Two engineering services bodies have produced guidance to help those in the industry keep buildings safe as the government lift restrictions this week.
The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and ECA, the engineering and electrotechnical services body, have joined forces to produce free guidance notes for members and the wider industry alongside a warning that the pandemic has still not relaxed its grip on the industry.
This updated advice draws on the expertise of more than 30 health and safety practitioners from the construction and related sectors combined with the latest government guidelines to help employers keep their operatives and members of the public safe.
Although the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has announced that its site operating procedures (SOPs) will no longer be mandatory from July 19, BESA and the ECA are still urging caution.
Becky Crosland, BESA’s head of health and safety, said: “Removing legal requirements does not mean it makes sense to immediately drop all the measures that have kept people safe over the past year... Common sense should prevail, and we expect most sites will choose to retain a number of voluntary measures including risk assessment, the wearing of face coverings and social distancing wherever possible.”
Paul Reeve, ECA’s director of CSR and public affairs added: “Many in construction and wider services sectors are increasingly looking beyond 19 July to 16 August. The government announced that, from that date, double vaccination will begin to provide exemption from having to self-isolate.
“Many in the industry would like the 16 August date brought forward, even in the face of the practical difficulties. These range from how to encourage workers to achieve double vaccination, to the implications of government advice that workers should take a PCR test following a ‘Covid-positive ping."
The new publication BESA/ECA Health and Safety Guidance Notes and Support for COVID 19’ will help employers to navigate the next few months, according to the two bodies. It contains nine separate pieces of guidance designed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in workplaces. It covers travel arrangements, working on-site, and continues to reflect the latest version of the SOPs.
The notes, which are downloadable for free from the BESA and ECA websites, provide advice on social distancing, handwashing/sanitising, and cleaning of all contactable surfaces and equipment. There is also guidance on how employers should plan activities to avoid unnecessary proximity (less than 2 metres) and carry out risk assessments.
To access the new free guidance visit here: www.theBESA.com/covid19 and www.eca.co.uk/business-industry-support/coronavirus-back-to-work
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