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A “careful” return to work is still required

It is almost six months since we first went into lockdown in the UK as a result of COVID-19. Since then, there have been devastating consequences and one of the highest death rates in the world.

While the situation is now thankfully no longer an emergency, there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the potential for further spikes in the virus. The return of children to schools is the biggest area of speculation alongside the return to the workplace. As the national trade body for the permanent and temporary façade access equipment industry, SAEMA – Specialist Access and Engineering Maintenance Association – is a keen observer of the latest developments and initiatives from the government post-COVID-19.

We were very interested to see that the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum has issued new health and safety guidance to help workers to navigate the controlled return to work.

The Forum has launched seven new pieces of open source collateral, offering in-depth industry advice on topics including face coverings, hand washing, domestic working and what to do if there is a case of COVID-19.

In addition, it has updated its comprehensive 42-page document, COVID-19 Construction Operating Guidance, which underpins the Safe Operating Guidance produced by Construction Scotland, Scottish Government and the wider industry.

Rebecca Crosland, Health and Safety Adviser at the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), a leading member of the Forum, said: “This new collateral is another important step in protecting both our workforce and the Scottish public as we all work together to minimise the spread of infection.

“The Forum’s Health and Safety sub-group has worked collaboratively to produce clear and practical guidance that is easy to follow and which can be used immediately by businesses of all sizes to help in their ongoing return.”

The seven new guidance documents are available to download from the Forum website and cover:

  • Advice for businesses carrying out non-essential domestic work
  • Health and safety checklist before work is carried out
  • Effective use of face coverings
  • Good hygiene and hand washing
  • A questionnaire for clients before site visits
  • What to do if someone displays symptoms of COVID-19
  • Template letter for confirmed cases of COVID-19

While SAEMA is concerned with safety and best practice within the façade access equipment industry, we aim to stay abreast of the very latest developments regarding health and safety and the huge implications of coronavirus for everyone. We cooperate with other organisations, specialist bodies and institutions involved in the provision and maintenance of façade access systems and equipment.

Image: Pikist