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  3. Federation of Master Builders calls for government PPE clarity

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) wants the government to be clearer about the role of PPE in the construction sector as workers return. Though some construction sites have stayed open during the coronavirus lockdown, the government wants more closed sites to reopen and more workers to return to work. 

The chief executive of the FMB, Brian Berry, said: “The virus remains a very real risk that needs to be effectively managed. More clarity is needed about the provision of PPE to ensure that all workers that need it can get it.”

There remains a shortage of face masks, which could prevent some building sites from opening.

The government is providing more detailed guidance about making workplaces safe. Berry said that guidance should address the needs of builders working inside homes, as they are more at risk than those who work outdoors. 

The British Chamber of Commerce has also called on the government to provide clearer advice on PPE and social distancing. Their director, Adam Marshall, said that businesses need the government to publish detailed plans on the phased easing of lockdown restrictions, including the use of PPE. 
The head of health and safety at law firm Adleshaw Goddard, Erin Shoesmith, warned that business directors could be accountable should they fail to carry out risk assessments upon reopening workplaces. She notes that workers should not return to work before social distancing measures and high standard PPE workwear has been acquired. 

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