Working Safely - Construction and Other Outdoor Work

As lockdown measures ease across the country, many are taking the first steps to return to work. For the construction industry, this will mean staying vigilant to and overcoming new challenges.

It's easy to think that construction workers are low-risk from COVID-19 because they are working outside. That kind of thinking has repercussions.

The following explains the difficulties and challenges specific to construction and other outdoor workers. These tips are meant to keep workers safe, to enable them to operate with confidence, and to avoid a second wave of lockdown in the near future.

Coronavirus Safety for Construction Workers

One of the most important parts of returning to operations is in shoring up safety policies. A construction site is a place where dangers and protective equipment are common.

An ill worker represents not only a risk of infecting others, but distractions and fatigue can lead to other on-site injuries. Review pension and compensation policies for updated language related to COVID-19.

For larger firms, it's recommended that they revisit their risk assessment and add some additions for sanitation time and procedures. For those without a dedicated risk assessment policy, such as self-employed and small contractors, consider setting one up using the HSE worksheet.

Travel

At the top of the list for a health and safety manager's responsibilities is preventing infection from entering the worksite.

To this end, workers need to be instructed to travel solo to and from work. If this proves impossible, workers should travel with the same people each time and keep co-traveller numbers to a minimum.

For work areas reached by shuttle or other public transport, staggered arrivals and departures are recommended.

Workers need to self-assess at home if they are symptom-free and ready to work. If a worker exhibits symptoms on-site, send them home immediately in solo transportation.

Sanitation

Additional breaks need to be built in to promote health and safety culture.

Program in time for handwashing, especially for workers dealing with blowing debris. Anyone working with itchy and airborne particles will be extra prone to wiping their faces. Additional handwashing and properly fitting eye protection are crucial.

Avoid using portable toilets or plan to have them wiped down after each use. Distribute sanitizers and cleaning products with anti-viral properties throughout the site.

Social Distancing

Workers should be spread out as much as possible to incorporate regular two-meter distances. When this is not possible for other safety reason or as dictated by the work task, workers should be side by side and not face-to-face.

Resting

Breaks for lunch and resting should be limited to designated areas and staggered to accommodate distancing during.

Assessments of the space and the maximum occupancy should be conducted and posted before workers arrive.

It's ideal for workers to use their own crockery when possible and disposable if offered by the canteen. Incorporation of coloured dishes better enables workers to identify what they have used and not incidentally touch others.

Build Better

As lockdown eases, many areas will need attention from construction workers. It benefits everyone to keep construction and other outdoor work safer during the coronavirus. Contact KG Accountants for more information on what can be done for contractors and the construction industry.

Construction And Other Outdoor Work

Guidance for people working in, or run outdoor working environments - Click Here.

A downloadable notice is included in the documents, which employers should display in their workplaces to show their employees, customers, and other visitors to their workplace, that they have followed this guidance.

How KG Accountants can help

  • Help and assist you to fully comply with the government guidelines on managing the risk of Covid19.
  • Forecasting – both for your own planning and for the business loan applications.
  • Help prepare simple cash flow monitoring tool to ensure your road to recovery is as smooth as possible.
  • How to set up a payment plan with HMRC.
  • Businesses who have negotiated a rent holiday.
  • Our regular blog on how you can get funding during this pandemic.
  • Everything you need to know on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and furloughing.
  • Managing your personal finances – our financial planning team’s top tips.
  • If there’s anything else you need help with not listed above, please ask, and we’ll find a way.

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