensure that workers are protected. Some companies have responded to this by simply closing their doors. Others have chosen to pass the responsibility on to sub-contractors. However, as long as social-distancing and site hygiene are observed, evidence suggests that the Covid-19 risk can be minimised. Therefore, as long as the contractors are compliant with the updated BCSA certificate, workers should have no need to worry about their safety.
In these unprecedented times, new information emerges on a daily basis. To get the latest information about recommendations, guidelines, regulations, and compliance, visit the home portal of Steel Construction. This provides regular updates on everything from health and safety advice to how to access financial support. The site also has a focus on HR strategies for retaining staff during the crisis, including how to make claims under the new Job Retention Scheme.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Uncertainty is a major factor during Covid-19. However, lots of help and support is available. GLW Engineering is committed to working with companies to ensure productivity. For more information about how to keep operations running smoothly, or to resume them if they have stalled, give us a call today.
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