Statement from the CLC:
The Site Operating Procedures will remain available as a reference document from Monday 19 July. Whilst they will no longer reflect the latest Government guidance, businesses across the supply chain have welcomed the consistency that the Site Operating Procedures have provided and they may wish to maintain elements of social distancing for the time being.
The Use of Face Coverings in Construction has been updated in line with the latest Government guidance from 19 July and it is recommended that the good practices the industry has adopted over the last 18 months are retained.
Read the full statement from the Construction Leadership Council here.
The Government has announced, for England, the removal of most mandatory measures from 19 July. The details are at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-summer-2021-roadmap/coronavirus-how-to-stay-safe-and-help-prevent-the-spread
For Wales, details of the changes to COVID measures are at: https://gov.wales/written-statement-review-health-protection-coronavirus-restriction-no5-wales-regulations-2020-9
In many cases, what was mandatory will become recommended (advisory).
For construction overall, a significant consequence is that version 7 of the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures (SOP) - which aim to reflect government rules and guidance, will no longer be in effect from July 19. The CLC has advised that the SOP and Use of Face Coverings in Construction will still be available as voluntary, good practice, reference documents.
Guidance from BEIS for construction and other activity has also been made available at: www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-covid-19.
The SOP has helped the industry to introduce various good site practices over the last 18 months, including improved site organisation, enhanced welfare and improved communication and consultation with the workforce. CLC strongly recommends that these positive site features are retained. The onus on employers to ensure health and welfare onsite and when travelling between sites continues, and the SOP may help businesses with risk assessments as working arrangements are reviewed and revised in the months ahead.
Many large players in the construction industry will continue to voluntarily apply site COVID measures at least until August 2021 and possibly beyond, which means they will also require their subcontractors to continue with site measures. A Build UK survey shows that over half of its member main contractors will be maintaining social distancing after 19 July, at least in the short term. Where COVID measures are retained, the CLC adds that the latest SOP should be followed, helping to maintain consistency across the industry.