Over the last 35 years National Drilling Services has survived recession, worked through periods of severe levels of terrorist threats and more recently the global pandemic, which we have all come to know as Covid-19. With the ever changing landscape we have faced over the last three decades, the management and operations team at National Drilling Services has built up a resilience and resolve. We find ways of operating to overcome issues and work within the rapidly changing and increasing restrictions and regulations, to ensure we continue to deliver the drilling and cutting services that our customers have come to expect. The Government’s guidelines on operation have evolved over the last 12 months as data and science insights build a picture of transmission. Thankfully for our industry, in recent lockdowns construction sites across the UK have remained open, helping to keep part of the UK economy afloat.
Connotations for Construction in Covid
As a leader in serving the construction industry, National Drilling Services has a reputation to uphold. We have a string of accreditations and affiliations demonstrating our commitment to client service and safety at work. There has been no time prior to now that health and safety has been more pertinent. Operations within the UK construction industry during Covid have seen a plethora of new rules and regulations, which we take very seriously to ensure the safety of our operators and those working around them. Some of these are standard across all industries and activities whilst others are more specific to the construction industry. Here are some of the regulations which we follow avidly, with more specific rules on each site as required:
- Maintain a 2m distance between operators wherever possible
- Face masks to be worn inside apart from when sitting down to eat or drink
- Restrictions on numbers using rest rooms and canteen areas at any given time, with breaks staggered to facilitate this, without causing issues in working practices
- Where people need to be seated for meetings or breaks etc where possible they should be side by side rather than facing each other
- Workers to keep in team bubbles and isolate from other teams where possible
- Every worker and site visitor to take responsibility for maintaining Covid safe working practices and ensure continued compliance until such a time that restrictions are lifted
- Risk assessments to be carried out where distancing cannot be followed as to whether this particular work can be continued safely or not and if so, what extra safety measures need to be taken
- Meetings to be held virtually where possible, or if required to be on site then meet outside or in a well ventilated area with windows open and minimum number of attendees
- Clear notices identifying the symptoms of Covid-19 and instructions to stay at home if any of these are experienced
- Focus on hygiene, including hand washing/sanitising facilities to be available to operators and time allowed for more regular hand washing/sanitising
- Increased cleaning of touch points such as door handles, office equipment, telephone, tables & chairs, taps, operational equipment etc
- For each new project we check local authority guidelines and regulations especially during the tier system when regulations varied between counties and regions
- Close communication with the site management to manage access and keep worker numbers to a safe limit. This may include
- one way systems around sites
- staggered start times
- increased signage and floor markings especially regarding queuing and distancing
- Where possible delivery drivers remain in their vehicle
- Parking may need to be increased due to limitations on car sharing
- Some sites may require frequent swab testing of workers to reduce the risk of asymptomatic transmission, especially when working on construction sites where vulnerable people are in resident or need access such as care homes or hospitals etc
- Where QR codes are in place each site visitor should scan the code with their phone to help with track and trace systems and minimise the spread of the virus
How our affiliations and accreditation links help with Covid guidelines
The Construction Leadership Council provide details of guidance for construction site working. CHAS, with whom National Drilling Services is affiliated, also has issued a statement of best practice for contractors to ensure supply chains comply with the enhanced regulations. It is important to us as contractors to the construction industry that we do not put other site workers at risk or that other workers present a risk to our operators. Constructionline also help affiliated businesses to access compliance management guidelines and construction working guidelines. To find out more about our accreditations see our news.
As this is an ever changing and evolving situation, we ensure, as a reputable contractor, that we check guidance for updates and alterations to the regulations on a frequent basis. Some local councils in London, for example, are recommending that anyone working outside the home should take a rapid test regularly to avoid asymptomatic transmission in the region.
Will construction workers receive the vaccine early in the roll out?
The debate as to whether construction workers should receive the vaccine early in the roll out is ongoing, but there will be workers amongst us who fall into the vulnerable categories and we are aware that we need to protect them from risk as much as possible. These vulnerable groups include BAME minorities, older males, people with a high BMI, those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes or autoimmune diseases etc and pregnant workers. Where workers fall into these categories it is imperative that regulations are followed strictly.
If you would like to find out more about our working practices generally on construction sites around the UK or specific to Covid-19 or you require more details about our drilling, sawing and demolition services contact us. As you will see, we have regional offices around the UK which gives us valuable local knowledge, keeping abreast of local authority guidelines and regulations. You can also contact our Manchester Head Office on 0161 443 2822 or alternatively you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org.