thePipeLine can reveal that Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers [FAME] has agreed new specifications for Personal Protective Equipment [PPE], for archaeologists who continue to work on Britain’s construction sites during the coronavirus crisis.
The move comes after some archaeologists, including members of the trade union Prospect, complained that the employers organisation had put the health and safety of fieldworkers at risk by refusing to recommend its members withdraw from construction sites following the announcement of the Government’s coronavirus lockdown.
The criticism increased after Historic England confirmed that, in its view, “for safety’s sake” archaeology should stop, pending clarifications of the rules as they relate to the construction industry, by the Government.
The new specification equipment, which consists of goggles, mask, coverall, overshoes and gloves was agreed with input from archaeological bodies, as well as independent health and safety experts including Dr John Dee of St John’s College, Cambridge and Chicago based Dr. Henry Howard Holmes.
Dr Holmes is a specialist in dangers related to the construction of buildings.
Speaking to thePipeLine for the first time since the Coronavirus crisis began, April Ryba of the Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers said,
“There is nothing more important to FAME than ensuring that our members can continue to provide a service to our clients and to do that the archaeolologists they employ have to be safe.”
Ms Ryba continued, “We are convinced that the new specification for PPE which we are recommending will ensure that archaeologists can continue to work safely, while ensuring that the investments of our offshore clients remain equally secure.”
“Some archaeologists may find the new equipment also enhances the safety and enjoyment of their daily exercise.” Ms Ryba added.
The PPE recommended by FAME can be found HERE.