As Scotland continues to battle a surge in the global pandemic, the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum has repeated its urgent call for industry workers to be COVID-19 smart in their social lives.

The unique collective of more than 100 construction professionals is once again reminding staff to protect their colleagues by following physical distancing guidelines away from the workplace.

The plea comes after a rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Scotland, which has now seen localised restrictions extended on household gatherings.

Rebecca Crosland, Health and Safety Adviser at the Building Engineering Services Association, a leading Forum member, said: “As we’ve seen in the past week, the R number is rising in some areas as a result of suspected transmission between people at home and in social activities.

“Since people can spread the virus before they know they’re sick, it’s vital that everyone working in the construction industry adheres to the physical distancing rules whether they’re at work or relaxing during their free time.

“Physical distancing means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people not from your household. To reduce the risk of transmission and stop the spread of this virus, it is therefore essential that everyone follows these rules 24/7, wherever they may be.”

Vaughan Hart, Managing Director of the Scottish Building Federation, another leading Forum member, said: “It is essential that we continually emphasise the message that this dangerous virus has not gone away and it is vital that we all need to remain vigilant to prevent any further resurgence.

“We need to reiterate that our workforces should not relax their guard at any time, whether at work or at home. I’m sure everyone will understand that it would be dispiriting to face a winter in lockdown or witness the closure of work sites by not adhering to the physical distancing rules now.”

Rebecca added: “Remember, if you don’t follow the physical distancing rules, your actions could have serious consequences for both your colleagues, your friends and your family.”

To reinforce its message, the Forum is ramping up a recent campaign which used social media animations and open source posters to remind construction workers to stay safe.

The films feature construction workers called Campbell and Fiona who observe physical distancing in their spare time to protect colleagues when they return to work. The message is repeated on the posters, which can be printed out and displayed in workplaces.

The reminder follows a recent CICV Forum health and safety webinar, during which its experts delivered updates on the latest safety advice for workers in depots, office and sites.

The Forum, which is made up of more than 60 trade associations, private companies and professional bodies, has also maintained a steady supply of information and practical advice to the sector as well as carrying out surveys and making appeals to Government Ministers.

In the last few months it has issued seven health and safety advice documents, updated its operating guidance and begun hosting a series of commercial webinars to help industry professionals face the many challenges ahead.

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