COVID security to retain construction’s ‘essential’ status
Dear FAME members,
As you will be aware the various government authorities that we operate in have issued guidance on construction work during the most recently imposed restrictions:
England – the recent (11January 2021) letter from the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP Secretary of State at BEIS confirming the construction sector’s continuing ‘essential’ role:
“firms and tradespeople in the construction sector and its supply chain [my emphasis], including merchants, suppliers and product manufacturers, should continue to operate during this national lockdown”
Northern Ireland’s guidance is in effect until 6 February, but will be reviewed on 21 January (we do not anticipate it changing). https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-what-restrictions-mean-you
In Wales, new guidance was issued on 23 December – https://gov.wales/construction-and-outdoor-work-coronavirus-workplace-guidance-html
For Scotland, the guidance has not changed since the summer –https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-construction-sector-guidance/
In the UK, across all nations, construction and its supply chain, i.e. us, are to continue working. Though from the 8th of January it has been shut down in the Republic of Ireland except for essential work: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2dc71-level-5/#construction
Which means the following is only for those of you operating in the UK. We have been told that this continued work is predicated on the industry continuing to operate in a COVID secure way.
As such, FAME advises that new CLC Site Operating Procedures version seven https://www.constructionleadershipcouncil.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Site-Operating-Procedures-Version-7.pdf
sets the appropriate minimum for on-site work, supported by working advice produced by Prospect (COVID-19 Working Advice V1.1 04/05/2020) as guidance to undertake risk assessments and to implement appropriate measures to ensure safe working practices.
Though members in Scotland should also use this guidance, in effect from January 11th, https://www.cs-ic.org/constructionscotland/resources/working-on-site-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-construction-guidance/
Furthermore, we would like to highlight the Social Distancing for Archaeology (SoDA) Toolkit (https://soda-toolkit.info/ ) as a resource for you. A recording of the FAME webinar Working with COVID restrictions in Archaeology. A review of the Social Distancing for Archaeology (SoDA) Toolkit is accessible to all at https://youtu.be/TnvrIofWeZs.