Managing visitors to construction sites and other outdoor work spaces
The restrictions placed on businesses by the Government as a result of the coronavirus pandemic are beginning to be eased. With this in mind, companies need to think about how they will manage a return to work for those who cannot work from home. In the construction industry and other sectors where work is predominantly done outdoors, this will mean the majority of the workforce.
One significant factor in reopening sites is the arrival of visitors, either those making deliveries, members of the public or those carrying out their own jobs, which may bring them into contact with employees working on the site. The risk of infection needs to be borne in mind and the Government has published guidance to help those running construction and other outdoor sites keep visitors safe.
The guidance applies to workers in many different industries:
Energy and utilities
Farming and agriculture
Waste management and other infrastructure
Street and highway services
Managing customers, visitors and contractors
To reduce the chances of infection, the number of unnecessary visits to the workplace should be kept to a minimum. To achieve this, employers should consider putting these steps into practice:
Wherever possible, encourage people considering visiting the site to do so remotely.
When site visits are required, site guidance on social distancing and hygiene should be explained before the visit.
Set a limit on the number of people who can visit the site at any one time.
Look at whether essential visits can be rescheduled to avoid contact and reduce overlap between people.
If practical, keep a record of everyone who visits the site.
Providing and explaining guidance
For those who have to visit the site in person - customers, visitors, contractors and the public - notices should be visible and help to remind everyone of the need to maintain social distancing while in or near the workplace. Employers should attempt to implement these measures:
Provide signs to let the public know about the work that is being carried out (this can deter those who try to enter a site to satisfy their curiosity about what is going on).
Provide signs at entrances to remind visitors that they should be practising social distancing.
Provide signs on rights of way that cross the workplace and remind the public about the need to practise social distancing while they are using that right of way.
For people who are acting as hosts for visitors, provide the necessary training that will establish the host’s responsibilities relating to COVID-19.
Looking for more advice or guidance on this matter, or any other business-related issue?
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