Soft restart for Scotland’s construction industry

As lockdown begins to ease, the Scottish Government has updated its guidance for the construction sector.

By Neil McGrory, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 28th May 2020, 4:10 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th May 2020, 4:12 pm
Construction businesses can now begin planning and preparing sites for restart.
Construction businesses can now begin planning and preparing sites for restart.

Phase 1 of the Scottish recovery programme includes provision for the construction sector to implement the first two phases in its restart plan (planning and pre-start site preparations).

When Phase 2 of the recovery roadmap begins, this will lead to a “soft restart” of the construction sector.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart welcomed the new guidance, saying: “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.

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“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.

“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 this guidance, Construction Scotland has published Site Operating Guidance and a Restart Model for the industry and I am very grateful to them 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.”

The full guidance can be read here.