Construction sites have been given the all clear to progress to Phase 4 of the Construction Restart Plan after ministers were assured the move would not affect the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) within the NHS.

Announcing the move into Phase 4, housing minister Kevin Stewart confirmed “Controlled close working will enable the sector to carry out tasks that have not been possible since the lockdown began, but we are of course not back to business as usual yet and the health and safety of construction workers and the public remains the top priority.

“The move into Phase 4 of the restart plan is subject to appropriate use of PPE, and we have agreed to it only after making certain that this will not impact on supplies required by the NHS”

What does Phase 4 Mean

Phase 4: Steady state operation (with physical distancing, barriers or controlled close working with full PPE use).  Phase 4 will only commence once we are advised that medical style PPE supply to the NHS and Social Care staff is assured. Once this key point is reached, the wearing of such PPE (with associated discipline, such as permits to work, time limits, PPE work zones and close
supervision) will be added to the range of measures available. This means that those tasks omitted in earlier phases will now be able to be completed

Progress throughout Phase 4 will also be subject to monitoring and supervision by site management, with any data/evidence gathered (such as site Covid-19 related absences)
being used to inform continual review of management practices and arrangements to ensure safe working and physical distancing.

Full details of the phased plan are available here.

Confirmation of that work can move to stage four from 15th July is available here.

Site Operating Procedures: Scotland

Procedures based on the CLC Guidelines from Construction Scotland have also been developed and additional supporting information,  has been published by the CICV Forum Health and Safety Subcommittee.  CICV-SOP-Guidance-Book has been developed to extend this guidance mindful of the best available guidance, nationally and internationally, and serves as a guide for the management of COVID-19 on a construction site for the duration of the pandemic.

Additional Useful Resources

FIS H&S Task Assessment Tool
This tool supports analysis of common tasks in the Finishing and Interiors Sector where two metre social distancing is difficult to maintain.  This paper presents the suggestions made by an FIS task group of Health and Safety Practitioners, to support safe working.

FIS COVID-19 Guide to the Selection of Personal and Respiratory Protective Equipment
With PPE / RPE in short supply and a variety of often conflicting information and advice, FIS has produced this guide to help companies to select the right PPE and manage common construction hazardous substances e.g. dust in an environment with the added complexities of protection against COVID-19.

PPE Certificate Checklist
Are you sure that your personal protective equipment (PPE) is legal and its CE compliance certificate is genuine and relates directly to the performance of the equipment?

Guidance on managing applying PPE
As well as issuing PPE it is vital that we ensure people know how to put it on, remove it, clean it or dispose of it to ensure that we eliminate all risks.