'You can't roof a house from home': Construction chiefs say they await HSE order to down tools

24/03/2020 03:05:00

Right now, there are over 100,000 people still involved in construction across the island.

'You can't roof a house from home': Construction chiefs say they await HSE order to down tools

Right now, there are over 100,000 people still involved in construction across the island.

Image: RollingNews.Department of Health confirmed 219 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus in the Republic of Ireland.has confirmed that a staff member has tested positive for Covid-19.The health service has opened a large-scale coronavirus testing centre in a GAA stadium in Cork, with plans to eventually test up to 2,000 people a day at the facility.

ie Image: RollingNews.ie PRESSURE IS GROWING on the construction industry to down tools and clear sites for fear of workers being infected with Covid-19.There are now 1,125 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland.In the capital alone, there are certain sites where over 1,000 workers are employed.Fintan O’Toole: Coronavirus has made all familiar things strange “RTÉ is treating the matter of Covid-19 very seriously and, in line with our business continuity plans, will continue to take all necessary steps to prioritise staff health and welfare as we continue to provide vital news, information and entertainment to the public in Ireland at this time,” a spokesman added.They have been instructed to continue coming in to work but to adhere to HSE guidelines.An Garda Síochána is reminding people of guidelines in relation to social distancing, underlining the importance of keeping a two-metre (six feet) space between individuals.Workers at sites at the new National Children’s Hospital in Dublin 8, the huge development of the Grangegorman technical university site in Dublin 7, as well as the construction of Ireland’s tallest ever office building, The Exo, are all still working..

There are around 4,000 workers between these three sites.The digital scaling supercharge | ALL IN Hit play for our All In Business Show hosted by Yvonne Redmond..Locals in Dublin 7 and Dublin 8 have contacted TheJournal.ie to say they are concerned about social distancing guidelines being being adhered to on the sites, saying they see workers packed into local shops to get their lunches..Similarly, one worker at a site in Dublin told this publication that staff have pleaded with their superiors to allow those who can work remotely to do so.Speaking on condition of anonymity, he said: “I can work for home for sure.Andrew Trimble and Pat McCarry are in the House of Rugby studio to discuss the massive fall-out, sporting and otherwise, caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

They haven’t let any of us off at the minute.I have told them that I have kids with asthma and that my partner is also in an at-risk group but I’ve been told to keep coming in.Did you ever get an accidental tattoo? This lad has.“It’s a bit off-putting when I am coming home from work, not going out, doing everything the HSE is telling me to do but then I could be bringing [the virus] into my home when I get in and putting people at risk.I don’t think it’s fair at all..” Brendan O’Sullivan, general secretary of the Builders and Allied Trades Union (BATU) told TheJournal.

ie that the thousands of members who he represents have been told to minimise their contact as much as is possible, but that it remains a challenge..He said: “The HSE has issued guidelines to employers on how to control close contact between staff.We are listening to them.The digital scaling supercharge | ALL IN Hit play for our All In Business Show hosted by Yvonne Redmond.A lot of sites have already introduced measures to help reduce how often people are in close contact with each other.“That’s been done by limiting the number of people in canteens or when people are on tea breaks..

A lot of the guys have ended up eating their lunches in their cars.There are also a lot of sites which have replaced the stiles you have to go through to enter the site..Others have also replaced fingerprint signing in technology which means that all staff won’t touch the same device to sign in.We’re trying to minimise risks.” While O’Sullivan acknowledged that a lot of those who can work from home ought to do so so long as it is accepted by their superiors, he warned that there are members of BATU who cannot make a living from working remotely.

“Our members are craft workers, using timber and stone and bricks and blocks.You can’t put the roof of a house on when you’re at home.You can’t build a wall at home and then bring it in to work.It’s just not going to work.“We are waiting and watching the HSE to see if they change their advice to construction workers.

As things stand, that has not happened.” The Construction Industry Federation has echoed O’Sullivan’s statements and says it stands ready to adapt if the HSE changes its guidelines.A statement issued to its members reads: “The Construction Industry Federation is constantly advising its members in relation to all HSE Guidelines and Chief Medical Officer recommendations pertaining to Covid-19.The federation has issued guidelines for actions to take now to provide for health and safety for management of construction sites and behaviours for construction site personnel.“Industry is continuing to deliver on contractually agreed commitments for public and private sector clients while adhering to HSE and Chief Medical officer requirements/ recommendations.

