Coronavirus: health and safety during construction works in Spain

Out-Law Analysis | 27 May 2020 | 11:24 am | 1 min. read

Construction work in Spain is permitted for all kinds of projects, including refurbishment works in existing buildings, provided that a minimum two meters distance is kept between the workers and other individuals while the works are being carried out.

However, contractors must develop prevention measures against the spread of Covid-19, including measures to prevent the spread of disease between workers during their working hours.

Contractors must prepare a specific plan for each site. The plan should include prevention measures applicable to subcontractors and any other individual involved in the project.

Eduardo Serrano

Associate

Contractors must prepare a specific plan for each site. The plan should include prevention measures applicable to subcontractors and any other individual involved in the project.

The current regulations do not stipulate any mandatory content for these plans. However, the Spanish government has produced several guidelines which have been followed by most of the market players to date.

According to the guidelines, the plan should cover:

  • provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, gloves and hand sanitiser;
  • a recommended minimum two metres security distance between workers;
  • temperature checks using contactless thermometers;
  • a prohibition on workers sharing belongings or cooking utensils;
  • provision of an area equipped with water, soap and paper towels or hand sanitiser for the disinfection of hands. Waste containers should also be placed in this area;
  • increased frequency of cleaning and disinfection of common areas and any other places where workers do not wear PPE, at least once per day;
  • establishing a register to monitor those visiting or working at the site including names, ID numbers and date of visit. One person should be in charge of the register. If any contagion occurs, this register must be provided to the health authorities, health and safety coordinator and the developer.

Contractors must provide a copy of the plan to each person involved at the site and notify them of its contents, if possible before starting the works. The project manager must supervise the implementation of the measures contained in the plan.

Contractors must also install information notices throughout the site setting out recommended Covid-19 preventative measures.

Finally, contractors must try to minimise contact between workers, prioritising individual works, reducing activity and modifying schedules where necessary. Other recommended measures include the provision of phased work shifts (turnos de trabajo escalonados) or establishing a ‘continuous working day’ or compressed hours (jornada de trabajo contínua).

Co-written by Eduardo Serrano of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.