While prime minister Boris Johnson’s announced that mandatory restrictions are going to be lifted in two weeks, Tideway aims to pursue many of its Covid safety measures such as social distancing, regular testing and mask wearing, in place on its construction sites beyond July 19.
The response of Tideway spokesperson to the question about remaining these measures beyond 19 July, was: “Several Covid-safe measures will continue on Tideway sites for the time being, in order to continue to help reduce the spread of the virus and protect our teams. These include enhanced cleaning, social distancing, regular testing and use of face coverings where appropriate. All of the measures will remain under review.”
According to Tideway’s this week’s release, 63% of the way through construction of London’s new “super sewer” will continue for another four years.
Almost £233M additional cost and nine-month delay were the negative effects of Covid-19 for Tideway project, with Tideway chair Neville Simms this week admitting that cost pressures still remain.
Due to strict approaches in health and safety aspects, Tideway has long been praised. Its EPIC initiative has won many plaudits including winning the Health, Safety & Wellbeing Initiative of the Year at the BCI Awards in 2018.
Participating in an immersive, multimedia health and safety training day, is a necessary part of their project for every member of the workforce, from tunnel operatives to delivery drivers and office staff.
Other main clients have said that they are in the procedure of reviewing their Covid safety measures following Johnson’s latest announcement. TfL said: “We are currently working with the construction industry to establish which Covid measures need to remain in place beyond 19 July.”
Meanwhile an Environment Agency spokesperson said: “We anticipate a phased and gradual approach from 19 July, allowing us to test and pilot our new ways of working.”
“The Agency is awaiting guidance from the government to understand any continuing measures needed in workplaces,” added the spokesperson.
According to Highways England and Network Rail, they are going to consult their relative relevant trade unions and supply chain partners to negotiate changes to Covid safety measures beyond 19 July.
As a Network Rail spokesperson stated: “Hypothetical scenarios under consideration include making face coverings voluntary on construction sites and removing social distancing.”
Moreover, decision about the Covid safety measures will be up to the contractors working on site in HS2 Ltd projects and a spokesperson for Hinkley Point C said no decisions have been taken yet.