Social distancing critical to continuation of construction industry, says CIF

Social distancing critical to continuation of construction industry, says CIF
Pic; Larry Cummins

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has issued a stark warning that social distancing and compliance with HSE guidance on Covid-19 is now critical to the continuation of the construction industry.

Around 20,000 people are employed in the construction sector in Cork, and it is estimated that the construction sector in the Cork Region accounts for over 12 per cent of the output of the industry.

In a joint statement the CIF and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) urged construction industry companies and their employees to ensure they are complying with HSE guidance and protecting themselves from the Covid-19 virus, regardless of any impacts it may have on productivity or deadlines.

“‘Social distancing’ and compliance with HSE guidance on Covid-19 is now critical to the continuation of the construction industry and for our nation,” said Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF.

The CIF is also asking companies to remind workers that social distancing is critical off-site and on the way to the site. 

“Workers should not travel in groups and while visiting local businesses (shops etc) must maintain the 1-2 metre distance guideline. Construction workers are to be commended for continuing to operate safely as they deliver essential projects that enable essential services including emergency health facilities, sewerage, electricity, power, data and water, all critical to society.” he said.

Patricia King,General Secretary of ICTU said the Congress will be continuing to watch the situation closely. 

“Essentially workers should adhere to social distancing guidelines, carry out regular hand washing and use gloves and masks if possible to help contain the spread of the virus in the workplace," she said. "The HSE has issued guidelines on the Coronavirus and we recommend that this guidance is adhered to by workers in the construction industry." 

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