Coronavirus: Construction – The forgotten industry?
The government’s position
On Friday, 27 March 2020, the government released guidance for those working in the construction industry in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite concern by some that there was uncertainty over whether construction sites were to remain open or not, the government’s position is clear: “Construction sites have not been asked to close, so work can continue if it is done safely.”
The government is advising construction employers to ensure that:
(1) their workers are able to follow the public health guidance, such as keeping a two metre distance from others; and
(2) they are considering responsible arrangements for ensuring their workers can travel in line with that guidance, such as staggering site hours to reduce public transport use during peak periods.
This is important guidance and employers are advised to read the full guidance here [insert link to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remediation-and-covid-19-building-safety-update-27-march-2020.]
Remediation works to existing buildings
In its recent guidance, the government has also addressed the position with unsafe buildings. This includes:
(1) progressing the remediation of high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding (particularly those with unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding); and
(2) maintaining measures to ensure buildings are safe ahead of remediation.
The government says this remains a priority as such works are critical to public safety. In fact, the government has even put in place additional project management support with construction expertise to help oversee such remediation works. Following the tragic events at Grenfell in 2017, this will be welcome news to those who perhaps thought that their buildings would experience repair/rectification delays as a result of the coronavirus situation.
As with all government guidance, this is under constant review and we will keep you updated of any developments.
To discuss any concerns with your construction contracts, either relating to coronavirus implications or any other construction related queries, contact James Badger on firstname.lastname@example.org or call James on 0114 290 6208.