The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) recently published fresh guidance to help engineering and construction firms keep staff safe in the light of new government restrictions.
The BESA’s Covid-19 Panel has created two new guides providing clear and practical information about how to cut the risk of virus transmission on-site and methods for carrying out risk assessments for workers who have to stay away from home.
Becky Crosland, BESA health and safety adviser, said: “The new guides are all about prioritising workers and customer/client safety.
“As we see a rise in the R number across the country, it is clear that the threat of infection from Covid-19 remains very much alive. It is, therefore, vital that businesses have robust procedures to safeguard against the risks employees face on-site and in domestic settings.”
She also reiterated the warning that the two-metre social distancing restriction remains in place on construction sites.
“Some people seem to think the two-metre restriction has been reduced to one metre – it has not. Infection risk is between and two and 10 times higher at one metre,” she explained. “If it is impossible to remain two metres apart, you should apply other controls like reducing the duration of time you spend together or avoiding face-to-face contact.
“Being able to work safely and reduce the risk of Covid-19 during any work is vital to stop the spread of the virus,” added Crosland. “The health, wellbeing and safety of both workers and customers must be a priority during the pandemic.”
All of the panel’s documents have been fully researched, taking into account the government’s updated guidance, and provide a series of steps that any employer can put into practice.
Rosie Newcombe, BESA Covid-19 panel member from the Royston Group, said: “In uncertain times, it can often feel that your personal contribution is not making a difference. However, by working with BESA and our partners across our sector, individual health and safety professionals have been able to collaborate and contribute positively by interpreting the latest government guidance to produce effective guidance notes and risk assessments.”
The guide is available free and is downloadable from BESA’s website.