Construction News

Wed July 08 2020

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Scottish construction takes first step back to work

29 May Scotland’s construction sector is moving into the first phase of its restart plan today.

Minister Kevin Stewart has welcomed the return to work
Minister Kevin Stewart has welcomed the return to work

Across the country, most outdoor work that has been put on hold can resume and the construction industry will be able to work on site preparation, which is the first phase of its restart plan.

However, the industry will be required to consult further with government before moving on to the second stage of the plan.

Today’s change for construction is being introduced in tandem with an easing of restrictions across other aspects of life in Scotland, with a focus on outdoor activity.

Minister for local government, housing and planning Kevin Stewart said yesterday in a blog post: “With the gradual easing of lockdown it is vitally important that we publish updated guidance for the construction sector to help it restart safely and recover from the damaging impact of Covid-19.

“The focus of the Scottish Government remains on tackling the virus, protecting public health and saving lives, but we are also acutely aware of the need to support vital sectors of the economy, such as construction, as they begin to recover.

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In recent weeks we have worked tirelessly with representative bodies, employers and trade unions from the construction sector to prepare guidance that is clear and realistic and I am pleased that businesses can now begin planning and preparing sites for restart. Future progress will clearly depend on our ability to continue to control Covid-19 transmission rates.

“This guidance also emphasises the importance of ongoing risk assessment with full input from trade union or workforce representatives and to keep all risk mitigation measures under regular review so that workplaces continue to feel, and be, safe.”

In parallel to the preparation of the guidance, Construction Scotland has published site operating guidance and a restart model for the industry. Stewart said that he was very grateful for the significant work that has gone into producing those documents.

“The measured approach laid out in this guidance and the construction sector’s own restart plan provide a clear pathway to a phased restart of construction work in coming weeks and months," he said.

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