Category: Industry News

FREE Online Covid-19 Course from CITB

“Covid-19: Setting up and operating a safe construction site”


This new free e-course was added on the CITB website last week has been designed to strengthen ongoing pandemic preparedness, so that site managers and supervisors can deliver toolbox talks to their teams on topics including:

– understanding how a virus spreads
– social distancing
– current legislative guidance
– risk management

Read more here at the CITB course page.


Scottish Government’s response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 Report

Fire Safety in High Rise Domestic Buildings

Extract from Scottish Government communication 29th October 2020:

Scottish Government Ministers’ thoughts remain with the family and friends of the 72 people who lost their lives, and to all who have been impacted by the Grenfell tragedy.

As you may be aware, in October 2019 the Grenfell Tower Inquiry published its report on conclusion of Phase 1 concerning events on the night of the fire, which made 46 recommendations mainly concerning high rise domestic buildings.  While the Inquiry concerned the position in England, we are writing to inform you that the Scottish Government has considered the recommendations made and a response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report has been published:

I would be very grateful if you could please  pass it on to any colleagues with responsibility for high rise domestic buildings, fire safety or other interest in this area.

This is part of the programme of work to strengthen fire safety in Scotland, led by the Scottish Government Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety that was established immediately after the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017. The Scottish Government will continue to monitor and evaluate the approach to fire safety, and will implement any further changes as appropriate.

It is encouraging to read these sections from the above…

Fire Safety in High Rise Domestic Buildings in Scotland
23. In Scotland, most fires in high rise domestic buildings are contained in the flat where the fire originated, and often to the room of origin. There have been no deaths outside the flat of origin in the past decade in Scotland.

High Rise Fire Safety – Position and Recent Actions in Scotland
29. The Scottish Government Review of the Fire Safety Regime for high rise domestic buildings in Scotland (2018) concluded that there were no major legislative gaps, although the position with buildings with multiple owners and the issue of fire safety enforcement is to be further considered over the longer-term.

58. The evidence available points to sound fire safety measures in place, however there is a commitment to continue and strengthen this by pro-actively seeking to learn to improve fire safety, to continue to reduce fires and their impact.

However this obviously relies on all projects being designed and constructed fully in accordance with current Scottish building standards and regulations (and then properly managed in-use). So as always, but particularly now in terms of fire safety matters, Clients, Designers and Contractors should not be relying on Building Control officers to spot non-compliant items in the design or construction, but ensuring what is designed and constructed is compliant.

FREE Designer’s CDM Guidance Resource: DIOHAS


Free useful guidance sheets for designers from the Designers’ Initiative on Health and Safety (DIOHAS) which is a group of representatives from major architectural practices, other construction disciplines and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

They develop and disseminate best practice in relation to construction health & safety, particularly with regards to the designers’ role under the CDM Regulations. Read more and view/download their helpful guidance sheets on their website – especially their “Section 1: Introduction” + “Section 2: Guidance” PDFs.

Currently 165 pages of very readable useful guidance!

Or Download KCDM curated PDF book version HERE (21 Oct 2020 Version)

COVID-19 Design Considerations – Attention Designers!

DESIGNERS – Are you designing for Covid-19 to help eliminate ‘close working’ on site?

The CICV Forum’s Construction Operating Guidance (SOP) (v4 26th Aug at time of writing) includes a section on close working and how this can be eliminated via various methods, with the first example being via design as the extract below from page 27:

Stages of the construction process where <2m tasks can be eliminated/mitigated:
Design – Sections of materials are:

  • 2.5m long or longer, or
  • materials can be installed by an individual (i.e. lightweight materials and simplified fixings)
  • mechanical means for lifting and access can be used while keeping construction personnel >2m apart

Please consider these elimination/mitigation measures when preparing designs – essential when discharging your duties under the CDM Regs in relation to this foreseeable hazard.

Scottish Construction Covid-19 – Close Working Returns


Scotland’s construction sector can now resume close working

Scottish Construction – close working can now take place. The move to the phase 4 of the six-step phased restart model means that close working can now take place on site – with appropriate PPE use if necessary. Scottish Government were quoted as saying, “Controlled close working will enable the sector to carry out tasks that have not been possible since the lockdown began, but we are of course not back to business as usual yet and the health and safety of construction workers and the public remains the top priority.

The industry-agreed six-step phased model for the return of the construction sector is:

  • Phase 0: Planning
  • Phase 1: COVID-19 Pre-start Site prep
  • Phase 2: ‘Soft start’ to site works (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Phase 3: Steady state operation (only where physical distancing can be maintained)
  • Phase 4: Steady state operation (where physical distancing can be maintained and/or with PPE use)
  • Phase 5: Increasing density/productivity with experience

Read more on Scottish Construction Now.