Pandemic Advice For Construction Companies

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Pandemic Advice For Construction Companies

Pandemic Advice For Construction Companies

With the World Health Organisation having just upgraded the coronavirus epidemic to pandemic status, companies of all shapes and sizes, across all industries, would perhaps now be wise to consider taking steps to protect their workforce and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

From a construction company perspective, there may be unique challenges to face and if the UK finds itself in a similar situation to what is happening in Italy, with the country now on lockdown, risks to workers would be inherent and delays likely on construction sites.

Writing for Inside Housing, Michelle Essen and Ian Atkinson from law firm Womble Bond Dickinson raised some important points about the pandemic for contractors and developers in the housebuilding sector to think about, such as what health and safety obligations you have to employees, especially if they’re working on site.

They also made mention of business planning, advising companies to consider what parts of their operations would require a plan B if, for example, a country they usually source materials from is badly hit by the virus.

Site lockdowns are also worth thinking about now and what action you would have to take if employees contract coronavirus? If you had to, how would you go about shutting down works on site quickly and safely?

It was noted that it is yet to be seen just how severe the impact of the pandemic will be on the UK, but it’s wise for companies to plan ahead and work out what they’d do in a worst case scenario.

“Longer term, ongoing development of new construction processes and innovative products will boost and enable the industry to be better placed to manage unexpected situations and to reach those challenging government delivery targets,” it was observed.

The government updated its COVID-19 guidance for employers on March 10th, which would be worth reading if you’re concerned about coronavirus and aren’t sure what your responsibilities are as a company.

Because there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, it’s important that steps are taken to prevent infection and avoid exposure. Following general precautions for cold and flu is advised to prevent people from catching and spreading the virus.

This includes putting used tissues in the bin immediately, washing hands regularly with soap and water (or hand sanitiser if soap and water is unavailable) and trying to avoid close contact with ill people.

Employees are being advised against wearing facemasks to protect them against the virus. These should only be worn by symptomatic individuals (as advised by a healthcare worker) in order to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to others.

Recommendations from Public Health England as to the best way of reducing the risk of infection is practising good hygiene and avoiding close or direct contact with anyone who may be infected.

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