The Construction Industry Federation and the Construction Employers Federation have jointly called on their members to collaborate on a cross border basis on tackling COVID-19.
The construction industry straddles both jurisdictions with contractors and employees crossing the border in both directions daily. Both industries have emerged from the previous lockdown with excellent records in terms of safety and low incidence of COVID-19.
The recent increase in COVID-19 numbers North and South of the border have led to the border counties of Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan being increased to Level 4 and further significant restrictive measures introduced in Northern Ireland. To maintain low numbers of COVID-19 in the construction industry as community transition increases, the representative bodies from North and South are calling on their members to redouble their efforts to ensure employees adhere to their standard operating procedures whilst on site and general health guidelines in their communities.
Tom Parlon, Director General, CIF stated: “Construction across the island has performed well so far and we’re asking our members to encourage their employees and their sub-contractors to keep disciplined when it comes to COVID-19 whether they are on site, off-site or on the way to site. Because of the strong ties across the border, we’ve asked our members to engage with Northern Irish contractors operating on their sites to ensure adherence with our SOP. As usual, the response has been positive and our industry, North and South is responding. Such is the importance of keeping COVID-19 out of our sites, we’re finding companies are willing to put in place any measure that’s viewed as helpful.”
Mark Spence, incoming Managing Director, CEF stated: “The construction industry north and south on the island has led the way in adapting to the evolving safety measures required to keep our people and our communities safe. The latest escalation in COVID-19 cases on both sides of the border with related increased restrictions makes it more important than ever for everyone involved in construction across the island to reinforce compliance with the best practice guidance from CIF and CEF in each jurisdiction. The common principles whether on-site or off-site of hand washing, social distancing and face coverings remain vital to maintaining the relatively low incidence amongst the construction community whilst vitally protecting the wider community in which we work and live. Only by doing this can we protect lives, sustain economic activity and retain jobs in our industry.