This guidance is intended to cover those working in construction, energy and utilities, farming and agriculture (including seasonal labour), forestry, waste management and other infrastructure, railway services and street and highway services.
Who should go to work
Employers should consider who is needed on site. Support staff should work from home if at all possible. There should be planning for the ‘minimum number of people needed to be on site to operate safely and effectively – for example, workers deemed necessary to carry out physical works, supervise work, or conduct work in order to operate safely’.
Social distancing at work
To maintain social distancing on arrival and departure, steps should include staggering arrival and departure times, providing additional parking facilities and limiting passengers in corporate vehicles, reducing congestion by having more entry points, having alternatives to touch-based security devices and ‘defining process alternatives for entry/exit points where appropriate’, such as deactivating pass readers at turnstiles.
So as to maintain social distancing while moving through the workplace, measures will include discouraging non-essential trips, restricting access to some areas, reducing job and equipment rotation, using one-way flow systems on walkways, using signs, reducing occupancy in onsite vehicles, separating sites, reducing the number of people attending site inductions and regulating high traffic areas such as lifts, turnstiles and corridors.
Where there are fixed workstations, these should be assigned to one individual ‘as far as possible’. If the workstations cannot be kept two meters apart, ‘businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and if so take all necessary mitigating actions to reduce the risk of transmission’.
Meetings should be kept to a minimum and two meters’ separation should be maintained. Pens and other objects should not be shared during meetings. ‘Remote working tools’ should be used wherever possible. Staggered break times and access to common areas should be used.
Managing customers, visitors and contractors
The number of unnecessary visits to the worksite should be minimised. Steps should include providing site guidance, encouraging visits via remote connection, revising schedules for essential service and contractor visits.
There should be signs to inform the public and visitors. Rights of way across the worksite should be signposted. ‘Hosts’ for visitors should have designated responsibilities and receive training.
Cleaning and sanitising the workplace
A separate risk assessment should be carried out for all sites, or parts of sites, that have been closed or partially operated before re-opening.
Frequent cleaning of work areas and equipment should include objects and surfaces that are touched regularly. Workspaces should be cleared and waste removed at the end of shifts. Hand tools, controls, machinery and equipment should all be sanitised after use.
To maintain good hygiene, ‘additional handwashing facilities, for example, pop-ups, particularly on a large site or where there are significant numbers of personnel on site’ should be provided. Hand sanitisers in multiple locations should be provided in addition to washrooms. There should be special cleaning or portable toilets, more waste and rubbish collection facilities and, where possible, paper towels as an alternative to hand dryers in washrooms.
Guidance should be provided for showers, lockers and changing rooms. There should be cleaning procedures for parts of shared equipment touched after each use. Reusable delivery boxes should be regularly cleaned.
Managing your workforce
‘As far as possible’, workers should be split into fixed teams. Ways should be found to remove direct contact where things have to be passed from one person to another, such as shared tools, materials or job instructions.
For those required to travel and stay away from home in onsite accommodation, fixed groups should be created to ensure contact is only between the same people.
Congregation at bottlenecks, such as entrances and exits, is to be minimised.
Non-essential travel, and the number of people travelling together, is to be minimised. Social distancing should be maintained when workers are required to stay away from home.
Person-to-person contact should be minimised when making deliveries to other sites.
Inbound and outbound goods
To maintain social distancing and avoid surface transmission when goods enter and leave the site, steps should include revising pick-up and drop-off points, minimising unnecessary contact at gatehouse security, yards and warehouses, considering methods to reduce frequency of deliveries, using the same pairs of workers for loads where more than one person is needed and encouraging drivers to stay in their vehicles where this does not compromise safety.
You can read this guidance in full here.
Articles shared by Thompsons relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) are correct at the time of publication. You should check the government's guidelines for the latest information and advice at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.