Allow construction to return asap

Provide detailed guidance to allow construction industries to return to work as soon as possible, ensuring that staff are adequately protected and less reliance on the furlough scheme.

Why the contribution is important

Outdoor construction has been highlighted as an industry which would be relatively safe with appropriate safe guards. As a company owner who is following the Government's advice to refrain from trading during lock down it is extremely frustrating to witness other companies continuing to operate during this time with what appears to be very little justification or consideration to the safety of their employees. If guidance is not available, greater measures should be taken to ensure that only essential construction continues to operate during this period. Increasingly, I am aware of other construction related business owners who are returning to work due to fear of losing work to one of the other companies who have continued to trade during the lockdown period.

by abconstruction on May 05, 2020 at 10:49PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 75 votes


  • Posted by ColinAnderson May 05, 2020 at 23:13

    We must get the construction industry moving, not just on essential/critical covid infrastructure projects. There are many tasks in construction that can be completed safely and the industry has a strong recent history in assessing and managing risk and H&S aspects.
  • Posted by julselis May 05, 2020 at 23:21

    Frankly, the only thing thing I have never seen or heard ANYONE say they miss during lockdown is construction. It's bad enough being cooped up in flats all day without constant noise, dust and watching land be destroyed for profit.
  • Posted by HTC May 05, 2020 at 23:23

    I think that if a company can produce relevant Risk Assessments and Method Statements showing work can continue whilst abiding by social distancing rules then there should be the possibility of returning to construction work. This could even be extended to the point where a two man team could work together if we consider the two colleagues and their households as being essentially one group for isolation purposes and social isolation remains in place.
  • Posted by murrayme8 May 05, 2020 at 23:23

    Depending on the job but it is a dirty job and I think that’s one thing that needs to be slowly and carefully introduced
  • Posted by Lyzzy33 May 06, 2020 at 00:04

    Construction should be permitted to resume.
  • Posted by Wanderer May 06, 2020 at 00:07

    I worked in the construction industry for several decades and latterly was a trade union H&S rep. Although the industry has a much better reputation now than it used to. It was regarded as one of the poorer industries as regards risk and safety. The workers on site, in my experience will take shortcuts where they can get away with them and the possibility of onwards transmission would be of a high risk.
  • Posted by Janmat1724 May 06, 2020 at 02:13

    To gradually restart building project. Maybe start with those that are near to completion as they have all their infrastructure n place and will cause the least disruption. They are Leo very visible be that might reassure people that the world is gradually reopening. Also help with housing issues.
  • Posted by Stuart300967 May 06, 2020 at 05:51

    I work in an office supplying windows and doors to the construction and timber frame industry. In my experience the industry has come s long way since started in 1984 with regards to H & S issues so would be able to work through this crisis eg same trades working on certain days, social distancing, using masks and shields which could be fixed to hard hats. Moreover, the government could employ inspectors to do both instruction on how to work through this and also do random spot checks on sites. Sites/companies could then be given certification approving them.
  • Posted by flocor01 May 06, 2020 at 06:36

    Construction should be able to return - there would need to be measures in place for social distancing etc but we need to get started again and soon
  • Posted by lmjdear May 06, 2020 at 07:35

    construction should be reopened asap
  • Posted by MargaretR19 May 06, 2020 at 08:03

    I agree that construction is vital to our economy and employment for those who work in construction. The task of getting construction back safely including the supply chain is huge. There needs to be mandatory (not voluntary) guidance on what requires to be put in place ..additional to the CDM regulations and fines if not followed. The HSE needs emergency powers and increased resources to strengthen the inspection regime on sites for some time to come. Construction firms should be required to submit risk assessments and mitigation measures before being allowed to operate......urgent given imminent plans for the construction industry to return to work with personnel already been called back off furlough. Disastrous for workers families and our country if this goes wrong.
  • Posted by Rainbowbright May 06, 2020 at 08:15

    If construction workers can work at a safe distance and particularly if they work alone outside then this should be allowed to resume. Projects are being delayed, people are missing out on wages (particularly self employed)
  • Posted by AndyTon May 06, 2020 at 08:37

    I work in the construction trade and outdoor activities could be completed safely. Internal work becomes a huge problem as a lot of task are 2 man tasks or men/women touch the same materials constantly. Welfare facilities would also become a factor. Staggered shifts and reduced number on site could work if monitored properly but we then run the risk of sub contractor losing profits on jobs as product ability is greater reduced. We would also need to consider that many construction works travel on public transport or shared vans/cars.
  • Posted by jgelliot May 06, 2020 at 11:28

