Keep two metres apart and you can carry on building

Grant Prior 1 week ago
Share

The government’s current official line is that construction sites can keep working if operatives are able to stick to social distancing rules.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock gave the latest update during yesterday’s government briefing on the coronavirus crisis.

He said construction workers could and should continue to go to work as long as they are able to remain two metres apart at all times.

Hancock said people whose jobs has not already been shut down by the government measures to date should continue to work but should only be travelling to a workplace “where that work can’t be done at home”.

He added: “The judgment we have made is that in work, in many instances, the 2m rule can be applied.”

The response came as some contractors and developers started to shut down sites across the country. and work has been stopped in Scotland.

The dilemma is particularly acute in London where many construction workers are forced to use limited tube services which are often overcrowded.

Hancock sparked a row with London Mayor Sadiq Khan by demanding that more trains are kept running to allow social distancing measures during travel.

Construction union Unite is warning that social distancing has “collapsed” on construction sites following pictures on crowded jobs .

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “There is an immediate public health emergency on construction sites, due to a lack of social distancing.

“The government must announce they will take urgent action to ensure that construction sites will be safe and if not that displaced workers will have their jobs and income protected irrespective of being directly employed or self-employed

“Contractors also have a moral duty to ensure that all the workers on their sites are safe and financially protected.

“No worker should have to make a life or death decision arising from government or contractor negligence.”

Hinkley Point C cuts workforce in half to continue work with social distancing

Bosses at the giant Hinkley Point C site are cutting the workforce by more than half to around 2,000 in the coming days to allow work to continue on the job.

Client EDF said: “The project will preserve the UK’s specialist nuclear supply chain and its skilled workers by focusing on critical work on nuclear parts of the project.  Keeping this capability intact is essential for a project of critical national importance.

“We will work in a focused and limited way with split shifts, extra buses and staggered breaks. Reduced numbers will allow easier social distancing in operational areas and sites such as canteens.

“Steps already in place include: shutting our Bristol head office,  working from home for those that can, temperature checks on people entering the site, extra cleaning, changes in movement patterns, closure of bars and gyms.

“We are aware that many people and families in the locality depend on us and we will work with them to mitigate the impact of our reduced activity. We will consider how our resources can be used to help the community in the current crisis.

“We will continue to work with the trade unions and our supply chain to keep people safe and help them deal with the developing situation.”

Latest news

Boris urged to save UK construction industry

Industry leaders demand tax breaks, retentions returned and quick payment from clients
8 hours ago

Laing O’Rourke cuts pay for 8,000 workers

Contractors confirms cuts of up to 30% as part of "war effort" during coronavirus crisis
7 hours ago

Free training cash offer extended to larger companies

CITB grants of up to £25,000 now available to bigger contractors
2 hours ago

Kier closes Reading office with over 40 job losses

Lack of pipeline work and cost-saving plan cited as reason for closure
13 hours ago

Amey pledges full pay for sick and self isolating workers

U-turn on statutory sick pay after claim workers faced wealth or health choice
13 hours ago

Taylor Wimpey cuts exec pay and bonuses

Board takes 30% pay cut and cancels today's 2% annual pay increase
12 hours ago

Secretary of State pays tribute to construction industry

Letter from Alok Sharma spells out current official government guidance on keeping sites open
1 day ago

Amey/McAlpine told to start M6 junction 19 job

Enabling works get underway on £50m Cheshire motorway junction
12 hours ago

Clugston and Covid 19 sink Leeds civils firm

Coronavirus contract termination with zero payment notice proves final straw for Oaklands
13 hours ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

Site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
2 years ago

Giant Battersea Power Station site shut until end of April

Client decides to extend work pause after discussions with Mace and McAlpine
13 hours ago

Coronavirus update for construction: Wednesday April 1

The latest advice and information from industry trade bodies
12 hours ago

Network Rail calls for fresh engineering ideas for tunnel upgrades

Hunt on for less disruptive solutions to upgrading ageing railway tunnels
13 hours ago

Police stops create more confusion for contractors

Sites can stay open but officers are trying to stop builders getting to work
2 days ago

William Hare chief executive dies after contracting coronavirus

David Hodgkiss was the grandson of steel company founder William Hare
2 days ago

Costain banks on critical projects to save 50% of revenue

Directors join ranks of firms taking 30% pay cut
1 day ago

Plans go in for £258m Birmingham resi tower

Moda submits 722 homes for rent plan as it looks beyond coronavirus epidemic
2 days ago

Coronavirus update for construction: Tuesday 31

The latest advice and information from industry trade bodies
2 days ago

BAM Construct restarts work on sites

Mace pauses all work for another week under "rolling suspension"
2 days ago

Hard hat cameras help sites keep working remotely

Technology helping contractors cope during coronavirus crisis
2 days ago

Laing O’Rourke top bosses take 30% pay cut

Around 90 senior directors will see salaries reduced
2 days ago

Kier cuts staff salaries by up to 20%

Salary cuts among 6,500 staff as core sites remain open, but Kier Living jobs closed
3 days ago

Police threaten to fine contractors on way to work

Willmott Dixon asks subcontractors and staff to carry letters to avoid fines
5 days ago

Taylor Woodrow return to profit lifts Vinci UK

Civils arm saw 13 of 17 projects it bid delayed or cancelled
2 days ago

JCB reopens factory to start building ventilators

Plant giant will fabricate steel control panel housings for Dyson designed ventilators
3 days ago

Steel and brickwork trade bodies take stand on Covid 19 safety

Trade bodies lead fight back against bullying main contractors and clients
3 days ago

£300m London new-build housing deal winners

Ardmore, Bouygues, Kier and Midgard win places for first time for £10m-plus schemes
3 days ago

Builders in cross-fire as some clients in Scotland fail to halt work

Contractors blame clients for not instructing work to stop
3 days ago

Unsafe cladding replacement work a priority to continue

Latest government coronavirus construction policy update
4 days ago

Live webinar for contractors interested in £600m power plant

Virtual procurement event for major north London project: Register now
3 days ago

Contractor services