After the recent global outbreak of Covid-19, the latest governmental provisions require that continuation of any sort of construction work can only be authorised when adequate safety conditions are adopted to keep workers protected. Like many others in the construction industry, here at 7 Bays Scaffolding we are working hard to keep everyone safe in our ‘new normal’ following Covid-19 lockdown.
From extra detailed risk assessments with supporting documentation showing restrictions and precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19, to keeping our workforce safe with social distancing rules and all the rest…there is plenty we are doing behind the scenes here to keep our clients and workers as safe as can be.
The pandemic has forced the entire building industry workforce to comply with new additional rules and working procedures to minimise the risks of possible infection. The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has released a series of useful guidelines that scaffolding companies can adopt to safeguard the health and welfare of their staff and we have been working hard to implement these on all our sites across Cornwall and beyond.
These measures include:
- Social Distancing: We have reduced social interaction between our workers to help reduce the transmission of coronavirus. Wherever possible workers should travel to site alone using their own transport or only share with other members of the household. We suggest that our workers wear masks when shared vehicles is necessary, and regular hand washing is paramount when working on site. We are also minimizing the number of workers involved in certain tasks, and we reposition workers side by side or facing away from each other, rather than face-to-face.
- Re-Structuring: We have had to be creative and re-arranging traditional scaffolding layouts to safeguard workers by containing and mitigating the risk of transmission. Guiding workers around a structure by erecting scaffolding in newly designed layouts has worked really successfully so far and many contractors are taking our lead.
- Work Vehicles: Work vans are cleaned thoroughly and regularly to mitigate the risk of infection with particular emphasis on handles and other surfaces where passengers may touch.
- Symptoms: If a worker shows a high temperature or other symptoms, they should maintain the social distancing rule, inform the site manager and return home immediately. They must then follow the national guidelines and indications on self-isolation.
- Signage: All work areas are suitably barriered on all sides with high visibility tape and appropriately signposted to exclude third parties to access the work zone. All non-essential visitors are prohibited from site until further notice.
- Working at Height: We ensure that operatives avoid working directly above or below each other as this arrangement does not ensure the same level of protection as when positioned 2m apart horizontally.
- Work Clothing: When workers arrive home after work, they should change and wash before having any close contact with members of their household.
- Limit Handling of Materials: Where possible, materials are loaded/unloaded from vehicles or in storage yards by forklift or crane. Manual handling of materials are only undertaken if social distancing rules can be maintained. We make sure that congregating around material storage areas, bins or racks is prohibited unless social distancing rules are observed at all times.
We hope that this assures you of our vigilance in keeping everyone safe at this difficult time. If you have an upcoming construction project and are looking for an SSIP-certified scaffolder in Cornwall then get in touch for a free no obligation quote. We can’t wait to hear from you!