Coronavirus and Construction Sites – CLC issues updated guidance
Last updated: 15:30, 2 February 2020
Published on 7 January 2021, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has now updated its guidance on Site Operating Procedures so that companies are assisted with implementing safe working practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is the seventh version which incorporates a small number of changes that reflect the latest Government guidance following the imposition of a further national lockdown in England on 6 January. This includes updated guidance on self-isolation and shielding and the removal of the requirement to display a QR code in canteens. Where the former is concerned, the guidance makes it clear that anyone who has;
- symptoms of COVID-19
- received a positive COVID-19 test result;
- a member of their household or support bubble showing symptoms of COVID-19 or with a positive test result;
- returned from a country that is not on the travel corridor list; or
- been contacted by the NHS Test & Trace Service
Must follow the guidance on self-isolation and should not attend at a construction site under any circumstances.
It is a legal requirement to self-isolate in the event of a positive test result or when told to do so by NHS Test & Trace and employers are at risk of enforcement action if they knowingly permit or indeed require employees to attend work when they should be self-isolating. Such action could be brought under specific Regulations that were introduced by the Government late last year in direct response to the pandemic (where the maximum fine is £10,000) or indeed under existing health and safety legislation which carries unlimited fines on conviction.
A link to the latest version of the guidance can be found here.
In addition to the updated guidance that has been issued by the CLC and, again, having specific regard to the issues of self-isolation and shielding, Build UK has also updated its flowchart on the actions to take if a worker has COVID-19 or needs to self-isolate. This also includes reference to the latest Public Health England (PHE) guidance which requires employers to contact PHE if they identify five or more cases within 14 days.
With the Health and Safety Executive having recently announced that they intend to “scale up” the number of workplace inspections in the coming weeks and months, employers would be well advised to follow the safety measures that are set out within this guidance. Any failure to do so is likely to result in sanctions by the regulator which could include the issuing of an enforcement notice, which could prevent a site from operating altogether, or, in the most extreme scenario, a criminal prosecution.
Contact our Compliance & Regulatory team today if you require advice regarding this guidance, remaining “COVID-secure”, or indeed any other issue concerning health and safety in the workplace.
If you would like to talk through the consequences for your business, please email us and one of our team will get in touch.
The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.
‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.
Talk to us
Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?
Contact: 03301 001 014