On Saturday the Prime Minster announced a second national lockdown with tough restrictions designed to reduce the transmission of coronavirus and ease the strain on the NHS.
Those who can effectively work from home have been advised to do so but there are some exemptions including national infrastructure, construction and manufacturing, whose workers may continue to work as before. Workers are also being reminded to follow COVID-secure guidelines to reduce the risk of transmission.
Those who work in construction are being encouraged to follow seven steps to protect staff on construction sites:
1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment
2. Clean more often
3. Ask your customers or visitors to wear face coverings
4. Make sure everyone is social distancing
5. Increase ventilation
6. Take part in NHS Test and Trace
7. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away.
The Construction Leadership Council had recently projected that a full recovery for the construction industry would take around 2 years. But with the new restrictions arriving and coronavirus cases increasing day on day we could be seeing a longer recovery plan than first predicted.
The construction industry has already shown it has the ability to adapt to COVID-19 with measures in place on every site to slow the transmission of the virus. Temperature checks and social distancing are just a couple of measures that are likely going to be here to stay for a long while yet. Until a vaccine is found it looks likely that construction sites will have to keep these strict measures in place to maintain their exemption from the national lockdown. If coronavirus cases continue to rise and construction becomes included in the national lockdown, the recovery will be longer and tougher.
Despite predictions for a challenging winter ahead, the construction industry appears determined to continue building the future of the country.