COVID-19 SAFETY GUIDANCE

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Covid 19 Safety Guidance

The Health and Safety Subgroup of the CEF Covid 19 Taskforce has compiled a selection or resources to assist construction companies to operate safely in this new environment. The CEF Covid 19 Taskforce includes a number of CEF member companies, senior health and safety representatives of CEF members, an independent health and safety consultant and representation from HSENI.

The information provided includes example templates which companies can amend to suit their specific situation. It is each employers responsibility to ensure compliance with statutory health and safety legislation in the UK. 

New examples and information will added as it comes available.

Covid 19 has changed the world will live and work in. Construction will not be able to operate in the same way as prior to the pandemic and contractors and clients both will need to adapt to the new working environment. The industry must take time now to fully review its operating procedures in light of the most up to date guidance available for each jurisdiction that NI companies operate and only return to site once every aspect of the relevant guidance has been fully and demonstrably embedded. 

No work should be undertaken if it cannot be delivered in full compliance with the applicable guidance.

Please note all existing health and safety legislation must continue to be complied with to ensure safe working practice.

 

CEF Safe Working Update

CEF has produced an Update on Safe Working which highlights the key requirements for each jurisdiction.

 

Other Public Guidance

There is a significant amount of guidance publicly available and a number of the key documents have been collated on this page for ease of reference.

The latest information on Covid 19 can be accessed on the Public Health Agency website.

The Department for the Economy has published guidance on making workplaces safer during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The key document for construction companies operating in Northern Ireland is the Construction Leadership Council’s Standard Operating Procedures. This is supported by HSENI. Please note that the Standard Operating Procedures were updated from Version 3 to Version 4 on 19 May 2020. The Health and Safety Subgroup is currently reviewing the guidance on this page to take account of any amendments required and will make changes as soon as possible. In general, the changes to Version 4 are minimal and include:

  • Removal of the requirement for face-to-face contact to be kept to 15 minutes or less
  • The section on PPE now links to the latest Government guidance on face coverings
  • References to one-way systems and the reconfiguration of seating and tables and an update on portable toilets
  • The requirement to share risk assessments with the workforce
  • Clarification on when to travel to work, as set out in the Government's Covid 19 Recovery Strategy
  • Updated links and wording on social distancing. 

CITB(GB) has published the following interactive documents:

Covid 19 Site operating procedures compliance checklist

Covid 19 Health, safety and environment risk assessment template

Covid 19 Toolbox talk

Covid 19 Weekly site operating procedures checklist

The UK Government has published Working safely during Covid 19 in construction and other outdoor work

The Health and Safety Subgroup of the CEF Covid 19 Taskforce has compiled a selection or resources to assist construction companies to operate safely in this new environment. The information provided includes example templates which companies can amend to suit their specific situation. It is each employers responsibility to ensure compliance with statutory health and safety legislation in the UK. 

 

Risk Assessments

Construction companies shall carry out a Covid 19 risk assessment.

HSENI have produced an example Covid 19 risk assessment template.

Further examples of risk assessments are available below:

Method Statement/ Risk Assessment Covid 19

Returning to site

The following resources are examples of preparation for returning to site:

Covid-19 Site Specific Safe Operating Procedure

Induction

Before going on site an induction should be completed. Example induction and reinduction presentations can be found below:

Covid 19 Induction Example

Reinduction Example

Declarations

It is good practice to ensure everyone completes a declaration in relation to Covid 19 before they enter a site. Examples of these declarations can be found below:

Covid 19 Questionniare

Pre work screening assessment

Close working

As per the Construction Leadership Council Site Operating Procedures (SOP) in relation to work planning to avoid close working, consider whether that activity needs to continue for the site to continue to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission. If you are not able to work whilst maintaining a two metre distance, you should consider whether the activity should continue and, if so, risk assess it using the hierarchy of controls listed in the SOP and against any sector specific guidance.

One control where face to face working is essential to carry out a task when working within 2 metres is "Consider introducing an enhanced authorisation process for these activities". One possible method of implementing an enhanced authorisation process is a permit to work within 2m. Please note in certain circumstances this should be kept to 15 minutes or less where possible. Examples of these permits are included below:

Permit to Work (less than 2m) Example 1

Permit to Work (less than 2m) Example 2

Posters

Public Health Agency Social Distancing Poster

Site Entrance Poster

Site Guidance Notes

Other Useful Guidance

The following links provide useful guidance on other key areas.

Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI)

HSE Guidance on respiratory protective equipment (RPE) fit testing

HSE Guidance on using disposbale repirators

HSE Guidance Note on carrying out thorough examination and testing of lifting and pressure equipment during the coronavirus outbreak

HSE Guidance on first aid cover and qualifications during the coronavirus outbreak

HSE Guidance on RIDDOR Reporting of Covid 19

CBI joint statement with HSE and TUC on safe working

Willis Towers Watson Covid 19 Guidance for Construction Site Reopening