Carry On Construction - Government Confirms Building Can Continue

John Agnew, GGF MD

Construction work can continue provided workers are not showing coronavirus symptoms and the work can be done to Public Health guidelines the government has confirmed to the GGF.

As the Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent lockdown has intensified the Glass & Glazing Federation has been been asked by many member companies for clarification on whether they should or should not remain open for business. The Federation has also collated the many differing views and interpretations of the government guidelines both from the membership, internal staff and industry experts. This was done prior to writing to the Department of Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for clarification on the crucial matter of essential workers in construction.

BEIS, via the Directorate of Construction, responded immediately, writing: 'There is currently no distinction between essential and inessential construction work in England. The Government’s position is that construction work can continue, provided the worker is not displaying symptoms of Covid-19 (coronavirus); does not need to self-isolate for another reason; and that the work can be done in a manner consistent with the guidelines published by Public Health England (PHE).”


 “I would advise all Members to be responsible and if they choose to operate, then they should do so within the government’s health and safety guidelines and social distancing guidance.”

– John Agnew 



Site Operating Procedures

The GGF says that it has relayed the government’s response to its member companies as well as publishing it on the Federation's website, along with the latest (9 April) government guidance on social distancing in the workplace and the more detailed guidance from Public Health England. In addition, the GGF has published the Site Operating Procedures produced by the Construction Leadership Council.


Risk assessment

To further help member companies decide on whether they should continue to operate, the GGF has advised that business owners should conduct a thorough health and safety risk assessment of the workplace and contact their insurance providers to ensure that employer’s liability and public liability insurance policies, are unaffected during this period, as long as all the government and public health guidelines are adhered to.



John Agnew concluded: “Though we are pleased the government responded in a swift and clear manner to clarify this important matter, this a fast-moving and changing situation. To help companies cope, the GGF will closely monitor the situation and continue our correspondence with government during this extraordinary time.”

Picture: John Agnew, GGF MD

Article written by Cathryn Ellis
16th April 2020


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