The government has published guidance on carrying out remedial works during the coronavirus outbreak.
The guidance states that progressing the remediation of high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding – particularly those with ACM cladding – and mantaining measures to keep buildings safe ahead of remediation, remains a priority and is critical to public safety.
The guidance also signposts new advice on construction site safety, waking watches and critical workers, summarised below.
The guidance states that construction sites have not been asked to close, so work can continue providing it is done safely.
The government has advised those responsible for commissioning building safety work, such as the remediation of high-rise buildings with unsafe ACM cladding, and the construction companies undertaking the work, to consider how best to either proceed with the work, or how to mitigate any risks arising from the work being paused.
On 2 April, the government announced additional project management support with construction expertise to help oversee remediation. The additional support aims to identify obstacles to progress due to the coronavirus outbreak, and will work directly with those responsible to support individual projects.
The National Fire Chiefs Council has produced revised guidance on waking watches.
Building owners, managers or responsible persons with any doubt about their waking watch provision should immediately contact their local fire and rescue service.
Staff undertaking waking watches or other critical fire safety roles are providing vital public safety functions to keep homes and residents safe.
According to the government advice, these staff can therefore be classified as critical workers for the purposes of childcare provision. The government's guidance provides further information for those identified as critical workers.
Making buildings safe remains a top priority for our members, but housing associations are currently facing a number of challenges that can make carrying out this work more difficult. We're engaging with the government to share these challenges and find solutions.
Members who are experiencing challenges in their building safety work of any type can contact our housing safety team to share any concerns or experiences.