The Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum is urging those in the industry to remain Covid-19 smart both in and out of work, as cases of Covid-19 begin rising again.
Covid-19 cases across the UK are once again reaching daily highs not seen since the early days of the coronavirus. The surge in cases comes as the UK’s economy begins to recover, with people heading out to bars and restaurants in droves to enjoy the British summer.
However this surge in cases could seriously impact the construction industry if a second lockdown is imposed. That’s why the Forum, which is made up of more than 60 trade associations, private companies and professional bodies, is once again urging those in the industry to remain vigilant and follow government guidelines.
Those guidelines have recently been tightened once again, with a new rule of six meaning that you can’t socialise with more than six people outside of your household. When you are socialising with people outside of your household, the guidelines also urge people to maintain physical distancing of two metres or more.
Rebecca Crosland, health and safety adviser at the Building Engineering Services Association, a leading Forum member, notes, “As we’ve seen in the past week, the R number is rising in some areas as a result of suspected transmission between people at home and in social activities.
“Since people can spread the virus before they know they’re sick, it’s vital that everyone working in the construction industry adheres to the physical distancing rules whether they’re at work or relaxing during their free time.
“Physical distancing means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people not from your household. To reduce the risk of transmission and stop the spread of this virus, it is therefore essential that everyone follows these rules 24/7, wherever they may be.”
Vaughan Hart, managing director of the Scottish Building Federation, another leading Forum member, added, “It is essential that we continually emphasise the message that this dangerous virus has not gone away and it is vital that we all need to remain vigilant to prevent any further resurgence.
“We need to reiterate that our workforces should not relax their guard at any time, whether at work or at home. I’m sure everyone will understand that it would be dispiriting to face a winter lockdown or witness the closure of work sites by not adhering to the physical distancing rules now.”
Crosland concluded, “Remember, if you don’t follow the physical distancing rules, your actions could have serious consequences for both your colleagues, your friends and your family.”
To reinforce its message, the Forum is ramping up a recent campaign which used social media animations and open source posters to remind construction workers to stay safe.
The films feature construction workers called Campbell and Fiona who observe physical distancing in their spare time to protect colleagues when they return to work. The message is repeated on the posters, which can be printed out and displayed in workplaces.