To support the sector in managing COVID-19 compliance and safety, Site Operating Procedures have been updated in England and Scotland.
Site Operating Procedures in England
The Construction Leadership Council Site Operating Procedures have been updated to reflect the latest Government guidance in England. You can download the updated version here. The changes in Version 7 are minor, including updated guidance on self-isolation and shielding and the removal of the requirement to display a QR code in site canteens.
One area that has caused confusion is advice on Face Coverings and Masks, in England the guidance is:
In accordance with The Use of Face Coverings in Construction, where workers on site are not required to wear Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) and their workplace (which may include welfare and changing facilities, site offices or site meeting rooms) meets all of the criteria below, their employer should make face coverings available and they should be worn in:
- An enclosed space;
- Where social distancing isn’t always possible; and
- Where they come into contact with others they do not normally meet.
In line with Government guidance on premises providing hospitality, face coverings must be worn in canteens except when seated at a table to eat or drink.
Build UK has also updated its flowchart on the actions to take if a worker has COVID-19 or needs to self-isolate to reflect the latest Public Health England (PHE) guidance which requires employers to contact PHE if they identify five or more cases within 14 days.
Site Operating Procedures Scotland
Construction Scotland have developed separate Scottish Site Operating Procedures to ensure businesses in Scotland can comply with the requirements of tighter restrictions. This document has not been updated, but an advance addendum no. 1: 11th January 2021 (these documents should be read together). has been added,
This addendum includes new guidance on Face Coverings:
The Construction Scotland Guidance requires all Employers to carry out task specific risk assessments and provide appropriate PPE (including RPE) if any workers are required to carry out operations at less than 2 metre physical distance.
Legislation introduced by the Scottish Government also requires the wearing of face coverings in canteens (unless seated or eating/drinking) and in indoor communal areas such as passageways, stairs, lifts, staff rooms, training rooms, changing rooms or entrances, unless there are measures in place to “keep that person separated from any other person by a partition or a distance of at least 2m”.
The increased risk of infection now being reported, the possibility of accidentally breaching social distancing measures that are not physical, and the risks from aerosol transmission in enclosed spaces occupied for extended periods means it is now appropriate to extend the wearing of face-coverings to anyone:
- moving around all indoor and outdoor spaces between task / activity locations.
- working together in any internal space which is not well ventilated (either naturally or mechanically) for protracted periods of over an hour.
- working together in an internal space which is not well ventilated (either naturally or mechanically) for any period where raised voices or physical exertion is required,,
All regardless of social distancing measures and subject to the exemptions listed in the regulations
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.
In line with above changes, FIS has revised our 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.
To download posters and animations that FIS has developed with CICV to support awareness of the importance of wearing Face coverings and Masks
More information via the FIS COVID-19 Hub here.