The construction sector is currently exempt from the Government list of businesses and industries which must close in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
It is not quite as easy as saying “keep calm and carry on” however. Even without COVID-19, the construction sector operates in a heavily regulated environment, of which health & safety is a key element.
Building sites are busy places, which employ a great many people from different sectors and trades. Many will travel from outside the immediate locality of the site. Equally more advanced sites will have show homes and will be open in part to members of the public. In the light of Covid-19, all these issues need to be safely and appropriately managed if the site decides it wishes to keep on working / stay open.
At the same time as taking steps to minimise the spread of infection, the health and safety requirements of any ongoing construction activity (in its widest sense) must also not be compromised.
The basic rule which must be followed at all times remains essential in the current environment – if a construction activity cannot be carried out safely due to lack of relevant personnel at any level or as a consequence of social distancing then it should not take place. This may make certain construction activities difficult to manage and undertake.
What are directors responsibilities in such circumstances?
In the current climate, it is therefore essential that there is ongoing assessment and review of sites to ensure that the safe operation of those sites remains viable and that you can as a consequence demonstrate that you have fulfilled your health and safety responsibilities.