Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD while not objecting to the re-opening of small and near completed social housing construction sites, has called for a series of checks and protections to be put in place to guarantee the health and safety of construction workers
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“As the social housing building sites with homes that are near completion re-open, we need to see a series of protections introduced to protect the health and safety of construction workers on these sites.
“The building contractor, relevant local authority, trade unions, the HSE and the Health and Safety Authority all have a role to play in ensuring that workers can make a safe return to these construction sites.
“It is our view that the contractor must submit a written Covid-19 safety statement to the Local Authority before construction work commences setting out how social distancing and other public health measures to protect workers will be ensured on site.
“The safety statement details how workers (including sub-contractors) will travel to and from the site with due regard for Covid regulations, this will include issues such as onsite parking and hand washing facilities.
“No construction site should re-open without an adequate supply of personal protective equipment and there should be engagement with Trade Unions to ensure full compliance on sites.
“The Health and Safety Authority and where appropriate the HSE should conduct unannounced inspections of these sites to ensure compliance with the public health advice.
“A confidential phone line should be provided for construction workers who want to report non-compliance with public health advice but are nervous of doing so for loss of employment
“Any contractor who is found to be in breach of the HSE’s public health advice should have their site shut down by the local authority.
“These measures must be adopted by every re-opening construction site in order to ensure the health and safety of construction workers.”