Coronavirus: Leicester City training ground construction 'not safe'

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Training complex construction siteImage source, Anonymous
Image caption,
Social distancing measures put in place were being routinely ignored, a worker said

Hundreds of workers building Leicester City's new training complex are being put at risk due to a lack of social distancing, it has been claimed.

A worker, who asked to remain anonymous, said safety measures had been put in place but were not being followed or enforced.

He said managers seemed more concerned with getting the project completed.

However, McLaren Construction said it was operating in line with construction industry guidelines.

Work on the 185-acre complex near the A46 in north Leicestershire started last year and is due to be completed this summer.

Image source, Anonymous
Image caption,
The worker said he saw several colleagues sat eating their lunch round this makeshift table

The worker told the BBC: "There's a one-way system in place but people just ignore it. I'll be walking down and 15 people will come past me walking the other way.

"You've got too many people having a fag in the smoking shelter, standing too close together.

"You'll hear the bosses saying 'keep two metres apart' and there are signs up but people aren't paying any attention. It's just not being enforced at all.

"The measures they've introduced aren't always practical anyway. There are narrow corridors in the building and you often have to pass five or six people closely before you get to where you need to be.

"It's pretty worrying. I've got a family and if someone gets coronavirus it could spread quite quickly with all the people you've got on site. There are a few hundred."

Image source, KSS
Image caption,
The training ground is due to be finished later this year

Construction firms have been told they could be punished by the Health and Safety Executive if they fail to follow social distancing guidelines set out by Public Health England.

Adam Nicholson, McLaren's pre-construction director, said these guidelines were being followed on site.

"We have had no direct allegations from our workers or customers saying anything to the contrary," he said.

"As far as we are concerned, we are working in line with the standard operation procedures set out by the Construction Industry Council.

"The guys on site have a safety briefing every day and there is no pressure on site to move away from these rules."

A Leicester City spokesman said: "We expect the highest standards in working practices from contractors responsible for work on all our sites, compliant with government guidance, regulatory standards and moral obligations that safeguard the wellbeing of all associated personnel.

"Our contractors will continue to be held to these standards as we continually monitor activity in the future."

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