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Thu January 28 2021

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Coronavirus procedures for construction plant occupations

21 Apr 20 The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) has published guidance for those working on and around construction plant during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Probably full of germs, so give it a good clean
Probably full of germs, so give it a good clean

The new plant guidance is a supplementary document to version 3 of the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) Site Operating Procedures.

The CPA publication interprets the core requirements of the CLC-based procedures and outlines a tailored set of additional requirements for a range of plant-based occupations. These include plant operators, supporting personnel such as slinger/signallers, traffic marshals, maintenance staff and plant delivery drivers.

The CPA guide consists of four pages with a number of topics covered such as preparation, operating, direct support activities, communications and maintenance activities. One section outlines considerations over rescue operations should an emergency occur, for example, up a tower crane or powered access platform. It supports the CLC message that emergency service response may be limited and this should be taken into account in risk assessments.

The key message is that machines should be regarded as just as likely to be contaminated as colleagues, and equally capable of transmitting the virus.

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Therefore there should be a policy (wherever possible) of a dedicated operator for each machine, minimising the potential spread within the cab/platform area.  Where a change of operators must take place, then a thorough cleaning/sanitising procedure described within the cleaning section of the CLC Site Operating Procedures needs to be carried out each time.

Similarly, radios used by banksmen and plant operators to communicate with each other also need to be regarded as hazardous. Each radio needs to be thoroughly cleaned using sanitising products, particularly around the microphone area, by the user both before and after use, as the operation of a radio requires it to be close to the users’ face. For this reason, radios should not be shared during the working day and, ideally, each radio should be assigned to one person only for the duration of the project.

The publication is available free of charge from the CPA website at

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