In another initiative to support the construction sector in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum has started distributing protective signage for key workers carrying out emergency and essential projects.
The posters, designed to be displayed on sites or on vans, carry the legend – Key Worker: Carrying out Essential Work. They are designed to deflect reported harassment and abuse which has been directed at employees by members of the public.
The Forum, made up of 23 trade and professional bodies as well as scores of companies and individuals, has been lobbying vigorously on the industry’s behalf since Holyrood shut down the construction sector, apart from work on hospitals and emergency interventions.
The signage will alert the public to the fact that workers they see in the streets or on sites are not flouting the rules but instead are performing vital roles, in line with guidelines, to ensure that the fabric of the country remains in good condition during the lockdown.
John McKinney, Secretary of Forum members the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, the Stone Federation and the Scottish Contractors Group, says, “As a consequence of mixed messaging from government, there has been some confusion among certain members of the public about what is essential working.
“However, that is no excuse for harassing people who are going about their legitimate business, and we hope these signs, which carry an information helpline number, will help clarify the situation.”
Ian Honeyman, Commercial Director of the Scottish Building Federation, adds, “This is a time when we should all be working together and the Forum is keen to reduce any possible tensions between key workers and misinformed members of the public.
“In a period when the Scottish Government is asking people to remain in their homes, it is important that these homes are watertight, safe and have essential working facilities, such as water, gas and electricity, and that is what the construction sector’s key workers are ensuring.”
The CICV Forum, which was set up two months ago, now has 23 trade and professional bodies as full members. A further 27 organisations have input on its seven influential sub-groups, dealing with mission-critical aspects such as health and safety, skills and future planning.