How to keep a construction site safe during lockdown

Amthal supports latest guidance from the *Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to ensure construction sites, plant and equipment can be kept safe and secure during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Says Jamie Allam, CEO Amthal Fire & Security: “Although construction operations can continue according to latest Government advice, an increasingly large proportion of sites in the UK are now mothballed or operating with a diminished workforce. And in response, opportunist criminals have turned their attentions to the construction sector.”

Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Safety and Security Guidance
If the decision has been made to temporarily suspend work, then, as a starting point, the Construction Leadership Council has issued essential guidance to ensure a “controlled shutdown of sites and facilities where work must be suspended be to the current coronavirus threat.”

Site Safety
The downloadable document is intended to ensure that any shutdown is safe and has a dedicated section, including general housekeeping, securing scaffolding and temporary works, stability of part-built structures, excavations, cranes and power.

It continues with the advice to carry out a fire risk assessment, “particularly where the site has significant use of timber frames, and where fuel is stored on site.”

Site Security
In terms of security, it recommends starting from the outside in, carrying out a full perimeter check to make sure that it is not possible to access the site, and that any hoardings are in good order and weather resistant. Site accommodation and storage is essential to secure over any closedown period.

The critical component of security is plant, equipment and materials, or the ‘easy’ targets for opportunist criminals. All should be removed from site if possible, or stored in secure containers or buildings. Back to basics ensure all windows and doors are locked securely and keys intelligently managed.

The guidance is very clear on controlling access to the site, whether it is staffed or remote. And this is noting that inspections will be required for scaffolding, execution and other activities.

And of specific note is extending the list of nominated employees with access to the site so that you are covered if someone is self-isolating.

The same goes for any security staff and accredited fire and security specialists such as Amthal, now cited by Government as critical workers, to enable key maintenance and repair services across dedicated sites, along with critical installation and upgrade work, where it is essential to maintaining law and order.

*The Construction Leadership Council “Advice on temporary suspension of sites,” is available to download