The Site Operating Procedures have been updated by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to reflect the latest Government guidance following the easing of lockdown measures in England from Saturday 4 July. The ‘one metre plus’ social distancing guidelines require workers to stay two metres apart, or one metre with risk mitigation where two metres is not viable, and it is expected that sites will maintain the social distancing measures in place. Other changes to the Site Operating Procedures are minimal and include:
• Updates to the ‘When to Travel to Work’ section
• The latest peak times for public transport
• Entry systems to be regularly cleaned rather than between each use
• Drivers to have access to welfare facilities
• Canteens that have been closed or offered a restricted service may now re-open.
Baily Garner (H&S) Ltd's view is that sites should maintain the 2 m social distance where possible. Operatives pass each other and quite often get well within 2m of each other while working and accessing welfare areas. The 2m rule allows for a margin of error which appears to work, we believe that reducing this to 1m will most likely be impossible to enforce and will in practice be unworkable and may lead to a rise in infection.
By all means allow the guidance change to give sites the flexibility to increase labour but we believe this should be managed by increasing capacity and maintaining separation on site where possible. We ask that whilst some sites may choose to work to the ‘one meter plus’ social distancing guidelines that they consider the consequences.