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15-minute rule in the bin

The Construction leadership Council has drawn up a new version of its coronavirus site operating procedures, scrapping the 15-minute limit for contact between construction workers.

The Construction leadership Council has drawn up a new version of its coronavirus site operating procedures, scrapping the 15-minute limit for contact between construction workers.

The new fourth version of the site operating procedures includes updates to incorporate elements of the recently published government guidance, Working Safely during Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Construction & Other Outdoor Work.

The all-important hierarchy of controls remains – eliminate, reduce, isolate, control – but gone is the direction that face-to-face contact should to be kept to 15 minutes or less.

It is unclear whether this means that 30 minutes of face-to-face contact is now acceptable, if there is no alternative way of getting the job done, or whether the job should be left undone. Presumably it is up to site managers to work that one out.

Other tweaks in version four of the site operating procedures include:

  • the section on PPE now links to the latest government guidance on face coverings
  • references to one-way systems and the reconfiguration of seating and tables and an update on portable toilets
  • the requirement to share risk assessments with the workforce
  • clarification on when to travel to work, as set out in the government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy
  • updated links and wording on social distancing.

To download version 4 of Construction Sector Site Operating Procedures as a pdf, click here.

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