Construction sites close across Scotland amid coronavirus lockdown
Springfield Properties, Barratt Developments, McTaggart Construction and ISG are among a number of firms to announce closures of their construction sites following last night’s nationwide lockdown.
As the construction and housebuilding industry struggles with mixed messages from the nation’s political leaders, companies have taken it upon themselves to take measures to protect their staff.
Innes Smith, chief executive officer from Springfield Properties, told Scottish Construction Now: “Following the Scottish Government’s advice, Springfield Properties will be closing all sites, sales offices, our kit factory and offices from today, Tuesday, March 24, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Site managers will carry out all essential final inspections to ensure our sites are safe and secure.
“The safety of our communities, customers, staff and sub-contractors is our primary concern. We will do all that we can collectively to contain this outbreak and save lives. We would like to thank everyone for their support and co-operation.”
ISG chief executive Paul Cossell said: “Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our people, our customers, supply chain partners and the people in the communities where we work. We are in unprecedented times and I have decided to take decisive action to help ensure people are protected against Covid-19.
“Government advice continues to shift in the countries where we operate. What we know is that social distancing is absolutely key to safety – when travelling to site, entering and leaving site and also within sites themselves.
“Looking at the global picture, I’ve decided that it is time for ISG to act ahead of government advice. In line with this, by close of play today we will:
- suspend activity across sites which cannot meet an enhanced risk profile test
- inform affected sites of our decision and arrange for temporary site closure where required
- work on plans to ensure that suspended sites have an action plan to be able to safely re-open
- contact clients to inform them of our decision
- work with the supply chain to ensure it has clarity on our position, the effect it has on work and initiate planning for future re-opening
“We must act now and do so decisively to protect the welfare of people across the industry. I believe that by taking this decisive action we will keep our people, customers, supply chain and the general public safe. Nothing is more important.”
Barratt Developments tweeted this morning: “We have taken the decision to temporarily close our 400 offices and sites across the country. We are in the process of doing this safely and securely, as quickly as possible.”
McTaggart Construction also announced it will close all sites and offices until further notice.
Article update (March 24 at 13:26)
CCG chairman and CEO Alastair Wylie said: “Following the announcement from the UK Prime Minister and Scotland’s First Minister’s statement last night that a Lockdown is necessary to combat the threat arising from the COVID-19 virus, CCG (Scotland) has taken the necessary action to move towards complete lockdown of our sites, factories and offices.
“Whilst emphasis was made on essential activities, we at CCG accept this as a clear instruction to undertake the ‘essentials’ that require to be implemented to prepare for the inevitable ‘lockdown’.
“Given the role of main contractor on all of our projects, we at CCG need to co-ordinate the activities of others in achieving the desired ‘lockdown’ and in this regard, all essential activities should be implemented now to secure full ‘lockdown’ by this coming Friday 27 March 2020.
“CCG office staff will be operating remotely wherever possible in order to support our clients, professionals and supply chain partners during working hours.
“Can I emphasise that from the close of business today (Tuesday 24 March) only essential activities on all our projects will be permitted to secure ‘lockdown’ by Friday.
“Whilst there remains at this hour mixed messages with regards further clarification, we at CCG must accept the inevitable for the sake of the wellbeing of the population of our nation and therefore our Lockdown implementation is compulsory with deviation only applying to totally unforeseen circumstances that may arise over the next day or two which require ‘essential’ action out with that currently planned.
“We ask for your understanding during these most difficult of circumstances but we genuinely believe that these measures are essential and in the best interests of us all.
“Further announcements will be made during the course of today and tomorrow should the situation change radically and therefore we will communicate accordingly.”
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