Updated advice on minimising Covid risks

Two engineering services bodies have stepped up their health & safety advice in time for a return to more regular working conditions from Monday 19th July. The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and ECA, the engineering and electrotechnical services body, have joined forces to produce free guidance notes for members and the wider industry, alongside a warning that the pandemic has still not relaxed its grip on the industry.

This updated advice draws on the expertise of more than 30 health and safety practitioners from the construction and related sectors combined with the latest government guidelines to help employers keep their operatives and members of the public safe. Although the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has announced that its Site Operating Procedures (SOPs) will no longer be mandatory from July 19, BESA and the ECA are still urging caution.

“Removing legal requirements does not mean it makes sense to immediately drop all the measures that have kept people safe over the past year,” says BESA’s head of health and safety Becky Crosland. “Common sense should prevail, and we expect most sites will choose to retain a number of voluntary measures including risk assessment, the wearing of face coverings and social distancing wherever possible.”

The new publication ‘BESA/ECA Health and Safety Guidance Notes and Support for COVID 19’ is designed to help employers navigate the next few months. It contains nine separate pieces of guidance to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus in workplaces. It covers travel arrangements, working on-site and continues to reflect the latest version of the SOPs.

“Although we are seeing a gradual return to something like normal life, this actually increases the risk of another surge in infections in many workplaces,” says Crosland. “That is why it is more important than ever to have robust safety regimes in place and to be aware of the latest guidance on reducing exposure and the possibility of transmission.

“The industry has done an amazing job over the past 16 months to keep operating under the most difficult of conditions and still managing health and safety, but we absolutely must not relax now, or we risk another lockdown. That is why we are urging everyone across the sector to take advantage of this free guidance and of the expertise both associations can provide on a daily basis.”

To access the new free guidance visit here

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