Construction site operating procedures during COVID-19
13th May 2020
While all non-essential organisations have been closed down during the pandemic, many construction projects have been deemed as essential services.
You can continue to operate provided you implement precautions to protect your workforce and minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
Below, our tips on how to ensure you’re implementing precautions, protecting your team and following the Government guidelines.
Travel to the site
Your workers should, wherever possible, travel to the site alone using their own transport. Workers who normally use public transport should be encouraged to walk or cycle if the distance is manageable.
You will need to make suitable arrangements for on-site car and bicycle parking that account for the increased volume of cars and bikes and limit physical contact between employees.
Site access points
In order to reduce numbers on site and limit physical contact, non-essential visitors should be prevented from visiting, staggered start and finish times for your staff should be introduced, and the number of access points should, if possible, be reduced.
You must remove or disable site entry systems you may have that require skin contact, such as fingerprint scanners. Common contact surfaces at site access points such as turnstyles and reception desks must be cleaned at regularly, especially during peak flow times.
Under these circumstances, the means of heating food and beverages that sites are required to provide normally – microwaves, kettles, etc. – must be removed.
Workers must not be allowed to leave the site to buy food and drinks once they have entered for the day, but rather should be required to bring food and reusable bottles from home.
To limit the chance of contamination, dedicated eating areas must be identified. These areas should be cleaned regularly and hand sanitiser stations should be provided at their entrances, along with additional refuse facilities. Break times should also be staggered throughout the day to restrict the physical proximity of workers in these areas.
Where on-site catering is provided, only pre-prepared and wrapped food should be served, payments must be taken by contactless wherever possible, and utensils and cups from the caterer have to be removed.
The numbers of employees allowed to use the toilets at any one time should be limited, the frequency with which the facilities are cleaned should be increased, and portable toilets should be avoided wherever possible, but where in use these should be cleaned and emptied more often.
For changing and shower rooms, you should, like in the case of the toilets, limit the number of workers allowed to use the facility at the same time and implement greater cleaning procedures. If at all possible, consider increasing the number or size of the facilities on site.
General best practices
To limit contact between employees, you should reduce the numbers at site inductions and, if feasible, hold them outside. Along with this, try to increase ventilation in all enclosed spaces.
Enforce frequent handwashing and provide additional washing and sanitisation stations across your site.