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Construction and other outdoor workers - sanitising the workplace

As the lockdown restrictions on businesses start to ease, more employees are returning to the workplace. In some cases, these workplaces will not have been used for many weeks and to ensure that employees will be safe to use them, sanitisation and hygiene programmes need to be put in place. In order to help employers safeguard their workforce, the government has published guidance on how to clean work spaces before workers return and keep them clean thereafter.


Specific guidance addresses the needs of both construction workers and other employees in different industries and sectors who tend to work outdoors, including:

  • Energy and utilities

  • Farming and agriculture

  • Forestry

  • Waste management and other infrastructure

  • Railway services

  • Street and highway services

Cleaning and sanitising


To prevent the spread of the virus, it is essential that workplaces are adequately cleaned and sanitised. Before re-opening, employers should make sure that sites that have been closed or partially closed are cleaned and ready to start by carrying out a risk assessment for all areas that have been closed. Before re-starting, cleaning procedures should be carried out and hand sanitiser provided.


Keeping the workplace clean


To maintain cleanliness of the workplace once it has reopened, employers should:

  • frequently clean work areas and equipment between use;

  • frequently clean objects that are regularly used such as buckets, site equipment and control panels, making sure there are adequate disposal arrangements;

  • clear work spaces and remove waste belongings from the work area at the end of each shift;

  • sanitise all hand tools, controls, machinery and equipment after use.

If cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19 then specific guidance should be referred to.


Hand washing, sanitation facilities and toilets


Employers should attempt to take these steps to maintain worker hygiene throughout the shift:

  • Provide additional hand washing facilities such as pop-ups around the site.

  • Use signs and posters to encourage good hand washing and hygiene techniques such as the increased frequency of hand washing and coughing/sneezing into the elbow if a tissue cannot be used and disposed of safely.

  • Provide regular reminders and signs to maintain hygiene standards.

  • Provide hand sanitisers in addition to washrooms.

  • Set out clear use and cleaning guidelines for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing rules are followed.

  • Enhance cleaning for busy areas.

  • Take special care when cleaning portable toilets.

  • Provide more waste facilities and increased waste removal.

  • Provide hand drying facilities such as paper towels.

Changing rooms and showers


In order to minimise the risk of transmission in changing rooms and showers, employers should:

  • set clear use and cleaning guidance to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal belongings and that social distancing is achieved wherever possible;

  • introduce enhanced cleaning of all facilities regularly during and at the end of the day.

Handling equipment, materials, waste and onsite vehicles


Employers should attempt to implement these steps:

  • Cleaning procedures for the parts of shared equipment touched after each use such as tools and vehicles.

  • Encourage increased hand washing and introduce more hand washing facilities for workers handling goods and merchandise or provide sanitiser where it is not practicable.

  • Regularly clean vehicles workers may take home.

  • Regularly clean reusable delivery boxes.

rradarstation

Looking for more advice or guidance on this matter, or any other business-related issue?

rradarstation gives you 24/7 access to guidance, videos and on demand webinars answering frequent questions and downloadable templates to use in the day-to-day running of your business, each written and verified by our legal professionals. You will find the answers you are looking for at rradarstation.

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