Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic all health and safety measures have been updated to include Covid-19 safety measures. All project health and safety documentation should be reviewed to ensure that the documentation is aligned with the measures as outlined in the governments Construction Sector COVID-19 Pandemic regulations and the standard health and safety requirements, considering the constraints of COVID-19. This has considerably increased the compliance work to be carried out over the course of any development.

This increases the overall time and cost of a project, while also increasing the risk of non-compliance issues arising. Here at SOCIAL HOUSING CO. we have the knowhow to ensure you meet all the COVID-19 regulations from the beginning to the end of your development. The following is just some of the updated rules and regulations.

 It is recommended that each Contractor or Developer should create a specific COVID-19 plan in line with this HSE recommendations and in consultation with their clients and sub-contractors. The resulting plan should consider and address the level of risk associated with the project and tasks that workers perform on site. You must appoint COVID-19 Compliance Officer as necessary depending on the size, scale and complexity of the project. 

Insurance: Before commencing activities onsite, contractors are advised to contact their insurance broker or insurance advisor for direction. 

Safety Statement: It is advised that contractors review their Safety Statement and associated risk assessments, considering COVID-19.

 Risk Assessments / Method Statement (RAMS): Risk assessments and method statements for all work on site should be reviewed to address the risk of COVID-19 and the associated control measures required. Particular emphasis will be required on ‘close working’, i.e. where personnel work within 2m of each other. 

Daily Briefings Documents: It is recommended that daily briefing documents such as SSWP’s, SPA’s, Daily Safe Starts, Task Briefings or equivalent should be updated to reference COVID-19 and specifically social distancing and hand hygiene. Basic COVID-19 control measures to be highlighted on all such documents.

Responsibilities of Site Management: For COVID-19 on Site management must risk assess and manage safety and health hazards in the workplace. 

  • ensure that a member of the management team is appointed as the C-19 Compliance Officer. 
  • To ensure that appropriate personnel from the PSCS/Contractor and the sub-contractors are appointed as C-19 Compliance Officer.
  •  CIF Online C-19 Induction has been undertaken by all site personnel prior to coming to site. Ensuring that non-compliant personnel are not permitted on site.
  • The inclusion of COVID-19 as a hazard in their Risk Assessment and Method Statement (RAMS) for their work activities. 
  • To ensure that this RAMS is effectively reviewed, approved and communicated. 
  • To ensure that all site facilities are sufficient to allow for the social distancing and hygiene requirements of this SOP and to take appropriate immediate action where they are not. 

On-Site Site management: Responsibility includes assessing various work scenarios to ensure that the key requirements such as worker distancing and hygiene/PPE controls are being implemented. This may involve discussions with clients. It will involve conducting regular site walks and inspections. Continuity of work crews should also be encouraged for ease of contact tracing purposes.

 Site Workers: It is vital that each worker knows how to work safely during COVID-19 and understands the requirements of their task specific RAMS. Site management should coach and guide workers during the workday to ensure that they are fully compliant with the requirements.

Management Approach: Site management’s main priority is ensuring that their plan is implemented at all levels and at all times with the cooperation of all stakeholders – Clients, PSDP, Contractors, Workers and Suppliers. 

General Site Work Activities: 

  1. Reduce – the number of persons-in any work area to comply with the 2-metre social distancing guideline recommended by the HSE (e.g. relocate workers to other tasks, review work schedule and task sequence, consider staggered starting and finishing times etc.). 
  2. Review – work practices, mindful of close working arrangements. Coach site personnel to self-assess their task for social distancing and transmission points. 
  3. Supervise – or mentor appointment of C-19 Compliance Officer to specifically monitor adherence to social distancing and hygiene etiquette.