Safety first in builders’ merchants across England    

4 November 2020

Construction leaders are taking steps to ensure safety first in builders’ merchants,  as the new Covid-19 restrictions come into place.

Builders’ merchants in England can remain open under the new Covid-19 restrictions, with the sector gaining Parliamentary recognition, along with other key sectors, to continue to operate.

The BMF produced detailed Covid-19 protocols at the start of the pandemic, and the advice will remain in place as new restrictions are brought in.

John Newcomb, Chief Executive of the BMF, welcomed Government legislation allowing builders’ merchants to remain open and continue working as a crucial part of the construction supply chain.

He said: “Our members have provided emergency support for the NHS, local authority and housing association maintenance teams since lockdown began in mid-March.

“Since then we have continued to operate safety, providing much-needed materials to enable a variety of works to continue over summer.

“Now, as new restrictions begin, we continue to work to the same operating procedures.

“Our merchants will be able to ensure customers can access supplies, including materials and parts for repair and maintenance works, such as weather-damaged buildings, frozen pipes and boiler repairs, which start to increase at this time of year.”

The BMF’s guidance has been endorsed by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), which has created a Construction Industry Task Force to provide a focal point for co-ordinating the industry’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

BMF is a member of the Task Force, which comprises of leading trade associations representing both large and small firms in the construction sector, contractors, specialist contractors, home builders, product manufacturers, merchants and associated professional services, as well as Government Departments and major clients of the industry.

Mr Newcomb added: “The Government has made it clear that merchants are a vital part of the construction supply chain and it is important they continue to support the construction industry to operate on sites, and to provide the link between product manufacturers and the firms and tradespeople that use and install the products they make.”