Thursday, March 19, 2020

CONSTRUCTION Industry Federation (CIF) members remain committed to delivering on their public and private sector projects while adhering to the requirements established by the HSE due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the CIF: “Our members will continue to take every possible step to ensure the safety of these employees and the general public in construction activity. As construction sites are workplaces, members must observe the HSE guidelines on dealing with Covid-19.”

The Government has asked the CIF to urge its members and the wider construction industry to ensure that site workers adhere to self-isolation directions “by removing where possible concerns about income”.

A CIF spokesperson stated: “To this end, the Government will introduce a series of measures to enhance State illness payments for people affected by Covid-19.  To bolster this measure, the CIF and the Government are recommending all employers support the national effort by continuing to pay workers who cannot attend work due to contracting Covid-19 or due to certified self-isolation, the difference between the special Illness Benefit rate and their wages.”

The Government has conceded that “some companies will not be able to do so due to their financial situation in the (Covid-19) crisis. “To support companies, several liquidity measures to assist affected businesses have also been announced by the Government and are accessible on along with a definitive checklist for preparatory actions in responding to Covid-19.”

In a health and safety circular to members, the CIF called for the minimalisation of visitors and new employees to any site.

Recommendations include:

* Requesting non-essential visitors to stay away from work sites,

* The screening of every visitor and new employee,

* Appointing an employee to “maintain additional provisions for Covid-19,”

* Maintaining “an up to date contact list for employees in the event somebody doesn’t show up for work,”

* A heightened awareness of the “current health condition of employees, particularly respiratory related and reassure employees of our approach to health issues” and

* The minimal transfer of employees between gangs

The spokesperson concluded: “The CIF will continue to work with the Government and other stakeholders to mitigate the adverse economic impact in the period ahead.”

Building sites in Waterford and across the country remain active as CIF members adhere to guidelines. 

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