Construction and housebuilding
As we all learn to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak and the ‘lockdown’ imposed to control it, the full scale of the impact it is having is being felt in every area of our lives. For the Construction industry it is a particularly confusing and worrying time.
The government has not mandated a lockdown for construction sites but the rules relating to social distancing still apply which leaves many in the industry unsure whether to close their sites or to continue with works.
It is also the case that many works are deemed to be essential – as we have seen in the recent efforts to support the NHS to deal with the crisis – and therefore cannot cease work.
Those who wish to voluntarily shut down sites, must ensure that they comply with their contractual undertakings. Sites must also be shut down safely and thought should be given to the resumption of works once this crisis is over. Site owners have a legal duty of care to ensure safety and security even when sites are unoccupied.
Guidance on site operating procedures and the controlled shut-down of sites has been issued by the Construction Leadership Council and is updated regularly.