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Fri July 30 2021

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SOP mandate lifted

15 Jul The Construction Leadership Council says that companies no longer have to observe its coronavirus Site Operating Procedures after national restrictions are eased on 19th July.

Official guidance to the construction industry in England is that individual sites may continue to insist on social distancing and related protocols, but they don’t have to.

Guidelines for minimising the risk of spreading Covid-19 on construction sites were drawn up by Build UK and approved by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) last year. In a statement today, the CLC says that the lifting of national restrictions means that its previous guidance is “no longer current” although it recommends that some aspects of them, including enhanced welfare facilities, are retained.

Face masks, however, should continue to be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces when people mix with others they don’t normally meet, as per update Use of Face Coverings in Construction guidance.

The CLC said: "The Site Operating Procedures and Branch Operating Procedures have always reflected the latest government guidance. Whilst Covid-19 remains widespread across the UK and will need to be managed for some time to come, the lifting of the remaining legal restrictions, including social distancing requirements, from 19 July 2021 means the CLC guidance will no longer be current.

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“Whilst it would be inappropriate for the CLC to seek to impose on the industry any requirements over and above those set out by the government, we recognise that businesses across the supply chain have welcomed the consistency that the CLC guidance has provided. They may choose, or be asked, to maintain elements of social distancing for the time being, in which case the Site Operating Procedures and Branch Operating Procedures should continue to be followed.

“The CLC guidance may also assist in carrying out risk assessments as working arrangements are reviewed and revised, and the CLC would advise that any changes to social distancing measures are discussed with the workforce.”

It added: “The Site Operating Procedures and Branch Operating Procedures have helped the industry to adopt some good practices over the last 18 months, including more organised sites, enhanced welfare facilities, increased ventilation and improved communication with the workforce, which the CLC would strongly recommend are retained.”

This statement from the CLC relates to England only.

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