Lagos warns firms against breach of COVID-19 guidelines on building sites
The Lagos State yesterday warned construction firms against breaching additional guidelines provided to curtail the possibility of continuous spread of the Coronavirus on all building construction sites in the State.
The government noted that any defaulting construction site shall be shut down.
Further to the directives of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu on the gradual and controlled easing of the lockdown which was introduced in the wake of the Corona Virus (Covid-19) Pandemic, the State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development announced additional guidelines for construction sites.
The State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako said the Ministry has taken cognizance of the vital contribution of the Building Construction Industry to the economy of the State including employment generation and overall development and has deemed it necessary to ensure that as the lockdown is gradually being eased in the industry, the health of the populace is not compromised.
According to the new guideline, all building construction sites must maintain a register of all workers engaged on the site and this should include their contact details such as name, home address, phone numbers, emergency contact number and any other relevant information.
The Commissioner said building sites must maintain Daily Record of workers engaged for specific activities on-site, conduct temperature screening of all employees and visitors, including suppliers of construction materials entering the building site; any person with a body temperature of 38°C and above should be referred to the NCDC immediately.
Dr Salako said, there must be regular decontamination of the site, particularly frequently touched surfaces such as Water Dispenser, Door Knobs, Table Surfaces, Equipment, Panels, Steering Wheels, Handles with an alcohol-based sanitizer or disinfectant spray while all personnel on building site should be provided with disposable Face Masks and Hand Gloves, along with other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as stipulated for safety on construction sites and these must not be shared except for reusable ones which must be sanitized.
“ Physical distancing must be observed by all, at all times. Workers should be regularly briefed on the government guidelines and updates provided by the Lagos State Ministry of Health so as to minimize the transmission of Covid-19 whether on or off-site. Physical handling/transfer of documents and money on-site (payment of wages or for purchases) should be discouraged. Attendance at Project Meetings must be limited to Fifteen (15) persons. Plates, cups and other cutleries should not be shared and each worker should take responsibility for the cleaning of their personal belongings. Workers on building sites must wash their hands regularly, especially before eating, after removing hand gloves and after engaging in multi-person tasks”, he said.
He said construction sites must also, “Monitor and document the health conditions of all workers on-site, on a daily basis. Ensure all building construction sites have First Aid facilities while buildings from 4 Floors and above have a room dedicated as Sickbay. Conduct operations as guided by existing regulations and these additional guidelines to minimize the transmission of the Covid-19 and other diseases amongst workers/ visitors within the building site and promptly contact the NCDC, Lagos State in case of any suspected case of Covid-19 or related illness symptoms via relevant lines”.
“ The number of Workers per building construction site of 650sqm must be limited to Fifteen (15) while buildings from 4 Floors and above are allowed to have a maximum of Ten (10) additional workers including Supervising Professionals. Request for exemption/special consideration with respect to the number of workers allowable on-site could be addressed to the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development. The Approved copy of the Design Drawings (Architectural, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical) must be legible and enlarged to A0 size and conspicuously displayed within the site while the soft copy must be made available on demand for electronic transfer/sighting by relevant government officials. Requests for Stage Inspection/Certification of Buildings must be made for the time being by email to the General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA). A minimum of three (3) points per 650sqm building construction site should be provided with either self-dispensing alcohol-based hand sanitizer OR water receptacle and soap/washing liquids for regular hand-washing at the entrance, eating area, toilets, after removing hand gloves and after engaging in multi-person tasks.
He said, “These guidelines form an update to the existing guidelines and regulations on Building Construction Site in the State. The guidelines must be displayed visibly (minimum of A0-Size Format) at strategic locations within the project site to guide compliance and guarantee the safety of site workers as well as visitors to the site. All necessary Information on the Covid-19 Pandemic as released by the Lagos State Government, including the Contact Details of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Lagos Office, should be displayed on the building construction site for the benefit of all workers and visitors to acquaint themselves and comply with safety precautions.”