Construction Appeal to have building sites reopened
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Builders say continued lockdown of sites will not reduce spread of Covid-19

Ireland’s construction industry has made an appeal for building sites to be allowed to fully reopen arguing that the continued lockdown in construction will not reduce the daily rate of Covid-19 or numbers in hospital/ICU.

The Director-General of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) Tom Parlon has written to the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn imploring Nphet to reconsider the evidence pertaining to the industry arguing that the measures in place on building sites were effective in preventing the spread of the virus.

“At no point did cases on construction sites reach above 56 in 2020 when construction was fully operational,” Mr Parlon wrote. “Since January 2021, the industry has been operating at 40% capacity with only 42 cases.”

He said these figures stand in contrast with the food industry which has had 746 cases across 33 outbreaks since Christmas. “This is not to say that construction workers have some immunity to Covid-19,” Mr Parlon said. “The difference is the industry wide Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) we have put in place on sites and our workers commitment to safety protocols. This SOP includes strict guidance on travelling safe, wearing PPE constantly and the joint commitment with unions to appoint Covid compliance officers.”

“I would ask you to consider this evidence when advising Government to ensure they make evidence-based decisions and mitigate an availability bias caused by our workers’ visibility in the community. The reality is that an ongoing partial lockdown on construction doesn’t impact population health yet damages individual and economic wealth.”

Tom Parlon (Director-General of the Construction Industry Federation)

The construction industry said members have reported having to let workers go in recent weeks. “If our industry can reopen, and operate safely as we have done, even in the face of the new variant of Covid, we can save these companies and jobs,” Mr. Parlon said.

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Credit: Alan Healy | Construction Industry wants building sites reopened | Irish Examiner |