SELECT has been working with colleagues from a number of trade and professional bodies across Scotland under the banner of the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum. As well as SELECT, members include representatives from BCSA, BESA, BMF, CECA (Scotland), EDA, FMB, LEIA, NFRC, RIAS, RICS, SBF, The Scaffolding Association, The Scottish Construction Group, SNIPEF and the Stone Federation (GB).
The group was set up with the aim of bringing together the main construction trade and professional bodies to allow us to gather intelligence, share advice and speak directly with the Scottish Government on issues affecting members in the current crisis.
What we are doing
We are in regular contact with the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop, and the Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart, and their officials. We are continuing to make them aware of the concerns of the industry and to ask them to use their influence to support Members, especially around issues of employment and cashflow. These messages will change as the crisis develops.
The group held two meetings this week and one of our priorities was to try and get some clarity about the messages issued by the Scottish and UK Governments over what construction work could or could not be undertaken.
We believe that there is still a need for further clarity and, to assist, the Forum has developed a series of guidance documents to assist businesses which operate in Scotland.
This CICV Forum guidance, which is now available on the SELECT website, has been developed to offer some form of clarity to the industry as we all work in the most unusual of times. Every business must make their own judgements on the work they do, but they should understand the advice which the Scottish Government has issued over the steps to be taken to minimise the spread of Coronavirus.
We have produced two guides, one for those working in domestic properties (homes) and those who may work in commercial premises, e.g. nursing homes, medical centres etc. Please note these premises may issue their own advice and this must also be taken into account.
We have also produced some general guidance about dealing with potential contractual issues and this will also be available online too. Please note that in specific cases you should take advice from your own legal adviser, and remember that SELECT Members also have access to free support from our partners, MacRoberts Solicitors.
This guidance is subject to change without notice depending on decisions taken by the Scottish or UK Governments and updated information will be issued as required. The information in the guides is not exhaustive and it is vital that every job and potential risk is judged on its own merits, and that the key considerations around health and welfare are the primary concerns for any work you undertake.
As you know, it is not “business as usual” for our industry and we must all play our part to protect our staff, our customers and the wider population from the spread of this terrible virus.
As a SELECT Member, you have free access to our health and safety service via the Building Safety Group Hub and you should use this resource and its helpline for more information.
At the end of the day, each Member must make their own decisions on the work they do, but please make health and safety the overriding priority.
Alan Wilson, Managing Director, SELECT