Creating a new-norm on construction sites

Posted: 19/05/2020

With construction sites and the housing market re-opening, the construction industry is working tirelessly to introduce new working practices to make it safe for staff and subcontractors to return to work.

Following the guidance set out by Government and Construction Leadership Council (CLC), Higgins has reopened the majority of its sites and introduced a number of new site operating procedures to minimise the risk of Covid-19.

Steve Leakey, Managing Director of Higgins said, “Across all our sites new working practices and social distancing measures are in place to allow our staff, subcontractors and partners to continue to work safely. We have implemented one-way systems on walkways around our sites and are using ground markings to mark out two metres to allow controlled flows of people working and moving around the site.

“We have also staggered break times and created additional space as places to eat in order to reduce pressure on break rooms and allow us to maintain spacing and social distancing. Increased cleaning and hygiene facilities have been introduced and staff are being asked to drive to work rather than use public transport, with extra parking provided on site.”

One partner who works with Higgins recently visited a site in SW4. Matthew Carr, Senior Associate at Pellings LLP commented on his visit, “I felt the site visit was necessary to fulfil our contractual obligations in our role as Contract Administrator. We could have remotely visited the site, but I wanted to see the site in the flesh instead of relying on photos.

“Higgins had prepared a bespoke risk assessment, and updated their site procedures following guidance set out by the Government and Construction Leadership Council with regard to construction sites.

“Upon arriving at site, I telephoned the site manager before entering, and followed the site rules in place. I was impressed by the one-way systems and walkways, new entry and exit points, staggered working times, the posters around the site, and the social distancing practices that were in place. A good example of how construction works can continue with social distancing in place. After weeks off-site it was good to be back."

Higgins’ Head Office remains closed but the majority of office based staff and Directors continue to work from home and are contactable as usual. The After Sales team are responding to emergency call out works only unless other arrangements have been made.

Higgins has built a reputation as a trusted contractor and developer who delivers exemplar, award winning projects on time and on budget across London and the South East.  Working collaboratively and in partnership with clients, supply chain and design consultants the Group delivers new build and refurbishment projects and creates mixed tenure sustainable developments that are inspiring, safe and secure.  Higgins’ projects are more than just construction.  Each community is central to what the company does, and its aim is to improve the quality of life and create new opportunities for residents.

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