Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of another national lockdown starting on Thursday November 5th (in England), and an emergency meeting of the Construction Leadership Council, the BMF has issued the following letter from the CLC confirming “the importance of the building materials supply industry remaining open to support builders and contractors and help keep the economy going, for now and for the future recovery”.
The CLC letter re-iterates the now established ‘COVID-secure’ working practices to enable work to continue throughout the building materials supply chain, and specifically cites the BMF Branch Operating Guidelines to ensure that merchants can continue to trade during this next phase of the coronavirus challenge.
The full CLC communication is as follows:
Re: England Lockdown – A Message to the Construction Industry
The Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday 31st October, about a national lockdown in England from Thursday 5th November, is a reminder of the very serious situation in which the country finds itself and of the massive impact that this will have on people and the economy.
The Prime Minister has explicitly said that construction and manufacturing should continue. The latest Government guidance has reiterated this, and that workers in these industries should continue to travel to work and attend their workplace, including where this involves working in other people’s homes.
We all understand the need to keep providing and maintaining the houses, hospitals, electricity, water and all the other vital infrastructure that people depend on, and we all understand the need to keep construction workers employed and keeping the economy going, for now and for the future recovery.
To ensure the construction industry operates safely the CLC has developed a range of guidance relating to social distancing, use of PPE and face coverings, the safe operation of site canteens, the safe operation of builders merchants, the use of public and private transport to work, and the use of temporary accommodation for workers, amongst other important matters, all of which are covered in the following and are available on the CLC website:-
• CLC Site Operating Procedures
• FMB guidance for installers working indoors
• TrustMark Work Safe, Safe Work home maintenance guidance
• HBF Charter for Safe Working Practice.
We have also demonstrated that the entire industry depends on the flow of money and materials, and that it is essential that product manufacturers, builders merchants and distributors keep operating so that we have the materials to build and repair our homes, hospitals and services. It is imperative that this happens.
During the recent times of the pandemic we have demonstrated that a wide range of construction types can be done safely – for our workers and the general public around us, and as an industry we have a huge responsibility to do the very best that we can at this very difficult time.
As always, the CLC stands ready to serve the industry and work with our Government colleagues to address the challenges that we face. We can do this most effectively when we receive your immediate feedback so please do contact your relevant trade association or the CLC directly regarding any issues with which the CLC may be able to help.
Together, I know that we can, and we will, do what is needed of us.
Co-Chair, Construction Leadership Council
The BMF had previously produced the following video to illustrate its Branch Operating Guidelines: