Civil engineers warn government that further supply interruptions may jeopardise infrastructure programme

Work stopped on at least one Scottish construction site and others were forced to work reduced hours at the start of the week because of the strike at the Grangemouth oil refinery, according to the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).

Alan Watt, chief executive of CECA Scotland, said: “This weekend's events have sent a shiver down the spine of the industry. Supplies to some sites were disrupted, and the strike underlines how dependent we are on fuel and how vulnerable we are to the taps being switched off.”

Watt declined to name the affected sites but they are thought to be in Aberdeen and Dumfries & Galloway.

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond this week warned that a protracted industrial dispute would have an “extremely damaging” impact on Scotland's economy.

Although staff returned to work on Tuesday morning, it is understood that it will take up to two weeks before the plant will be fully operating, and trade union Unite refused to rule out a further strike.

Watt said: “Thirty petrol stations were closed because of the strike and we will be looking for assurances from the Scottish government about future supply to ensure the government's infrastructure programme can be delivered.”

The Scottish civils market is worth around £2bn a year, 70% of which is public-sector work.