Construction company Speller Metcalfe has carried out a phased return for the majority of site operations including recommencing work on the new Cyber Quarter – Midlands Centre for Cyber Security following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Sites across the UK are gradually re-opening following the issuing of guidance from the Government for a number of sectors, including construction.
The £9m centre on Skylon Park, Hereford Enterprise Zone, is a joint venture between the University of Wolverhampton and Herefordshire Council, and part-funded by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and European Regional Development Fund.
Construction activities are being carried out in line with revised protocols and protective measures that have been developed in accordance with guidance from the Construction Leadership Council.
Measures introduced include:
- Site operatives on site have been reduced by approximately 50% to help meet 2m social distancing rules.
- Increased cleaning regimes have also been put in place on all sites.
- Staff have been asked to drive individually to site and not share vans.
- The turnstile on site has been disabled and one way access and egress systems set up in an out of the site working area.
- A one way system is operating using the two staircases inside the building.
- Liaison with supply chain partners to curate COVID specific Risk & Method Statements for trade specific activities.
- Provision of a full time welfare attendant to ensure ongoing cleaning of the site welfare facilities and offices throughout the day.
- Establishment of hand sanitiser stations at the site entrance, at key site access & egress points, and around the building.
- Clear demarcation & signage around site to establish and constantly remind of the need for 2m separation.
- Spacing tables in the site canteen to ensure that 2m separation could easily be maintained.
- Provision of a logistics manager as a central point of control to oversee site access & egress, including material deliveries. This is primarily to supplement the previous Biometric Site Access gate, which presented a high risk of being a transmission point for the virus, as ‘hotspot’ which would be touched by all personnel.
- Implementation for a daily ‘Fit to work?’ prompt for all site personnel to ensure that they are actively cognisant of the need to self isolate should they develop COVID symptoms.
Adrian Speller, Technical Director, said: “Since suspending all of our construction activity in March, we have undertaken a process of thorough risk assessment of all COVID-19 and other associated health and safety risks across all of our business operations.
“On those sites where these risk assessments have given us confidence that work can recommence safely, we have now put strict control measures in place to allow for a safe, phased return to work.
“We have carefully tested and implemented new ways of working to ensure work can be carried out safely whilst ensuring social distancing.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of all of our staff and those who come into contact with our construction sites remains Speller Metcalfe’s number one priority and we have worked very hard to take all steps necessary to ensure that our sites represent the safest working environments possible given the current circumstances.
“We continue to monitor the ongoing situation, carrying out daily dialogue with our supply chain partners and their site-based workforce, in order that everybody on site in engaged in working safely.”