01 May 2020
The Health and Safety Inspectorate is continuing to carry out targeted proactive visits of construction activities during the current Covid-19 epidemic. This includes both construction sites issued with a permit under the Government of Jersey (GoJ) permitting scheme and work which falls outside the scheme, i.e. construction activities which involve a maximum of two people being present on site, as per GoJ guidance.
Prescriptive requirements relating to the provision of welfare on construction sites are set out in Regulation 34 of the ‘Management in Construction (Jersey) Regulations 2016’. Everybody who works on a construction site must have reasonable access to appropriate welfare facilities, including adequate:
- toilet and washing facilities
- handwashing facilities, with hot/ cold running water wherever practicable
- drinking water
- a rest room / area to sit and make drinks and eat food
- somewhere to change, dry and store clothing and personal protective equipment
The HSI has expressed concern over the general standards of welfare provision on construction sites over the past few years. In the current Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of ensuring workers are provided with a high standard of welfare and handwashing facilities, and adopt robust hygiene procedures in accordance with GoJ advice, is critical to help minimise the risk of transmission of the disease.
Site visits undertaken over the last week identified that there was a wide range in the standards of facilities observed. Whilst some sites were able to demonstrate good standards in the provision and maintenance of welfare facilities and hygiene procedures, it was concerning to note that the majority of sites fell short of the standards required.
Facilities were so poor on two sites, legal Enforcement Notices were served for failure to meet the minimum standards required under Construction Regulations.
The following photos, all taken on different sites this week, aim to illustrate the differing standards observed.
Fig 1: Unacceptable welfare facilities, the yellow bucket was the only available water
Fig 2: Good standard of hygiene facilities and sanitiser station
It is essential that a high level of planning is given to how the appropriate level of welfare facilities, and handwashing facilities in particular, will be provided and maintained on site before any construction work starts. Appropriate management controls and supervision must then be implemented to ensure workers adopt good hygiene procedures.