Build UK’s update the industry amid the covid-19 outbreak
The construction industry is adjusting to a ‘new normal’ after five weeks of lockdown due to coronavirus (COVID-19). With at least another two weeks to go, there are a number of supply issues emerging, including material, product and accommodation shortages.
To open up the supply chain, Build UK is looking to demonstrate the levels of demand and members are asked to complete this short Materials & Accommodation Survey to provide the following information as soon as possible and by 5:00pm on Wednesday 29 April at the latest:
- Contact details
- Materials and products required and in what quantities
- PPE required and in what quantities
- Location of accommodation required and number of beds
Last Friday, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Alok Sharma hosted a meeting of the key business sectors that operate ‘outdoors’ to discuss how the Government could improve its coronavirus guidance to industry.
Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol, along with Contractor members Mark Reynolds (Mace) and Greg Craig (Skanska), raised a number of points, including the need for:
- Sectors to have clear ‘permission to work’, reassuring both workers and members of the public that certain industries were being asked to continue their operations alongside the Government’s ‘stay at home’ policy.
- Clear sector guidance on complying with social distancing requirements and the importance of Government endorsing sector-wide policies such as the Site Operating Procedures for construction.
- Further guidance on the use of PPE in non-clinical working environments.
- Further clarity over the reference to 15 minutes’ face to face contact as set out in the Government’s guidance on Social Distancing in the Workplace for the construction sector.
- Supply chains including manufacturers, distributers and merchants to open up to provide the materials and other supplies required for industry to continue.
- Flexibility from local authorities on extending working hours to support output and productivity where social distancing requirements result in a reduced headcount.
- Sufficient availability of public transport for workers in London.
Businesses should continue to follow the most up-to-date government guidance and for the latest updates please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have any construction-specific queries or feedback on what is happening within the industry, please contact Build UK.