Trace Norton, strategic sales & marketing director for modular building specialist, Elliott, comments on the Construction Leadership Council’s recent publication of its latest Site Operating Procedures (SOPs).
There’s no getting away from the fact that COVID-19 presents the biggest challenge faced by the construction industry – certainly since the global economic downturn of 2007-8.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though. In particular, we welcome the Construction Leadership Council’s publication of its latest Site Operating Procedures (SOPs) in line with the government’s social distancing recommendations, as it provides the clearest indication yet to the industry that continuing to operate safely on-site is feasible in the current climate.
We work with thousands of firms and employees across build and major infrastructure projects in the UK who understandably feel nervous and want to close sites, but we feel appropriate implementation of the SOP guidelines supports continued construction activity and reduces what might otherwise be a deeply devastating impact on the industry.
Our view is informed by a comprehensive review of the SOPs which we’ve just completed, to both assess the guidelines in more depth and evaluate what they mean in practical terms for building firms facing such uncertainty. As experts in providing 360 degree turnkey site solutions, ranging from toilet and handwashing facilities to changing and eating facilities, the review is a root and branch look at how the construction industry can operate safely on site in practice, provided firms follow the SOPs and make the effective arrangements. It provides granular insight into how government-led guidance on enhancing cleaning regimes for toilet facilities through to staggering break times to avoid congestion is both achievable and 100 per cent SOPs’ compliant.
Adhering to the guidance now and making sites safe is critical because the impact of COVID-19 is unlikely to be a short-term challenge. Hopefully these restrictions are lifted as soon as possible, but in the meantime, organisations take the necessary steps to achieve compliance now.
In addition to this latest review of SOPs, we’re currently providing access provision and vital facilities management support to NHS Trusts across the country and finding that many of the learnings taken from the healthcare sector can be applied to the build environment and sites across the UK. We’re already working with several firms to share this unique insight, again in practical terms.