Construction workers urged to be ‘Covid-19 smart’ in their free time

THE Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum has repeated its ‘urgent call’ for Scotland’s construction workers to be Covid-19 smart in their social lives.

The organisation is reminding staff to protect their colleagues by following physical distancing guidelines away from the workplace.

The plea comes after a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in Scotland, which has now seen localised restrictions extended on household gatherings.

Rebecca Crosland, health and safety adviser at the Forum member Building Engineering Services Association said, “As we’ve seen in the past week, the R number is rising in some areas as a result of suspected transmission between people at home and in social activities. Since people can spread the virus before they know they’re sick, it’s vital that everyone working in the construction industry adheres to the physical distancing rules whether they’re at work or relaxing during their free time.

“Physical distancing means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people not from your household. To reduce the risk of transmission and stop the spread of this virus, it is therefore essential that everyone follows these rules 24/7, wherever they may be.”

Vaughan Hart, MD of the Scottish Building Federation, another Forum member, added, “It is essential that we continually emphasise the message that this dangerous virus has not gone away and it is vital that we all need to remain vigilant to prevent any further resurgence. We need to reiterate that our workforces should not relax their guard at any time, whether at work or at home. I’m sure everyone will understand that it would be dispiriting to face a winter in lockdown or witness the closure of work sites by not adhering to the physical distancing rules now.”

To reinforce the message, the Forum is ramping up a recent campaign which used social media animations and open source posters to remind construction workers to stay safe.

The films feature construction workers called Campbell and Fiona who observe physical distancing in their spare time to protect colleagues when they return to work. The message is repeated on the posters, which can be printed out and displayed in workplaces.

The reminder follows a recent CICV Forum health and safety webinar, during which experts delivered updates on the latest safety advice for workers in depots, office and sites.