The coronavirus crisis has brought unprecedented changes to the way we live and work, and every sector is undergoing fundamental changes to cope with this.

The construction and civil engineering sectors are no different, but with construction sites being urged to open up and building work looking set to restart, an important issue needs to be more closely examined ………

Can you socially distance at a construction site?

The most important question we’ve been asking here at Lydon Contracting has been, is it safe to open construction sites?

With government guidelines stating that many construction businesses should return to work, it’s also down to the discretion of managers if it is actually safe to do so.


Important construction work may very well need to start again, even if the risk of coronavirus remains, but work that can wait should continue to be put on hold.

The virus is still present in the population and returning to normal too quickly could result in a resurgence of cases.

Extra spacing on-site

For staff to socially distance, construction sites need to be large and spacious. In cramped conditions, or with little room for manoeuvre, it may be impossible for construction work to take place.

Each worker must be 2 metres apart at all times where possible, so you might need to schedule your staff to come in and out at different times, for instance. You’ll also need lunch breaks to be staggered, so people don’t congregate in large groups.

Cleaning is important

Hygiene and cleaning are fundamental to the reopening of construction sites and following social distancing rules.

Workers will need access to more cleaning products than before COVID-19, and equipment must be cleaned and disinfected if it’s used by multiple workers on site.

Workers might also want to consider wearing masks or other specialist equipment to protect their faces, although this will be down to their own personal preferences.

Look out for symptoms

Importantly, construction sites that do reopen need to continue sending home anyone that displays symptoms of coronavirus.

This will need to continue indefinitely until widespread testing or a vaccine is available to the general public.

It’s not ideal, but putting your workers first is the best thing to do in light of a worldwide pandemic to protect their health and safety.

Covid-19 has proven to be a huge threat and every industry has had to adapt to the new norm. Here at Lydon Contracting, we intend to follow all the social distancing rules laid out by the authorities to create safe workplaces, and we urge you and your business to do the same.

Stay safe.

Lydon Contracting Ltd

Your Total Construction Solution

Tel:  01327 811533