    Allowing small firms, i.e. those undertaking one project at a time, to return would be low risk, reduce furlough and may allow some building supply companies to reopen. It would also be a relief to those in suspended animation mid project and help to give the impression that things are getting better.
  • Posted by CampbellA9 May 06, 2020 at 12:18

    Many people are adversely affected by construction sites being shut down, and it is galling to see building go ahead in England. The science is the same. In housing construction, buyers are stuck waiting for homes to be completed, incurring massive and unexpected rent costs at a time where their jobs may be insecure or they have been furloughed, and potentially living in unsuitable temporary accommodation through the lockdown. The financial and psychological impact of this is massive.
  • Posted by borisj May 06, 2020 at 13:29

    What about all the supporting businesses that would find distancing difficult, transport, plant hire, catering, welfare provision... where do the companies get the PPE they need ? All the masks are (rightfully) in the NHS, so are all the face shields. Why is construction so important... because it's good weather ? The more people move about, the more often they refuel, buy food, use public transport, buy stuff, deliver stuff, take away rubbish, the more often they are interacting, and that multiplies the risk of spreading infection. I work in an office (for a construction company) and in my day I would normally interact with 15 people on my way to and from work, buying lunch, communicating, and in the office. If I get it, they get it. If someone gets hurt on a site they need an ambulance... not many of them are spare at the moment, they need to go to an A&E, the less effective the lockdown, the longer all these measures will be in place.
  • Posted by Scotland_is_flatlining May 06, 2020 at 17:51

    There is no case for the mass closuse of construction sites in Scotland while those in the rest of the UK are encouraged to implement safe practices and remain open. The comstruction industry does safety very well. It handles mant significant hazards such as working at height, noise and use of machinery. It is very capable of designing appropriate distancing procedures into their regular procedures. The cowboy builders may try and get away with it in the same way as they flout other safety issues but they are very much in the minority and well known to HSE.
  • Posted by Wyatt8 May 06, 2020 at 19:50

    As proved recently at the NHS Louisa Jordan, construction sites can operate safely and under social distancing restrictions while providing invaluable infrastructure necessary for society. This together with economic stimulus getting businesses that can operate safely back working will ensure those that work in the industry can earn a living rather than rely on furlough, which is unnecessary - It’s a win win scenario. There is enough confusion (and contradiction) around measures in place and no obvious distinction why Scotland construction industry cannot return, where elsewhere in the U.K. construction projects have continued to operate with suitable safety measures in place. This has been done with no discernible difference in infection rates and therefore no reason to expect that allowing construction to return in Scotland would have a negative impact. Continuing to adopt a different and unproven restriction will harm the industry and impact the economy of Scotland unnecessarily.
  • Posted by Kookaburra71 May 07, 2020 at 07:17

    Its not just the construction sites that need to restart you also have the haulage companies who take away the dirt and rubble from them those guys are also able to work safely with social distancing ie the drivers stay in their tippers get loaded and leave. My boyfriend is one of them having to live on 80% unable to pay his rent and bills as its not enough feeling so disconnected and low that he is struggling with his mental health and I can't help I'm scared. The construction industry is the one industry that would get us back on our feet quicker we can't afford to lose them.
  • Posted by snapier May 07, 2020 at 11:32

    It is vital to the Scottish economy to get the construction sites opened up again. There are plenty of ways of making sure that construction workers are given off site training to complete before they start on site, just as with Health & Safety. Tool box talks can be done remotely, and workers sign a declaration about social distancing, etc before coming back to work. Companies need to provide proper welfare facilities and ensure that an inspector is on site to check compliance.
  • Posted by JVL May 07, 2020 at 12:42

    Re-starting the construction industry is a positive way to get the economy moving again. It’s a huge employer across Scotland and the industry contributes massively to the overall economic activity of the country in usual circumstances. By commencing with construction work it has a positive effect on numerous workers - Builders, joiners, plumbers, architects, landscapers, material suppliers, truck drivers, mortgage advisors, banks, solicitors, to name but a few, would all have work available to them by opening up this key industry. Furthermore, due to the vast house building movement, particularly across the lothians, there a numerous families who find themselves stuck in temporary accommodation when they should have been in their new homes. This is a huge stress and financial strain.
  • Posted by WilfredLawrieNicholasJohnson May 07, 2020 at 17:08

