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Site Safety for Metal Decking, Thru-Deck Stud Welding Operations During the Covid-19 Outbreak

The Board of the UK Metal Decking Association (UKMDA) has reviewed the Build UK/CLC document Site operating procedures – Protecting your workforce Found Here and the government information Full guidance on staying at home and away from others Found Here and its implications on metal decking and thru-deck stud welding operations in line with Health and Safety Regulations and law.

We have concluded that our members cannot continue to operate on sites as these procedures cannot be adhered to for the following reasons and they cannot comply with Health and Safety Law and Regulations:

The 2m rule cannot be adhered to in the following critical metal decking and stud welding operations:

  • handling short metal decking sheets of less than 2 m (2-man operation)
  • Joint lifting of long metal decking sheets as required for effective manual handling. (2-man operation)
  • Measuring and cutting sheets around columns and notches (2-man operation)
  • Correcting cover widths of sheets and fixing in place (2-man operation)
  • holding trim in position for fixing (2-man operation)
  • holding flashing in position for fixing (2-man operation)
  • cutting trims for corners (2-man operation)
  • offloading stud barrels for stud welding operations from stud welding rigs (2-man operation)
  • installation of safety nets from footed ladders (2-man operation)
  • rescue of a faller into a safety net (requiring close physical contact)
  • lifting of large safety nets when they are folded up (2-man operation)

Furthermore, with metal decking and stud welding operations being very specialist in nature, our Members workforce are not local to the sites they operate on. This necessitates the operative taking accommodation in hotels and guesthouses local to the sites they are working on, and they use restaurants and public houses to obtain meals. These are no longer available due to the Government enforced closures. The workforce is therefore having to travel excessive distances to site, often many hours, increasing road safety risks.

The UKMDA has therefore agreed that it is no longer possible to safely provide metal decking and thru-deck stud welding on UK sites until the strict restrictions that currently imposed by parliament for social distancing (2m) are removed or reviewed for construction work.

We understand that this will present issues on sites, but the safety and welfare of our members workforce and their families has to be paramount in these unprecedented times.

We thank you for your understanding.


UK Metal Decking Association Ltd

Tel: 07854 226251