COVID-19

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NBC Group COVID-19 Policy

1. Introduction

At NBC Group we understand the importance of Health and Safety for our staff thereby keeping each member safe in the workplace hence the need for this Covid-19 ‘Coronavirus’ policy. Construction sites operating during this Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic need to ensure they are protecting their workforce and minimising the risk of the spread of infection. Therefore, the purpose of this Covid-19 policy/procedure and recommendations is to provide information about what to do in the event of an accident/ incident or near miss emergency.

The scope of this policy is applicable to all staff, operatives and visitors.

This guidance is intended to introduce consistent measures on sites of all sizes in line with the Government’s recommendations on social distancing. During these exceptional circumstances our industry must comply with the latest government advice on Coronavirus at all times.

The health and safety requirements of any construction activity must also not be compromised at this time. If an activity cannot be undertaken safely due to a lack of suitably qualified personnel being available or social distancing being implemented, it must not take place.

Sites must remind the workforce at every opportunity of the Site Operating Procedures that are aimed at protecting them, their colleagues, their families and the UK population.

If a site is not consistently implementing the measures set out below, it may be required to shut down.

Avoiding Close Working- General Principles

  • There will be situations where it is not possible or safe for workers to distance themselves from each other by 2 metres.
  • Non-essential works requiring close worker contact should not be carried out;
  • Work requiring skin to skin contact should not be carried out;
  • Plan all other work to minimise potential contact between workers;
  • Re-usable PPE must be thoroughly cleaned after use & not shared between workers;
  • Single use PPE must be disposed of so that it cannot be reused;
  • Stairs should be used in preference to lifts or hoists;
  • Where lifts or hoists must be used:
  • Lower their capacity to reduce congestion and contact at all times
  • Regularly clean touch-points, doors, buttons etc.
  • Increase ventilation in enclosed spaces;
  • Regularly clean the inside of vehicle cabs and between use by different operators.

2. Self-Isolation:

Anyone who meets any of the following criteria must not come to site:

  • Has a high temperature or a new persistent cough – follow the guidance on self-isolation
  • Is a vulnerable person (by virtue of their age, underlying health condition, clinical condition or are pregnant);
  • Is living with someone in self-isolation or a vulnerable person.

3. Procedure if Someone Falls ill:

If a worker develops a high temperature or a persistent cough at work, they should:

  • Return home immediately – notifying a supervisor where possible;
  • Avoid touching anything and put on gloves if not already doing so;
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and dispose into a bin. If they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow. This clothing should then be carefully washed before use on site again.

They must then follow the guidance on self-isolation and not return to work until their period of self-isolation has ended keeping their supervisor informed where possible.

4. Travel to and from Site:

  • Wherever possible workers should travel to and from site alone using their own transport. Sites need to consider:
  • Parking arrangements for additional cars (spread out if possible) & bicycles;
  • Other means of transport, avoiding public transport e.g. cycling;
  • Providing hand cleaning facilities at entrances and exits. This should be soap and water wherever possible or hand sanitiser if water is not available;
  • How someone taken ill can get home & check up to date emergency contact information.

5. Site Access Points

  • Stop all non-essential visitors;
  • Introduce staggered start & finish times to reduce congestion & contact at all times;
  • Monitor site access points to enable social distancing, changing the number of access points if necessary, increasing to reduce congestion or decreasing to enable monitoring;
  • Remove or disable entry systems that require skin contact e.g. fingerprint scanners
  • Require all workers to wash or clean their hands before entering or leaving the site;
  • Follow the two metres rule between people waiting to enter site;
  • Regularly clean common contact surfaces in reception, office, access control and delivery areas e.g. scanners, turnstiles, screens, telephone handsets, desks, particularly during peak flow times;
  • Reduce the number of people (and spread out) in attendance at site inductions and consider holding them outdoors wherever possible;
  • Drivers should remain in their vehicles if the load will allow it and must wash or clean their hands before unloading goods and materials and clean steering wheel/ gear stick and other commonly used parts at end of shift.

6. Hand Washing

  • Provide additional hand washing facilities to the usual welfare facilities if a large spread out site or significant numbers of personnel on site;
  • Ensure soap and fresh water is readily available and kept topped up at all times;
  • Ensure hand sanitisers where hand washing facilities are unavailable
  • Regularly clean the hand washing facilities and check soap and sanitiser levels;
  • Provide suitable and sufficient rubbish bins for hand towels with regular removal and disposal.

