The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has updated its guidance on the use of face coverings in construction, following a change in rules from the government following the discovery of the Omicron covid-19 variant.
Face coverings are now mandatory in retail areas open to the public, on public transport, in taxis and private hire vehicles.
Government advice is that face coverings should also be worn in other crowded or enclosed indoor places where people come into contact with others they don’t normally meet. The government’s position is that as part of their risk assessment, employers should consider whether to ask workers to wear a face covering. Meanwhile, workers who choose to wear a mask where it is not legally required should be supported to do so.
The use of face coverings and/or PPE is not required in response to covid-19 while carrying out construction work.
However, the CLC’s latest guidance recommends that where workers on site are not required to wear respiratory protective equipment (RPE) and their workplace is crowded and enclosed (which may include welfare and changing facilities, site offices, site meeting rooms or site transport) and they come into contact with others they do not normally meet, the employer should make face coverings available and they should be worn.
The CLC added that face coverings are not legally required to be worn in canteens, in line with government guidance on hospitality settings.