Vaughan Hart, managing director of the Scottish Building Federation
The unique collective reminded contractors to observe new rules after the Scottish Government strengthened lockdown restrictions on Wednesday (13 January), making the ‘stay at home’ guidance enforceable by law.
The Forum said it was essential for companies to comply with current rules, and reinforced pleas by fellow construction bodies for everyone in the sector to take responsibility.
Alan Wilson, managing director of SELECT and chair of the forum, said: “These latest measures make it clear that tradespeople should only leave home to carry out essential work during lockdown, as outlined in ongoing Scottish Government guidance.
“While it will be disappointing for some to have to down tools and stay at home, we understand and support these tough new measures, which are necessary to help fight the spread of this awful pandemic.
“For those tradespeople who are permitted to keep working on essential projects, we would remind them that health and safety is key and that they should continue to play their part by following all relevant Scottish Government and CICV Forum guidance.”
Vaughan Hart, managing director of the Scottish Building Federation and co-chair of the forum’s Skills and Workforce Group, said the forum would continue to work closely with Scottish Government to help make the return to work safe for contractors.
He said: “We will do all we can to cooperate and continue to play our part in finding a solution that will both help Scotland rebuild and help the construction industry recover from the pandemic.
“In the short term, that means continuing to issue clear and concise guidance that will help workers work safely and stay free from harm until we are ready to return to some sort of normality.”
The forum added its voice to the industry-wide call for continued compliance after Ken Gillespie, Construction Scotland, Industry Leadership Group, this week urged the construction industry to follow safety measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Mr Gillespie, who is also a member of the Scottish Construction Leadership Forum Executive Group said: “The new variant of the virus spreads more easily, so all the rules in place to protect you, your family and your community are more important than ever before.
“We are once again at a critical stage in controlling the virus and whilst we know that the vaccine is on its way there are tough weeks ahead and it is all of our responsibilities to play our part in stopping the spread.”
Construction Scotland has issued new Safe Operating Guidance for the construction sector, and the CICV Forum is now busy updating its own guidance, which is designed to underpin the SOGs and expand on key areas.