Covid 19 Health & Safety Guidance
As the Covid 19 pandemic took hold, the CEF Covid 19 Taskforce was set up and, in turn, the Health and Safety Subgroup reviewed the best available guidance from a range of sources and compiled a selection of resources to assist companies operate safely in the new environment. Feedback has been excellent, and the information is continually updated to reflect the current situation.
It is important that any updates in these documents are taken into consideration in the policies and procedures and actions being implemented to keep staff, their families and the wider community safe.
Please note all existing health and safety legislation must continue to be complied with to ensure safe working practice. No work should be undertaken if it cannot be delivered in full compliance with the applicable guidance.
Publicly available guidance
A significant amount of publicly available information is available, and the key resources have been collated on this page for ease of reference.
The key document for construction companies operating in Northern Ireland and GB is the Construction Leadership Council’s Standard Operating Procedures. This is supported by HSENI. The current version is Version 7 (issued 7 January 2021). Since 19 July 2021 the SOP remains as a reference document for companies operating in GB. Companies in NI should continue to adhere to the SOP.
Companies operating in the Republic of Ireland should refer to the Construction Industry Federation Construction Sector C-19 Pandemic SOP. The current version is Version 9 (updated 22 October 2021). CIF have also issued a FAQ document on recent changes.
The Construction Leadership Council have also published guidance on the use of face coverings in construction during Coronavirus (Covid-19).
CITB(GB) has published the following interactive documents:
- Covid 19 Site operating procedures compliance checklist
- Covid 19 Health, safety and environmental risk assessment
- Covid 19 Toolbox talk
- Covid 19 Weekly site operating procedure checklist
- GE700 Checklist and forms
The latest versions of these documents can be downloaded from the following link (scroll down and click on the Site Operating Procedures/ Covid-19 site safety checklists and forms section).
The UK Government has published Working Safely during Covid 19 in construction and other outdoor work. The latest version can be accessed by clicking on the following link.
General information on the latest Covid 19 situation in Northern Ireland, symptom checker and test and trace is available from the Public Health Agency website.
The Public Health Agency has published a quick guide on Covid 19 in a business setting.
The Department of the Economy published guidance on making workplaces safer during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The CEF’s Health and Safety Subgroup collated the following example templates to assist companies to operate safely in the new environment. These templates can be amended to suit companies’ specific situation and should be reviewed to ensure they reflect current guidance before being used. It is each employer’s responsibility to ensure compliance with statutory health and safety legislation in the UK.
Construction companies shall carry out a Covid 19 risk assessment.
HSENI have produced an example Covid 19 risk assessment template (updated 19 January 2021).
Further examples of risk assessments are available below:
Returning to site
The following resources are examples of preparation for returning to site:
Before going on site an induction should be completed. Example induction and reinduction presentations can be found below:
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:
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. Examples of these permits are included below:
Other Useful Guidance
The following links provide useful guidance on other key areas.