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14th July 2020

COVID-19: Version 5 of the Site Operating Procedures published.

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On 1st July 2020, the Construction Leadership Council published the latest of its updates to the Site Operating Procedures. This document contains guidance for the Construction industry to follow in order to protect its workforce during the COVID-19 outbreak - that the industry should follow from 4th July 2020. This guidance is in accordance with the government guidance relating to the easing of lockdown across England.

The guidance recommends minimal changes to version 4. The most significant update is that the two-metre social distancing requirement has now been reduced, so that workers only need to keep one metre apart where two metres is not viable and where sufficient risk mitigation is in place. Risk mitigation includes maintaining good ventilation, regularly cleaning surfaces and facing away from other people where possible. The guidance additionally states that canteens may now re-open. In order to facilitate the re-opening of canteens, sites should ensure that the capacity of the canteen or rest area is clear at its entry, that break times are staggered, and that social distancing should be maintained at two metres – or one metre with risk mitigation where two metres is not viable, with seating re-arranged to prevent people from being face to face. Further, the requirement to clean equipment such as entry systems has reduced, so that they no longer need to be cleaned between each use. They should of course still be cleaned regularly.

As set out in previous versions of this guidance, it is still vital that sites provide adequate hand cleaning facilities and take steps to reduce risks for workers, such as providing additional parking spaces and staggering shift times. The position remains that any activity which cannot be undertaken safely should not take place. Employers must take actions to protect their workforce and minimise the risk of spread of COVID-19. This extends to considering how workers travel to and from site.

To read the full guidance, please click here . Should you wish to discuss this, or require further guidance about the impact of COVID-19 on your business, please contact any of the members of the construction team whose contact details can be found here.