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CIF and SIPTU Urge Government Not to Close Construction Sites

construction industry fatalities 2017

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) is asking for building sites to be allowed to remain open, even if the Government announces tighter restrictions today.

CIF says that its members are continuing to deliver construction contracts while adhering to recommended health guidelines.

Dermot Carey, Director, Safety and Training, CIF, says that the construction sector is vital for the continuation of the economy, adding that the CIF continues to work with members to develop health and safety protocols.

“I’m not naive to say this is an easy task,” he said. “It’s not; it’s a difficult task. Our advice to members is that you must comply with the advice of public health professionals. If you can’t, you need to sit down with your clients, and you need to consider how you should proceed.”

John Regan, Construction Sector, SIPTU, says workers have not been raising concerns with him about working on building sites.

Speaking on RTE Radio 1’s Morning Ireland, he said, “Workers are applying the safety requirements that the HSE has put out. Social distancing is very much to the fore. Staggering of breaks, altering of times for people to be in canteens, and clocking in purposes are all altered to allow a smooth distancing of workers,” he said.

He added that construction is a little bit more than “just building houses”, as it is also responsible for essential services like gas, sewerage and water that “keep this country of ours ticking over.”

Dermot Carey added that there is “no doubt” that deadlines are going to be missed.

“The CIF is actively working with clients to give assurances to contractors and workers that there won’t be any liability held to them in the event of non-performance of contracts.”