Coronavirus is spreading rampantly in all countries around the world. So, is this likely to impact the scaffolding industry, and in what ways? Let’s cut to the chase and find out.
Many cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed worldwide, and according to Scaffmag, this highly infectious and deadly disease has affected numerous people in the United Kingdom.
In a bid to counter the spreading of the virus, the government have laid down drastic measures in a bid to stop the spread. These measures include the closure of schools, a ban on large public gatherings, and encouraging people to work from home. It’s impossible to maintain this within the scaffolding or the wider construction industry considering the teamwork that comes into play.
Reports say that many of the workers have not been able to work as the outbreak persists. Companies like Wako Kwikform have given directions on how they wish to proceed during this disaster period.
There’s concrete evidence to prove that the COVID-19 virus is already in the industry, as a builder working on nuclear reactors, energy firm EDF, reported early that a worker on Hinkley Point C had already been infected with the virus.
Supply chains are also expected to be hit by this, as many scaffolding raw materials and tube fitting services are imported from overseas, and tough border restrictions have been put in place.
The company issued a statement to Scaffmag and stated that because of the nature of their business, and as planned before, they’ll utilise their full production capacity during wintertime, and as well expand stocks at their factory in Germany and its more than 140 service centres around the world.
This, according to Layher, was to be done to make proper preparations for the spring and summer seasons when they traditionally remain busy. Layher UK had in the past increased their already high stock levels, in fear of the Brexit issue.
Layer reportedly said that they’ve in stock huge amounts of raw materials, and have things completely under control for far more months to come.
Scaffolding courses were halted all over the world, and in the UK as a result of the lockdown put in place in a bid to help lower the spread of the virus. As a result, many scaffolders have been denied the opportunity to acquire the necessary training for maintaining a top level of scaffolding safety. Since Scaffolder CPD courses aren’t being offered many Scaffolders are unable to refresh their CISRS cards, leaving them confused.
Both established professionals and newcomers in the scaffolding industry are continuously trained, and it’s worth noting that the training keeps on evolving depending on the changes in methods of best practice and legislation. As a result of the halting of the training, experts have found new ways to make sure that everyone in the industry keeps on learning.
Construction Site Procedures
From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has been keen on seeing construction work continues but under the recommended restrictions. This has posed a great challenge to the industry, and apart from being cautious of possible disasters on construction sites, they are also required to maintain a safe distance, which is practically hard, to prevent the possible spread of the virus. Since much of the guidance provided is generic, SIMIAN has worked hard to decide on its application and usage in the scaffolding industry. Our clients have been handed our internal document, ‘Guide for Scaffolders’ and some parts of it will be revised to include the latest revisions, one of them being the SOP produced by the Construction Leadership Council.