Updated version of Site Operating Procedures published on back of last week's government guidance for industries returning to work

The Construction Leadership Council has removed the requirement for face-to-face contact to be limited in its latest site operating procedures.

The CLC has published version four of its site operating procedures to bring them in line with the latest government advice for working safely during coronavirus in construction and other outdoor industries.

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A Willmott Dixon site showing social distancing in the canteen

While changes to the procedures were minimal, they do include the removal of the requirement for face-to-face contact to be kept to 15 minutes or less.

But the document says seating and tables should be reconfigured to reduce face-to-face interactions and that both skin-to-skin and face-to-face contact should be avoided.

It also said: "Workers should work side-by-side, or facing away from each other, rather than face-to-face."

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The section of the procedures on PPE now links to the latest government guidance on face coverings, which say a face covering can be very simple and may be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.

It said this is not the same as a face mask, such as the surgical masks or respirators used by health workers and are not the same as the PPE used to manage risks like dust and spray in an industrial context.

It said: "Supplies of PPE, including face masks, must continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings like those exposed to dust hazards."

Other updates included the requirement to share risk assessments with the workforce and a clarification on when to travel to work, as set out in the government’s covid-19 recovery strategy.