Contractor bosses give covid-19 wish-list to government
The bosses of construction firms including Mace and Skanska have explained to government ministers how improved coronavirus guidance could help the the industry.
Last Friday, Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds, Skanska president and CEO Greg Craig, and Build UK chief executive Suzannah Nichol told business secretary Alok Sharma that they needed more clarity in certain areas to help the sector get back to work after five weeks of lockdown and at least another two to go.
The points they raised included the need for:
- Sectors to have clear ‘permission to work’, reassuring both workers and members of the public that certain industries were being asked to continue their operations alongside the government’s ‘stay at home’ policy.
- Clear sector guidance on complying with social distancing requirements and the importance of government endorsing sector-wide policies such as the Site Operating Procedures for construction.
- Further guidance on the use of PPE in non-clinical working environments.
- Further clarity over the reference to 15 minutes’ face-to-face contact as set out in the government’s Guidance on Social Distancing in the Workplace for the construction sector.
- Supply chains including manufacturers, distributers and merchants to open up to provide the materials and other supplies required for industry to continue.
- Flexibility from local authorities on extending working hours to support output and productivity where social distancing requirements result in a reduced headcount.
- Sufficient availability of public transport for workers in London.
Meanwhile, Build UK is conducting a short survey on materials and accommodation to demonstrate the level of demand in a bid to open up the supply chain.
The survey, available here, is open until 29 April at 5pm.