Bathgate contractor urges fellow construction firms to down tools to halt Covid-19

Ashwood Scotland has closed all of its construction sites and is calling for urgent action from other businesses in the industry to follow suit.

Ashwood Scotland has stopped working at all of its construction sites, including West Register House in Edinburgh's Charlotte Square.

The Bathgate-headquartered contractor has ceased all site-based operations at ten sites in an effort to protect its staff and help to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

This follows advice from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier in the week that construction sites in Scotland should shut, increasing pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to give the order for building sites across the UK to close, amid worries that workers travelling to sites will hamper efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

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Ashwood MD Archie Meikle said: “What is the difference between construction workers operating in close proximity to each other on a new hospital project, to construction workers working on an office block or university facility? None whatsoever.

“If someone was to get seriously injured in a workplace accident and then needed intensive care treatment, it would only put unnecessary strain on our already overworked NHS.

“Our priority is the health and safety of our staff, site managers and clients. This is the responsible thing to do and I would urge other contractors and house builders to follow suit.

“It’s difficult enough for SMEs [small and medium-sized businesses] to support staff and keep them calm without having to deal with the added burden of mixed messages from the politicians.”

Ashwood’s portfolio of projects currently includes refurbishing three primary schools for City of Edinburgh Council, building a new giraffe enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo and restoring West Register House in Edinburgh’s Charlotte Square.

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