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COVID-19: CLC publishes fourth version of construction site operating procedures

Version 4 has been updated to take into account certain technical changes,.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published Version 4 of its Site Operating Procedures (SOP). Version 3 was published on 15 April 2020, but has been updated to take into account certain technical changes, which have resulted from guidance published by the Government in relation to construction and other outdoor working environments. The Government has encouraged the construction industry to follow the SOP.

Version 4 only contains minor changes when compared to Version 3. These include:

  • Face to face contact is no longer required to be kept to a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • One-way systems should be introduced for site access and egress points.
  • In canteens and rest areas, seating and tables should be reconfigured to reduce face to face interactions.
  • Use of portable toilets does not need to be avoided, but they should be cleaned and emptied more frequently.
  • Any risks assessments completed should be shared with workforce. These risk assessments should be completed using the hierarchy of controls set out in the SOP and sector-specific guidance.
  • The section on PPE has been amended to state that coronavirus needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and the hierarchy of control. PPE should not be used to do this and workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against coronavirus. A link to the Government’s advice on face coverings is additionally provided.
  • Government website links in relation to social distancing have been updated.
  • Updated information had been provided on when individuals should travel to work, in order to comply with the Government's Recovery Strategy.

The latest CLC guidance can be found Site Operating Procedures Version 4. 

For further information, please contact Chris Doran, Partner at chris.doran@weightmans.com or 020 7842 0831 or Camelia Nesari, Paralegal at camelia.nesari@weightmans.com or 020 7822 1973. 

15 April 2020

COVID-19: CLC publishes third version of construction site operating procedures

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published Version 3 of its Site Operating Procedures (SOP), which seeks to provide guidance for protecting does not state that a site should close if the two-metre rule cannot be observed

Version 2 was published on 2 April 2020, but hastily withdrawn after negative feedback on its recommendation that work should not be carried out unless workers could distance themselves from each other by two metres.

Version 3 provides guidance on subjects such as travelling to work, site access and egress, the provision of canteen and rest areas, cleaning facilities, the importance of planning work so as to avoid close working, first aid and emergency response and cleaning. It does not expressly state that a site should close if the two-metre rule cannot be observed. If it is not possible to maintain the current social distancing rules in carrying out a particular activity on site, thought must be given as to whether that activity needs to continue for site operations to continue to operate. If so, all necessary mitigating actions possible should be adopted so as to reduce the risk of transmission. It provides additional guidance by setting out a "hierarchy of controls" that can be used to assess and reduce the risk associated with an activity where maintaining a two-metre distance is not possible.

Version 3 states that face masks should not be used for COVID-19 protection on sites where social distancing guidelines are met. It also confirms that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the relevant enforcing authority for the Public Health England (PHE) guidelines on which the SOP is based. It is stressed that health and safety guidelines should not be compromised. If activities can’t be carried out safely, they should not take place.

The Government has encouraged the construction industry to comply with the SOP, with employers and contractors consulting them when deciding whether to close their sites.

The latest CLC guidance can be found at Site Operating Procedures Version 3.

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