A reminder of when and how to travel safely to work
As we’ve previously mentioned, many construction sites have temporarily closed but some are continuing to operate under the strict guidelines created by the Construction Leadership Council in line with government advice on COVID-19. All of the major contractors we work with have implemented these.
Whilst our site teams have reduced in number, we have briefed our workforce on these procedures which include everything from the conditions required for travelling to/ from work to how to navigate shared facilities like toilets or canteens.
Because this guidance is so important, we want to keep reminding people of some of the main points but to make it easier, we’ll be breaking this down into some bite size sections.
Today’s reminder is therefore all about when (and when not) to travel to work and how to do so safely.
When to travel to work
The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy advised in a letter to the UK construction industry on 31 March 2020:
“that wherever possible, people should work at home. However, we know that for many people working in construction their job requires them to travel to their place of work, and they can continue to do so. This is consistent with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice”.
It is important to understand the following guidelines by which workers should or should not travel to work as outlined below.
Workers in the construction industry should follow the guidance on staying at home and away from others (social distancing). Where they cannot work from home, they must follow the same principles of social distancing while travelling to and from work and while at work.
Anyone who either has a high temperature or a new persistent cough or is within 14 days of the day when the first member of their household showed symptoms of Coronavirus (Covid-19) should not come to site, but must follow the guidance on self-isolation.
Person at increased risk
Anyone who is at increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus (Covid-19) is strongly advised to work at home and should be particularly stringent about following social distancing measures.
Persons defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable
Anyone identified as extremely vulnerable will be advised by their health authority and must follow the guidance on shielding and protecting extremely vulnerable people.
Living with a person in one of the above groups
Anyone living with a person who is at increased risk of severe illness, or an extremely vulnerable person who is shielding from Coronavirus (Covid-19), should stringently follow the guidance on social distancing and minimise contact outside the home.
If someone falls ill
If a worker develops a high temperature or a persistent cough while at work, they should:
- Ensure their manager or supervisor is informed
- Return home immediately
- Avoid touching anything
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow.
How to travel to work
Wherever possible workers should travel to site alone using their own transport.
If workers have no option but to share transport:
- Journeys should be shared with the same individuals and with the minimum number of people at any one time.
- Good ventilation (i.e. keeping the windows open) and facing away from each other may help to reduce the risk of transmission.
- The vehicle should be cleaned regularly using gloves and standard cleaning products, with particular emphasis on handles and other areas where passengers may touch surfaces.
Where public transport is the only option for workers, you should consider the following:
- Can you change and stagger site working hours to reduce congestion on public transport
- Try to avoid using public transport during peak times (05:45 ‐ 7:30 and 16:00 ‐ 17:30)
Keep a watch for further reminders on these Site operating Procedures.