A concerned employee at the new Glasgow University construction development has warned Covid-19 will spread like “wildfire” if there is another outbreak among staff.

The worker, who asked not to be named, blasted the Scottish Government’s decision to keep non-essential building works open during lockdown.

He described social distancing precautions taken by developer Multiplex as a “tick-box exercise” as he warned workers are not adhering to the rules.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Covid Scotland: Glasgow carer had to pay £600 for impounded car in hospital

He said: “It’s just a tick-box exercise to have the one-way systems and social distancing signs up at the site.

“We’re being asked to go to work and if one person catches the virus then it will spread like a wildfire due to the rules not being adhered to. 

“Every person who leaves the site also exits through the same turnstile. So that’s roughly 400 workers a day going in and out the stile, twice each day.

“Then, there are tools that are being shared among workers without being disinfected. Of course, though, we can’t sit and disinfect a tool every time it’s used - there’s no capacity for that.”

It comes after a number of outbreaks were identified at the development, with all but essential workers dropping their tools and project staff sent to work from home.

Glasgow Times:

READ MORE: Pressure grows to close non essential building works as cases confirmed across Glasgow

The employee added: “There has been no transparency about cases. You’ll just notice somebody might not be in work one day from the next so that’s how you hear about the outbreaks. There’s been no announcement or precaution to self-isolate.

“I don’t believe for a second there has only been four cases for a site of around 400 people.

“There are workers who are going home to big families, or people currently looking after their grandparents or those deemed as at-risk. It must be terrifying for them. 

“Given how the cases are, is this work really essential at the moment? There’s a human element to this.”

A Multiplex spokesman said: “As per our previous statement, protecting our workforce and the general public from Covid-19 is our number-one priority.

“Multiplex was the first contractor in the UK to shut down all sites in response to the pandemic last March, and procedures and protocols we have put in place have resulted in only a limited number of positive Covid-19 cases on our sites, including the University of Glasgow. 

“There are two-metre markers clearly displayed throughout the site. All managers and supervisors onsite have been trained as Covid-19 Compliance Officers and do their utmost to ensure social distancing is adhered to. There are also designated entrance and exit points and one-way walkways, which are clearly marked.

“There have been no Covid-19 outbreaks on-site, although there have been a limited number of cases of people contracted Covid-19 elsewhere and coming to site. 

“We share the figures regarding Covid-19 cases on-site with our supply chain management and the Workforce Safety Committee.

"This includes telling the workforce about the four cases we have had on-site this year. We also have a process in place for workers to submit complaints and suggestions either anonymously or providing their name.

“Staff are using the same turnstile, but there are santisation stations there and the turnstole itself is cleaned regularly as part of our enhanced Covid-19 cleaning regime. We have also removed our finger readers from the turnstile and now use a card system, which means there is no need to physically touch it to gain entry.”

READ MORE: Covid Scotland: 35 Glasgow businesses warn closures loom in lockdown

Unite the Union, who represents many construction workers across Glasgow, has raised numerous concerns about staff who are still working. Last week, it called on the Scottish Government to close all non-essential works.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: ”We have been able to keep construction and manufacturing sites open in level 4 by developing guidance with sectoral bodies and unions to ensure workplaces are as safe as possible.

"It is vital that all workplaces continue to follow this guidance, planning for the minimum number of people needed on-site to operate safely and effectively.

"Employers must carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment, paying particular attention to workers who are disproportionately at risk due to underlying health conditions or the role they carry out, and only those who cannot do their job from home should be asked to go to the workplace.

“Should anyone have concerns about their workplace or a workplace they should inform their Local Authority and the HSE. A single point of contact has also been established for trade union representatives to explain how all Covid-19 workplace guidance is being implemented.”