This document is one of a set of documents about how to work safely in different types of workplace. This guidance is intended for use by the construction sector. It first came into effect on 6 April 2020 and extends until further notice. Companies should consider their operations in light of this guidance.
This guide is underpinned by a spirit of collaborative working between companies and their workforce. Throughout, the term companies and trade union or workforce representatives is used in that context, recognising that companies have a legal responsibility to maintain workplace health and safety and must consult with the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there is not one, a representative chosen by workers. Companies cannot decide who the workforce representative will be.
In line with the joint position published by the Scottish Government and the relevant Health & Safety enforcement authorities, it is essential that employers carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment. These should be developed where possible together with union health and safety representatives. For workplaces without union representation, union health and safety representatives will be available upon request to support the development of workplace risk assessments.
The guidance emphasises in particular the importance of undertaking a robust and ongoing risk based 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.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis, was published on 21 May and stated in Phase 1 that we planned for the construction sector to implement the first three phases in its Restart Plan (planning, pre-start site preparations and soft start). That process is now complete and with the move to Phase 2 of the Route Map announced on 18 June, work on phase 3 of the Restart Plan commenced from 22 June, provided that the sector continues to follow guidance on the safety and welfare of the workforce and the public. With the confirmation that medical-style PPE supply to the NHS is assured, work on phase 4 of the construction industry’s Restart Plan may start from 15 July 2020.