UK Lockdown: Construction Sites to stay open?

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It was announced yesterday evening by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson that the entirety of the UK will be under a UK lockdown to tackle the superior coronavirus, and try to slow down the spread of it infecting other people… However, while everywhere and everyone closes their doors for 3 weeks or even more, construction sites are to remain open.

Boris said that people will be allowed to leave their home for essential reasons only, such as 1 dose of exercise per day, going to work if you’re a keyworker, and collecting supplies. But from the looks of it, the ones in the construction industry such as, scaffolding, etc. looks like ‘staying at home’ isn’t going to cut it.

The PM didn’t make it clear enough whether the millions of scaffolding erectors, construction workers, builders would be continuing to go to work or not during the uk lockdown.

Ricki Grenfell of RG Scaffolding Birmingham · The No1 Scaffolding Company had this to say about the current situation: “It clearly says that you have to social distance at work but how can you do that if you’re on-site, we work very closely together, anyone could be a carrier. I have a family; I wouldn’t want them to catch the disease.”

We need to give clarity to the current situation, it’s a worrying and anxious time for everyone especially for small independent businesses, within the meantime there hasn’t been no specific instruction to shut any scaffolding sites down. However, it is not a regulatory or enforcement body with the power to instruct sites to close.

These are exceptional circumstances, and doing the utmost to keep our scaffolding sites and driveways projects fully operational wherever it is practical and safe to do so. Whilst the guidance from Public Health near Birmingham may change in the near future, for the time being scaffolding sites of any size that are operating during the coronavirus need to ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of spread of the infection.

What can we do during the UK Lockdown?

Implementing the Government’s social distancing recommendation RG Scaffolding-Birmingham · Best No1 Scaffolding company has now published Site Operating Procedures. I would strongly recommend that these procedures are implemented by every operational construction site, with the aim of us having a standard approach across the industry that all firms and workers can adopt.

It is vital that the health and safety requirements of any scaffolding activity must not be compromised at this time. If an activity cannot be undertaken safely due to a lack of suitably qualified personnel being available, or social distancing being implemented, it should not take place. We are aware that emergency services are also under great pressure and may not be in a position to respond as quickly as usual.

About RG Scaffolding – Frequently asked Questions

The RG Scaffolding Van on location, prime and ready for action at Solihull College

Must I use a tag system on a Scaffold?

Although tag systems are not a legal requirement, the law does say that an inspection is a requirement especially, if the scaffolder falls more than 2 metres or more and the issue of a report by a competent person, on a completion and weekly thereafter.

However, a risk assessment may find the need for more frequent inspection of scaffolding. The inspection may also be a required after bad weather and always after any modification.

Using a visible tag system may supplement the inspection reports, but it is a useful way of ensuring those who need to use the scaffolding know that it is safe to use on the construction project.

How can I prevent falls?

You can prevent falls during the erection of scaffolding by using an advanced guard rail system. Where this is not practicable, workers should wear harnesses to arrest their fall.

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