The global pandemic created by Covid-19 has impacted every industry, including construction and civil engineering.
Mackley is not unique in facing up to the challenges that the pandemic has brought, whether on-site or in the office workplace.
Key to enabling continued performance on sites has been addressing two key elements identified by the Government – social distancing and adequate hygiene practices.
Both give rise to particular challenges, for example site work requires two or more people to work closely together. In addition, site welfare facilities had to be increased to provide sufficient welfare in the working areas.
Mackley has opted to keep its sites and offices open, and has implemented and followed the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Construction Leadership Council (including its updates) to ensure the continued health, safety and wellbeing of staff and contractors.
The SOP and the Government’s construction-specific guidance (the Construction Workplace Safety Guidance) outline the following additional measures that employers should take:
- Introducing one-way flow-through areas and floor markings to maintain social distancing (where possible)
- Minimising the number of unnecessary visits to the worksite. Where site visits are required, making sure customers, visitors and contractors understand how to maintain coronavirus safety for all parties
- Maintaining social distancing and avoiding surface transmission when goods enter and leave the site
- Sharing the results of risk assessments with the workforce
- Ensuring workers who have symptoms or who live with others who have symptoms stay at home and are tested under the Government’s test and trace service
Mackley has also conducted a coronavirus risk assessments for all of its offices and site activities.
The results confirm that Mackley is compliant with the guidance set out in the UK Government’s Working Safely During COVID-19 document issued on 11 May 2020.
Mackley continues to closely monitor the guidance and will continue to inform its employees, customers and supply chain – and carry out training where appropriate.
Ultimately, Mackley is fortunate that the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic shutdown has not had a significant impact on the company’s operations.
Most of the projects undertaken during the pandemic are classified as key construction projects for Government and water supply industry clients. Only one project was stopped by a client at the start of the lockdown period and this has recently restarted.
One of its clients is the Environment Agency, for whom it carries out flood defence projects.
The Environment Agency makes the following commitment in respect of flood defence works: “Our flood defence work continues in line with PHE guidance and where it is safe. We are ready to respond to flooding.
“During coronavirus we continue to maintain and operate our flood and coastal defences to ensure they protect people and property from flooding. We’re also maintaining our assets that support public water supply, industry, infrastructure, food production and the environment.
“Where work continues, we have ensured that everyone involved has been trained on social distancing and will not put anyone at risk. If the work cannot be done safely, the work will stop.”
08 July 2020