    Many keep drawing comparisons to the fact that English Construction sites are still operating and Scotland have been closed. But how confident are these people that the CLC Guidance is safe? On paper parts may seem reasonable. But just because people are working to them does not make them safe. There is a feeling that the workers in construction industry in England are essentially being treated as test subjects for this guidance, meanwhile it is dressed up as ‘best practice’. How can we be sure that the current CLC guidance is: a) Safe? b) being enforced by the company? c) being further enforced by authorities like HSE? The guidance is flawed and unclear with many unsafe recommendations, such as face to face working for up to 15 minutes to highlight the most obscene suggestion (a UK government recommendation). The Scottish Government should issue its own guidance for the construction industry in Scotland. First and foremost it should be safe and clear. Some suggestions to improve safety could be as follows: • Staff should travel alone and not share public transport or share vans in any circumstance • Limit number of people on site at any one time • Everyone should wear a mask • N95 masks and goggles for anyone who has to work within 2 metres Final point. Construction bosses only really care about the money or the programme. They never care about the hardworking boots on the ground, never have and never will. There needs to be enforcement and heavy fines issued to those who don’t want to comply or are not taking it seriously enough. The only thing that will force some of these people to comply is if there is a financial incentive.
  • Posted by SC2020 May 08, 2020 at 10:15

    If all appropriate measures are in place and risk assessments done there is no reason why construction cannot resume. Increase welfare capacities to cater for social distancing, risk assess each task to ensure this can be done with social distancing.
  • Posted by Bobby1958 May 08, 2020 at 15:11

    No reason for closure. SF measures can be easily introduced for a bomber of trades and work areas particularly outdoor work.
  • Posted by EKopinion May 09, 2020 at 18:50

    No reason for sites to be closed
  • Posted by Gran May 09, 2020 at 21:39

    Please allow construction sites to reopen following clear safety guidelines. My family is living with me waiting for their much-delayed new house. Work is nearing completion but now stopped. Finishing off the inside is similar to having tradesmen in to do jobs. Working outside is safer anyway, so the landscaping can be finished. Make sure there are good practice guidelines and trust people to obey them. Stressful situations have been created. Housing is essential for well being.
  • Posted by AnnabelH May 10, 2020 at 19:58

    We are desperate for construction sites to safely reopen. My husband and I along with our two year old are currently living with my Mother in Law and are due a baby in September. We have been waiting for this home for nearly a year and are worried it may now not being ready before our new addition to the family arrives. We believe that measures could be put in place to ensure the health and safety of all workers on site to allow them to reopen.
  • Posted by jamesf May 10, 2020 at 20:03

    This has been a source of immense frustration for me and my family because we are currently living in temporary accommodation waiting for construction work to resume on a small site of new-build flats in Glasgow. The builders had told us that they would be ready to restart on Monday 11th May with appropriate signage and PPE etc, but have been disappointed by the announcement of a continued ban towards the end of this last week. Seemingly all that remains for the new flat is flooring, painting and a few minor final touches, which will be completed in a few weeks once they are allowed to resume their work.
  • Posted by ejforrester May 10, 2020 at 20:23

    Construction should be allowed back to work. There is no reason why such an essential business should have been stopped. Construction in England and Wales and on 'essential' sites in Scotland has proceeded without significant difficulty. Finishing work in particular can easily be managed in compliance with safety recommendations.
  • Posted by basketballfan May 10, 2020 at 20:26

    Please give permission for construction to continue as soon as possible. Our new build home has been severely delayed even before the Covid 19 crisis took hold and we are desperate to get in ahead of our new baby arriving. We feel that construction has the most potential to abide by social distancing measures due to the nature of work being carried out. Also, from an economic perspective, construction is the backbone of the Scottish economy, being a huge employer across a wide range of trades. Across Scotland, there's a been a severe housing shortage for years, and this problem is being exacerbated by construction sites grinding to a halt. The construction industry as a whole in Scotland has an excellent track record in managing risk and keeping site workers safe, so we would be confident that construction businesses would be able to enforce all appropriate Covid 19 related safety measures.
  • Posted by AngelaBenzies May 10, 2020 at 21:04

    Restarting of small scale, domestic construction where social distancing could be managed should be a priority. It helps workers, eases government financial pressures and benefits customers, all whilst helping restore a type of normality.
  • Posted by FHunt May 11, 2020 at 09:39

    We are desperate for construction sites to safely reopen. My sister, her husband and their two year old are currently living in temporary accommodation and are due a baby in September. They have been waiting for their new build home for nearly a year and are worried it may now not be ready before their new addition to the family arrives. They believe that measures could be put in place to ensure the health and safety of all workers on site to allow them to reopen and therefore giving the new baby and family a safe and stress free home to move into.
  • Posted by Camo May 11, 2020 at 14:31

    As long as appropriate Covid 19 safety measures can be followed, construction should be allowed re-commence as soon as possible.
  • Posted by TRJL May 11, 2020 at 19:06

    Construction needs to be re-opened ASAP. We are in danger of losing talented tradespeople to England and Wales if that is where the work is. Also there are so many people waiting to move to their new homes. It’s easier to stay at home if you actually have one!
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