Standard Operating Procedures (part 2)< Back to Blog

Keeping it clean:

One of the key things the coronavirus has taught us has to be the importance of keeping ourselves and everything around us as clean as possible.

You might be forgiven for thinking this is slightly impossible in the context of a building site, but for anyone working through the current conditions, the industry’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) highlight several measures that can be taken to ensure cleanliness and thereby reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

In this week’s bite size reminder of the SOPs, we’re talking about the hand washing and cleaning protocols that construction sites and their workers are advised to follow (we’ve added a few notes of our own too).

Hand washing

  • Be sure to take regular breaks to wash your hands (if you are supervising others, remind them to do this). Be sure to wash hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) and especially before/ after using any piece of equipment.
  • Make sure your site has additional hand washing facilities (e.g. pop ups) to the usual welfare facilities, particularly on a large spread out site or where there are significant numbers of personnel on site, including plant operators. Use washing facilities closest to where you are working.
  • Ensure adequate supplies of soap and fresh water are readily available and kept topped up at all times. If supplies seem inadequate, raise this with your supervisor or the site manager.
  • Use hand sanitiser (minimum 60% alcohol based) where hand washing facilities are unavailable (Sheriff operatives should request supplies from our office as/when necessary).
  • Regularly clean the hand washing facilities.
  • Use suitable and sufficient rubbish bins for hand towels with regular removal and disposal.


Enhanced cleaning procedures should be in place across any site that is operational right now, particularly in communal areas and at touch points. More specifically, this includes:

  • Toilet/ wash room areas – taps, washing facilities, toilet flush and seats
  • Buildings/ entry points – door handles, push plates, hand rails on staircases and corridors
  • Site machinery – Lift and hoist controls, all other plant machinery and equipment controls
  • Office – telephone equipment, key boards, photocopiers, light switches, heating controls and other office equipment that is potentially shared
  • Eating areas – all areas used for eating must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each break and shift, including chairs, door handles, vending machines, kettles and payment devices.
  • Rubbish/ storage – Rubbish collection and storage points should be increased and emptied regularly throughout and at the end of each day.
  • Protect yourself – use appropriate PPE while cleaning (gloves/ mask).

We keep hearing the phrase ‘we’re all in this together’ and the important thing to remember about cleaning regimes is that right now, it is everyone’s responsibility to play their part in these enhanced measures. Even if your work site is supported by professional cleaners, that doesn’t account for how the coronavirus might spread in between those cleans so, when you see something is in need of cleaning, do it!

That’s all for today. Keep a watch for more reminders on the Site operating Procedures over the coming weeks.


Main image source: Shutterstock