How CLOCS supports safe working during COVID-19

29 May 2020

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) is a great source of support and advice. Their Site Operating Procedures are regularly updated to incorporate Government guidance on working safely during COVID-19 as it evolves, and provides comprehensive advice on site arrangements.

Implementing the CLOCS Standard already provides you with strategies for some of those key working practices covered in the guidance and it also includes other elements which will support increased productivity as sites are gradually brought back to life. This article gives advice on some specific areas of focus for principal contractors.

Implement CLOCS to ensure safe journeys

Government guidelines to avoid public transport will change the way people commute to work. There will be an increase in private vehicle use with potential for congestion on the roads. There will also be an increase in pedestrians and cyclists sharing the roads and vying for space as they try to maintain a 2-metre distance. The TfL briefing for businesses provides guidance that relates to London but it is certainly applicable to other parts of the country. 

Your Construction Logistics Plan will provide you with a good framework to work within.

Make sure you have considered and updated all planned measures to encompass current restrictions and procedures, particularly:

  • Travel to work plans will need to be reviewed and updated, and local authorities may need to be appraised of these
  • Routes to site may need to be altered to take account of increased congestion, new road layouts and cycleways
  • Use of rail and water could be considered to reduce congestion on the roads and improve delivery times. Can some deliveries be made by cargo bike?
  • Deliveries during peak hours should be avoided
  • Effective delivery management systems will reduce congestion on route, at access and egress and any movement around site
  • Re-examine the arrangements you may have in place for consolidation, or consider this if you don’t currently use such a system

Implement CLOCS to manage safe working practices for holding and receiving vehicles on site:

  • Make sure your Site Access Traffic Marshals and those managing holding areas are properly briefed and have PPE as per government guidelines
  • Site access gate checks should be conducted as safely as possible and may be modified while government safety measures are in place. For example, items inside the driver’s cab will require special consideration if they are normally inspected, and consider how driving licences or other ID are to be checked.
  • Are physical Waste Transfer Notes and delivery dockets etc really needed?
  • Attention should be paid to ground conditions especially with a view to minimising risk of ‘rescue’ situations which may put operatives at risk.