MP CLEARS UP CONFUSION IN BUILDING INDUSTRY

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An Island building company boss and chairman of a body that promotes health and safety within the industry has welcomed confirmation on what construction work can and cannot be undertaken during the COVID-19 outbreak.

John Nicholson, chairman of the IW Working Well Together group which, supported by the Health and Safety Executive, promotes good practice within the construction industry, said a misunderstanding within the trade had frustrated local building work – including that which is important to the fight against coronavirus.

John, who runs roofing company John Nicholson Ltd, asked Bob Seely MP for clarity and this week welcomed confirmation from Bob on the Government’s position.

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Bob said:

“The advice is clear on this. Hardware shops and equipment, plant and tool hire are permitted to remain open at this time.

“The construction industry can also continue as long as it does so in line with social distancing guidance provided by Public Health England. We need essential works – and this includes sites such as St. Mary’s Hospital – to be able to continue.

“If anyone is in any doubt about what they should and should not be doing they must refer to the official advice published by the Government.”

A recent statement issued by Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Lord Callanan, reads:

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“Construction workers who cannot work from home, who show no symptoms of Covid-19, and who live in households where no person is self-isolating, should still go to work.

“However, the Government is clear that construction activity should only continue where it can take place in line with the social distancing guidance provided by Public Health England.”

John Nicholson said:

“There is great misunderstanding in the construction industry on what should and should not be done, but the latest Government guidelines are quite clear – work can be carried out wherever controlled safety measures and procedures can be implemented in line with public health guidelines.

“There are many sites where this could be done but the situation is further hampered by a decision by some merchants and suppliers to close down or restrict supplies to what they interpret as essential works. This is not what the Government said or intends, and will cause unnecessary damage to the economy, business and infrastructure.

“Our company carries out continual risk assessment on all its projects and has continued to work where it has been safe to do so and where we can get the required materials. We could do more if materials were more available.

“Our workforce was as confused and frightened as anyone else when the coronavirus first struck the country, but after assurances and support over the new safe working procedures they feel secure continuing to work, showing that it can be done.”

Bob adds:

“I hope that the building industry will be reassured by the guidelines around what they are able to do while practising safe working. We must remember that construction work – carried out safely – plays a vital role in keeping our services and infrastructure open and available for people on the frontline of the battle against coronavirus.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
9 Comments
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Mojo
Mojo
9 months ago

This is such a grey area ,in the construction business it’s difficult to stay 2 meters apart for one and secondly how do you know without being tested who is carrying the virus, thirdly how can you be sure that your not touching something that someone else has touched unprotected ,it’s all a big risk. With potentially nasty consequences.
We’ve got this far stay at home and protect others and yourself.
If it was all that simple you wouldn’t have front line staff dying

Golly
Golly
Reply to  Mojo
9 months ago

Well said mate!

True caulk head
True caulk head
9 months ago

Surely the whole point on construction workers is not just the spread of the corona virus, but the amount of accidents that happen. The nhs and A&E does not need any extra unnecessary work load as they have enough to cope with at the moment.
Stop being so greedy Mr Nicholson, I’m sure you have plenty of savings going off the prices you put in for work.
We are all in the same boat and a new build , flat roof or rendering jobs can wait until this is all over. They are not essential.

Mojo
Mojo
Reply to  True caulk head
9 months ago

Well said true caulk head ,it would probably be his workers out in the risk area not him does the benefit outweigh the risk .NO.
The best line is the MP is backing him, mmmm food for thought there .

Smithy
Smithy
9 months ago

There aren’t that many construction jobs that can be done maintaining 2metres distance at all times surely? Unless you’re working in your own?

John
John
9 months ago

Bollocks! That means I’ve got to work

Don't tell him pike.
Don't tell him pike.
9 months ago

Construction isn’t just building sites. Joinery workshops come under the construction banner .

R horton
R horton
9 months ago

You can’t keep 2 m away working in construction more bullshit advice

Steve
Steve
9 months ago

Self isolating fineshed 3 weeks ago
Its now forced isolating even for people going to work when they get home they are in forced isolation

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