It’s January 2020 and an air of expectation and excitement fills the country as we enter a new year and a new decade. The prospect of Euro 2020, the Olympics, festivals and much more ensured another amazing summer to mirror that of 2018.
Fast forward three months and the outlook couldn’t be any different. Events cancelled, streets deserted and a pandemic spreading across the globe. The outbreak of COVID-19 has put an immediate stop to life as we know it for the upcoming months and has put the country, and the rest of the world on hold…for now.
As a result, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has recently taken the unprecedented step of placing the most stringent public orders on the country since the Second World War. As of Monday 23rd March 2020, all members of the public were ordered to stay indoors for a minimum of three weeks, leaving the house only for one small period of exercise, grocery shopping or essential work that couldn’t be carried out from home. Significantly, the construction industry falls under that essential work category and is required to continue operating throughout the lockdown.
However, there is still slight confusion as to what precautions need to be taken by companies in the sector to ensure the safety of employees and their families across all offices and sites.
It is worth noting first and foremost that those who have the facilities to work from home MUST do so. For those that can’t, here are some handy tips to ensure you are continuing to work safely across all aspects of the industry:
– Stay 2 metres apart from other people at all times where possible. If this isn’t possible ensure full protective clothing is worn and limit all close contact
– If someone working in close proximity to you is displaying symptoms, stay as far away from them as possible and report them to the relevant line manager
– Avoid sharing any PPE where possible. If PPE needs to be shared, ensure it is thoroughly cleaned as per the manufacture guidelines and with a 60% alcohol-based cleaning product
– Avoid large gatherings in spaces such as canteens
– Avoid all use of public transport where possible. If this isn’t possible, try not to touch any handrails and sit as far away from other passengers as possible
– For any required meetings, use virtual programmes such as Skype or Microsoft Teams. Where meetings do need to be in person, ensure no more than five people are attending and use a large room to allow for space between yourself and others
– As recommended from the start, continue to wash hand regularly with warm soapy water and sanitiser, and avoid touching your face
This is a very fluid situation for everyone involved in construction and it will undoubtedly change over the coming weeks and months as the government continues to assess the impact of this virus. More detailed advice from the government can also be found here.
If you would like to find out more about the steps blu-3 is taking to ensure the health and safety of its employees and families, please take a look at our website.