Scotland moves to Phase 4 of Construction Restart Plan
Construction sites in Scotland have been given the go ahead to progress to Phase 4 of the Construction Restart Plan, with physical distancing being maintained or controlled close working with PPE. Following confirmation that the supply of medical-style PPE to the NHS and social care is assured, the guidance from Construction Scotland is that the wearing of medical-style PPE can be added to the range of control measures available.
Construction Scotland drafted a plan in late April for the Scottish construction industry to be able to return to work safely, all in accordance with the Scottish Government document entitled “COVID-19 – A Framework for Decision Making.”
The Scottish government has been praised for its response to COVID-19, its thorough preparation and Nicola Sturgeon’s ‘incredible humanity’ when she described others as being more important than her (reported in the Daily Record on 15th April). All four countries in the British Isles have taken differing measures and have adopted different timescales regarding the lockdown and the subsequent easing of restrictions. It was even reported that Boris Johnson’s sister praised Nicola’s coronavirus plan and for “treating the public like adults”.
Praise from the CICV
The Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum praised HMRC for the ‘speed and efficiency’ of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme rollout back in April. The body, which was formed to support Scotland’s construction industry during COVID-19, stated that the scheme could provide a vital lifeline to companies.
The construction sector has proved remarkably resilient during COVID-19, which has placed unprecedented challenges in its path – as is the case in many other industries. However, in this most safety-critical of sectors, companies large and small deserve praise for enabling workers to return to site and begin to resume work under the new heightened safety measures.
FASET (Fall Arrest Safety Equipment Training), the not-for-profit organisation that promotes safety within the construction and FM sectors through training and guidance for its members, has observed the developments in Scotland and the rest of the UK with great interest. The great efforts the government and workers in the industry have gone to in order for the economy to restart have undoubtedly saved a great many jobs. However, it is vital that everyone remains vigilant of their own safety and that of their colleagues on site. The ‘new normal’ brings a wave of new challenges and FASET exists to give its support individuals and organisations.