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BESA publishes new COVID H&S guidelines

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has published new guidance to help engineering and construction firms keep their staff safe in the light of new government restrictions.

The Association’s COVID-19 panel has produced two new guidance documents providing clear and practical information about how to reduce the risk of virus transmission on site and methods for carrying out risk assessments for workers who have to stay away from home.

The guidance is freely available and downloadable from the BESA website: www.theBESA.com/covid19.

“The new guides are all about prioritising workers and customer/client safety,” said BESA health & safety advisor Becky Crosland. “As we see a rise in the R number across the country, it is clear that the threat of infection from COVID-19 remains very much alive. It is, therefore, vital that businesses have robust procedures to safeguard against the risks employees face on site and in domestic settings.”

She also reiterated the warning that the two-metre social distancing restriction remains in place on construction sites.

“Some people seem to think the two metre restriction has been reduced to one metre – it has not. Infection risk is between and two and 10 times higher at one metre,” said Crosland. “If it is impossible to remain two metres apart, you should apply other controls like reducing the duration of time you spend together or avoiding face-to-face contact.”

The BESA COVID-19 panel has produced a comprehensive suite of guidance documents specifically for engineering and building services contractors since the start of the crisis delivering clear, concise information that prioritises worker and customer safety.

“Being able to work safely and reduce the risk of COVID-19 during any work is vital to stop the spread of the virus,” said Crosland. “The health, wellbeing and safety of both workers and customers must be a priority during the pandemic.”

All of the panel’s documents have been thoroughly researched, taking into account current government guidance and providing a series of steps that any employer can put into practice.

“In uncertain times, it can often feel that your personal contribution is not making a difference,” said BESA COVID-19 panel member Rosie Newcombe from Royston Group. “However by working with BESA and our partners across our sector, individual health and safety professionals have been able to collaborate and contribute positively by interpreting the latest government guidance to produce effective guidance notes and risk assessments.”

 

15 October 2020

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