Return of Construction Work

The economy needs to get going at some stage and it seems that starting with outdoor workers / businesses will make sense particularly given the time of year. The blanket ban on construction seems the obvious choice for review. It seems enforcement is arbitrary as I have passed many houses when out walking with people working in them and workers vans outside.

There are many large sites which could operate easily with social distancing. There are also houses part refurbed where nobody is in occupancy where it would be safe for one or two people at a time to work.

Allowing construction to start on sites where it can be done safely, coupled with a relaxation of the hours during which such work can take place for 3 to 4 months would allow a sector of the economy to get operational and allow it to start contributing Tax and NIC. Flexibility on hours for 4 months or so would allow maximum use to be made of daylight hours and also allow for staggering of shifts so that less people are on site but a decent amount of work gets done. This in turn could ease the load on public transport at any one time. In Scotland many sites could do 2 good shifts a day for the next 3 months.

No doubt many pubs etc which are closed may be happy to get their premises painted or other work done and allowing workers into these premises while they are vacant could boost the tax take and get people back physically and mentally active.

Why the contribution is important

The economy needs to move where it safely can and construction seems an obvious choice at this time of year.

Furloughing is not good for mental health and the Government should be looking to take people off it where possible. This is the obvious sector where people can't work at home.

by yamoe on May 05, 2020 at 01:45PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.6
Based on: 41 votes


  • Posted by June May 05, 2020 at 14:12

    Any outdoor work should resume and construction is an obvious choice.
  • Posted by missjuliewooly May 05, 2020 at 14:29

    I work for one of the largest main tier contractors and we are still, in the main, operating safely in England and Wales.

    The disjointed approach seems unfair, particularly when we can evidence safe operating practices on our building and civils sites elsewhere in the UK.

    Surely this evidence, along with the 5 phase plan created by the Construction Leadership Forum should be reviewed and sites allowed to return to work.
  • Posted by MrsT May 05, 2020 at 14:29

    Most construction work can be easily be completed within the safe distance rules in place. Construction Work should be allowed to restart as soon as possible.
  • Posted by Fizzyfoo May 05, 2020 at 14:40

    I don’t think many sites would be able to offer social distancing . Never mind keep up with constant cleaning and hand washing.
  • Posted by GT May 05, 2020 at 16:36

    As and SME owner of a Construction business and with 95% of for our employees on furlough to protect the business it is important that we;

    1) Get time to plan a return to site, people need to come off of furlough and carry out all necessary RAMS etc.
    2) Consistent Guidelines that are Scotland Standard ( we are being asked for RAMS taking into consideration different guidelines) these need to be standard as to give employees one set of rules.
    3) Proper Guidance on PPE standardised through the industry.
    4) Ability to Buy PPE from Government Supply. Lack of commercial a viability and over charging.
    5) Advice on liabilities should and employee become infected on site.
    6) Government needs to ensure that insurance companies honour policies and Coronavirus is included.
    7) There may be situations where employees in construction companies will be shielded putting pressure on resource to get back on site. Clients should be advised to act collaboratively .
    8) Comments that working on sites is safe in other parts of the UK are only statements but need to be evidence backed as far as we are aware there has been no testing to identify spread on sites.
    9) What happens if employees refuse to go back if they are frightened to catch the virus.
    10) Construction Leadership Forum- Where and how is this accessed.
  • Posted by WilfredLawrieNicholasJohnson May 07, 2020 at 17:11

    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 AuntieKaty May 07, 2020 at 20:29

    Why is transport infrastructure construction shut down when HS2 construction is being permitted in England?
  • Posted by Jock52 May 10, 2020 at 14:28

    Where it is possible to maintain social distancing it should be entirely permissible to allow personnel back onto construction sites.
    The UK economy is in meltdown so all businesses which generally facilitate social distancing ( ie NOT pubs , restaurants etc) should be encouraged to open up again before too many go into liquidation, with all the negative consequences.
  • Posted by ejforrester May 10, 2020 at 20:56

    Most construction work , particularly finishing work can be completed within distancing recommendations. Construction is an essential industry , both in economic and personal terms. Get construction back in action.
  • Posted by iRab May 11, 2020 at 20:37

    Construction can re-commence with the correct management in place.
    Most sites/places of work involved in construction are under strict control already. With additional C-19 control, this makes far more sense to reopen.
    First and foremost, people will be safe. Secondly, economically for the workers and the country, will improve. Thirdly, utilising summer months will allow shift stagger to assist the longer term of controlling C-19.
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