The industry and its 147,000 employees are critical to both the economy and wider society as essential emergency works, housing, hospitals, roads, schools and other projects are delivered.” The CIF said construction companies are doing all they can to keep their workers in employment in the safest possible environment.The statement added: Many companies have now embedded social distancing into their daily routines including measures such as staggered work, social distancing in canteens, employees taking lunch individually.They now run induction talks on entry to work and hold regular ‘toolbox’ talks to constantly reinforce new safety guidelines.Building sites are complex workplaces and employers and employees are working together to addresses any issues of concern that arise.

“The CIF does not condone any behaviours that contradict the HSE’s guidelines.Any such behaviour should be reported to employers so the issue can be addressed.” A number of contractors and development agencies were contacted for comment.A spokeswoman for the National Children’s Hospital said: “Construction work is continuing on the site of the new children’s hospital and the main contractor has informed the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board that HSE working practice protocols and guidelines regarding Covid-19 are being adhered to.The main contractor has responsibility for all health and safety matters on the construction site.

” Contractors A spokesman for SISK said: “John Sisk & Son continues to closely monitor the rapidly evolving situation relating to the global spread of the Coronavirus, Covid-19.At all times, our primary concern is the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff, supply chain partners, clients and the wider community in which we operate.“We will keep working as long as we can maintain the safety of our people with social distancing and the other measures we are taking to protect them.Many of our employees who can, are working from home and numbers have been reduced on sites and in offices and arrival times and breaks staggered to reduce numbers in canteens and common areas.“We continue to follow the advice and direction of Government and public health authorities and will continue to modify our response daily in accordance with official guidance as the situation evolves.

We thank all our staff and supply chain partners for their commitment at this challenging time.” TheJournal.ie's coronavirus newsletter cuts through the misinformation and noise with the clear facts you need to make informed choices.Sign up here:.

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AidyLynch Well now amazing how many people just want to forget the housing crisis and shaft the homeless these problems will be front and center when this finishes with trying to rebuild the economy I'm working on a site, 200 people, 1 tiny canteen, no running water anywhere except in the 1 toilet that's a 5 minute walk away, and we all use the same metal handled gate to enter and exit. Not even a bit of hand gel at the gate. 🤦🏻‍♂️🤮 HSELive LeoVaradkar SimonHarrisTD

If anyone believes that social distancing is happening on building sites there either extremely naive or just away with fairies.....on paper social distancing is easy,on building sites damn near impossible...lives are being put at risk....to line developers pockets... Where are THE HEALTH AND SAFETY BOYS NOW. 🙄 Pull the heads out of the sand.

I wrk 4 a small electrical company in old houses with no residents we can easily continue 2 wrk and keep our distance I bring my lunch so no need 4 the shops Minimum distance is impossible to implement on sites. Inadequate facilities even for washing and eating facilities. Some jobs require close contact also. It’s madness to keep them open if we are serious about this virus.

You'd imagine if your workibg outside the close proximity to someone else for 15 minutes or more would be limited. Awful situation. Wear their hard hat and they will be ok,,,,,health and safety is big mantra on sites once it doesn’t cost money you can if its a self build

Gardaí shut down house party in Longford over coronavirus concerns | JOE.ie'We ask people and families to be responsible, not to attend popular locations and where the number of persons starts to increase at any location to leave such areas'

But they have a duty of care with health and safety so how's that work then mjinko_ie Crew cabs with six lads still traveling to work and then home to respective families, you can’t call that social / physical distancing I think it would be stupid to down tools on all construction jobs, but it should be limited to 2 people on site only

Actually you have to roofing at home 🙃 I can’t provide a Safepass course from home or the lads can’t attend from home.

RTÉ confirms staff member tests positive for Covid-19Person is safe and at home and in self-isolation, broadcaster says in statement LockItDownLeo I work in a hospital, first line, exposed with no protection, leave the pt room and he turns ppe barrier, and we don't get tested. Not even a though is spared on us but you test the likes of Tubridy and Kelly. Why? Not only we can be infected and take it home to our family. .. worth a watch people

Coronavirus tests begin at Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium in CorkHSE plans to set up further test centres at Defence Forces camps and on naval vessels This sounds very like fake news to me: my sense is that all that is happening in PuC and many other so called new testing sites is collection of samples which are sent to some lab for the actual test. Minister/HSE Director/CMO please clarify.

About 40,000 people in Ireland waiting for Covid-19 test, all told to self-isolate while they waitAbout 40,000 people in Ireland are waiting for Covid-19 test, all told to self-isolate while they wait Testing, testing, testing, results, tracing and isolation. Lovely! The state is well prepared for the crisis....🙄 So if we've tested 10,000 as of yesterday, and have 785 +ve, that's 7.8% +ve so we expect at least +3,100 new +ve from these tests. 😣 Unless something lessens the +ve rate. Hope so.