There does not appear to be any strict legal change as a result of the government’s guidance note for construction on Monday. It is though a very significant set of guidelines for how you can go about achieving, and demonstrating compliance with, statutory health and safety requirements
It builds on the approach of the Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedures, which are currently on update 3, published 15 April. They may well change again to ensure full harmony with the government’s document. Both will inevitably need to be refined in light of developments on an ongoing basis.
The onus is on everyone to ensure that the guidance is applied on a site by site basis, and moreover on an operation by operation basis, to reflect how the risks of what is happening on site can be managed, in order to comply with the statutory health and safety obligations. It is important that records clearly show how these guidelines have been considered and applied to demonstrate the reasonableness of the mitigation measures put in place on a case by case basis, or as a justification for particular operations that simply cannot take place for now.