Government issues guidance to construction sector on safe working practices during COVID-19 outbreak

  • Posted

Government guidance on working safely in the construction sector during the COVID-19 outbreak has landed. As part of the ongoing legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of all workers, there is a duty on employers to do everything reasonably practicable to minimise (albeit not completely eliminate) risk.

The HSE may issue enforcement notices for non-compliance.

The guidance provides a 5-step plan covering:

  • risk assessments
  • hygiene
  • steps to help people work from home where possible
  • physical distancing
  • minimising the risk of transmission.

It will be interesting to see how employers and contractors treat the guidance in the context of any on-going extension of time and loss and expense claims under provisions providing for force majeure and/or the government’s exercise of its statutory powers (e.g. the issuing of guidance such as this).

Please get in touch for practical advice on getting your construction projects back up and running.