Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building

News

Scottish construction enters first phase of restart

29 May 2020

The construction sector in Scotland has today entered the first phase of its restart plan following the coronavirus lockdown.

Phase one of Scotland’s six-phase restart plan involves pre-start site preparation. Phase two, which involves a soft start to works only where physical distancing can be maintained, will follow consultation with government to make sure it is safe to do so, although the Scottish government did not offer a timeline for this.

The changes, announced by first minister Nicola Sturgeon, came at the same time as some wider relaxation of restrictions on outdoor activity as of today, with two households allowed to meet in outdoor spaces up to a suggested maximum of eight people.

The six phases of progress towards the restart of non-essential operations in Scotland are:

  • Phase 0 – Planning
  • Phase 1 – Covid-19 pre-start site preparation
  • Phase 2 – Soft start (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Phase 3 – Steady state (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Phase 4 – Steady state (where physical distancing can be maintained and/or with PPE use) Phase 5 – Increasing density / productivity
  • Phase 5 – Increasing density / productivity

Minister for local government, housing and planning Kevin Stewart said: “With the gradual easing of lockdown it is vitally important that we publish updated guidance for the construction sector to help it restart safely and recover from the damaging impact of covid-19.

“In recent weeks we have worked tirelessly with representative bodies, employers and trade unions from the construction sector to prepare guidance that is clear and realistic and I am pleased that businesses can now begin planning and preparing sites for restart. Future progress will clearly depend on our ability to continue to control covid-19 transmission rates.

“This guidance also emphasises the importance of ongoing risk assessment with full input from trade union or workforce representatives and to keep all risk mitigation measures under regular review so that workplaces continue to feel, and be, safe.”

Comments

Nichola cannot issue rules, only advice and guidance. There are many mentions of rules in the current Scottish Government’s most recent publication on construction in Scotland. We are all obliged to follow UK wide Health and Safety law but one rule for all UK as far as I am able to determine. This was confirmed today in a call with HSE.

WE should be told this, especially as Scotland’s economy is alreadt heading south rapidly as English companies respond and the Scots are meanwhile asleep and waiting to be stirred to battle by SNP wonks.

Stewart Mckenna, 29 May 2020