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Guidance for construction sites

Prior to restarting on-site, a risk assessment for each project is to be undertaken. Templates for these are available on the Isle of Man Construction Federation website.

This will identify areas that require attention in order to comply with guidance.

Employees or Contractors must not attend work if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. They must report their absence to the supervisor or site management so records can be maintained.

Suggested appropriate steps to implement social distancing

  • Introduce staggered start and finish times to reduce congestion/contact at all times
  • Monitor site access points to enable social distancing – you may need to change the number of access points, either increase to reduce congestion or decrease to enable monitoring
  • Allow plenty of space (at least two metres) between people waiting to enter site (if feasible, consider installing 2m distance lines – similar to those seen in retail environments)
  • Reduce the number of people in attendance at site inductions and consider holding them outdoors wherever possible (no more than 5 people per induction, with 2m distancing where possible)
  • Non-essential physical work that requires close contact between workers should not be carried out. Plan all other work to minimise contact between workers.
  • Break times should be staggered to reduce congestion and contact at all times.
  • If an employee is considered a vulnerable person (by virtue of age, underlying health condition or pregnancy), or they live with someone who is vulnerable, you should discuss what arrangements you will put in place to ensure that their personal work station is an appropriate distance from others (at least 2m), that there are good arrangements for hand hygiene and environmental cleaning and that shift changes and movements around the workplace are organised to minimise contact between individuals.

Minimise public contact

  • Stop all non-essential visitors.
  • Site gates are to be closed and manned by personnel from the site team. Every person attempting entry to the site is to be stopped and questioned to determine if site access can be permitted.
  • Drivers should remain in their vehicles if the load will allow it and must wash or clean their hands before unloading goods and materials.
  • All personnel and visitors should sign in on arrival and sign out when leaving the site. This includes all delivery drivers, building inspectors, sub-contractors, utilities suppliers’ personnel etc. Access to the signing in registers (Visitors and Site Operatives) is to be from the site office and personnel should only sign in/out one at a time maintaining a distance of 2m at all times while waiting to sign in.

Provide clear guidance for employees

  • Upon site restart, situation updates should be issued to all member companies and in turn to Site and Contracts Managers together with the latest Government advice. These updates should be erected on site notice boards together with any relevant Health & Safety and Public Health information pertaining to the COVID-19 disease.
  • Sites should remind the workforce at every opportunity of the Site Operating Procedures which are aimed at protecting them, their colleagues, their families and the Island’s population.

Travel arrangements

Wherever possible workers should travel to site alone using their own transport and sites need to consider:

  • Parking arrangements for additional cars and bicycles
  • Readily available hand cleaning facilities at entrances and exits. This should be soap and water wherever possible or hand sanitiser if water is not available
  • Ensure that emergency contact numbers are provided by all operatives upon a return to work should a member from their household need to pick them up if they fall unwell with COVID-19 symptoms.

Staff welfare provisions

  • Undertake a review of all existing sites and provide additional hand washing facilities over and above the usual welfare facilities if the site is considered to be “spread-out” or significant numbers of personnel are working on site.
  • Restrict the number of people using toilet facilities at any one time.
  • Enhance the cleaning regimes for toilet facilities particularly door handles, locks and the toilet flush.
  • Portable toilets should be avoided wherever possible, but where in use these should be cleaned and emptied more frequently.
  • Whilst there is a requirement for construction sites to provide a means of heating food and making hot drinks, these are exceptional circumstances and where it is not possible to introduce a means of keeping equipment clean between uses for kettles, microwaves etc. They must be removed from use.
  • Dedicated eating areas should be identified on site to reduce food waste and contamination. All communal areas used for eating must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each break and shift, including chairs, door handles etc.

If employees become unwell on site

If an employee becomes unwell on site and believes they may have COVID-19, they must:

  • Follow the guidance on self-isolation and not return to work until the period of self-isolation has been completed.
  • If they’re waiting to be picked up to go home, they should stay in a designated room at least 2 meters away from others and if possible open a window for ventilation. If the weather permits, remain outside but at least 2 meters away from others.

If a person falls ill but confirms that they have not been near anyone confirmed to be infected by COVID-19, then the site does not need to close. The following guidance applies:

  • Whilst the unwell person remains on site (waiting to be picked up to go home), they should be placed in a designated room at least 2 meters away from others and if possible open a window for ventilation. If the weather permits, remain outside but at least 2 meters away from others.
  • Cordon off the area that person was working in; an area 2m from each point around a workstation / desk would suffice. If they have been out on site, it will only be possible to cordon off the area if they have been at a specific part of a plot or using plant, etc.
  • Cleaners should be contacted to clean all surfaces that the person has been in touch with as soon as possible (especially the cordoned off area and high-traffic areas such as, kitchens, communal break-out area, toilets, etc.).

If the person indicates that they have been near someone infected with COVID-19 or if they later test positive for COVID-19, the following additional guidance applies:

  • Arrangements should be made for the site office, welfare facilities and canteen to be temporarily closed and the office environment to be decontaminated. Dependent on the cleaning process, in most cases the office will be able to be re-opened and functioning the day after the decontamination is carried out.
  • High risk or close contacts of a positive case as assessed by the Contact Tracing Team (CTT) will be contacted by the CTT who will advise and monitor them through the self-isolation period.