Sites will need extra supplies of soap, hand sanitiser and paper towels and these should be securely stored.

7. Toilet Facilities

  • Restrict the number of people using toilet facilities at any one time e.g. use a welfare attendant
  • Wash hands before and after using the facilities;
  • Enhance the cleaning regimes for toilet facilities particularly door handles, locks and the toilet flush;
  • Portable toilets should be avoided wherever possible, but where in use these should be cleaned and emptied more frequently;
  • Provide suitable and sufficient rubbish bins for hand towels with regular removal and disposal.

8. Canteens & Eating Arrangements

Whilst there is a requirement for construction sites to provide a means of heating food and making hot drinks, under these exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to introduce a means of keeping equipment clean between use, kettles, microwaves etc. must be removed from use.

The workforce, once site is entered, must stay on site and leave not use local shops.

  • Dedicated site eating areas to be identified to reduce food waste/contamination;
  • Break times should be staggered to reduce congestion and contact at all times;
  • Hand cleaning facilities or hand sanitiser should be available at the entrance of any room where people eat and should be used by workers when entering and leaving the area
  • The workforce should be asked to bring pre-prepared meals and refillable drinking bottles from home;
  • Workers must sit 2 metres apart from each other whilst eating and avoid all contact;
  • Where catering is provided on site, it should provide pre-prepared and wrapped food only
  • Payments should be taken by contactless card wherever possible
  • Crockery, eating utensils, cups etc. should not be used
  • Drinking water should be provided with enhanced cleaning measures of the tap mechanism introduced;
  • All rubbish must be put straight in the bin and the table cleared as cleaned;
  • All areas used for eating must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each break and shift, including chairs, door handles, vending machines and payment devices.

9. Changing Facilities, Showers and Drying Rooms

  • Introduce staggered start and finish times to reduce congestion and contact;
  • Introduce enhanced cleaning of all facilities throughout & at the end of each day;
  • Consider increasing the number or size of facilities available on site if possible
  • Based on the size of each facility, determine how many people can use it at any one time to maintain a distance of two metres and stagger accordingly;
  • Provide suitable and sufficient rubbish bins with regular removal and disposal.

Avoiding Close Working

There will be situations where it is not possible or safe for workers to distance themselves from each other by 2 metres.

General Principles

  • Non-essential physical work that requires close contact between workers should not be carried out
  • Work requiring skin to skin contact should not be carried out
  • Plan all other work to minimise contact between workers
  • Re-usable PPE should be thoroughly cleaned after use and not shared between workers
  • Single use PPE should be disposed of so that it cannot be reused
  • Stairs should be used in preference to lifts or hoists
  • Where lifts or hoists must be used:
  • Lower their capacity to reduce congestion and contact at all times
  • Regularly clean touch-points, doors, buttons etc.
  • Increase ventilation in enclosed spaces
  • Regularly clean the inside of vehicle cabs and between use by different operators.

Site Meetings

  • Only absolutely necessary meeting participants should attend
  • Attendees should be two metres apart from each other
  • Rooms should be well ventilated / windows opened to allow fresh air circulation
  • Consider holding meetings in open areas where possible.

UK additional requirements for RPE if the 2m rule cannot be maintained for critical tasks

There may be specific operations or tasks which are deemed to be critical where it is not possible, or safe, for workers to distance themselves from each other by 2 metres.

In these circumstances:

  1. Can the task be completed in a different way?
  2. If the 2m rule cannot be maintained, then in addition to our standard PPE which includes eye protection and gloves, any workers breaching the 2m rule must also wear Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) for the duration.

10. Cleaning

  • Enhanced cleaning procedures should be in place across the site, particularly in communal areas and at touch points including:
  • Taps and washing facilities;
  • Toilet flush and seats;
  • Door handles and push plates;
  • Hand rails on staircases and corridors;
  • Lift and hoist controls;
  • Machinery and equipment controls;
  • Food preparation and eating surfaces;
  • Telephone equipment;
  • Key boards, photocopiers and other office equipment;
  • Rubbish collection and storage points should be increased and emptied regularly throughout and at the end of each day.

It is the responsibility of the Safety Manager to implement these arrangements, with advice and assistance available from the External Consultant and site supervisory staff to communicate to our work staff.

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