Keeping the UK Building Safely

As part of Theme 6 of the PROTECT study, the Keeping the UK Building Safely (KUBS) project aimed to improve our understanding of the construction sector’s efforts to build ‘COVID-secure’ workplaces.

Evidence collected by the KUBS project will be used to support the sector to reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and keep building safely and productively as the UK economy unlocks.

The KUBS project was structured around key workstreams, identified through engagement with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and construction industry stakeholders: transmission, technology, data and simulation, leadership, and construction project delivery.

KUBS phase 1 report explored the context at the start of the pandemic with managers and suggested that construction was expected to manage well with safe working due to the existing cultures and structures. KUBS 2, was conducted at a much later point in the pandemic, and with a wider range of staff from all levels within construction, allowing us to explore these expectations and the extent to which they were realised. 

The report concludes that the full extent of the economic consequences of the pandemic are yet to be known, but early data suggest that the path to recovery will be slow – particularly in the context of global uncertainty arising from the conflict in Ukraine. For people in the UK, inflationary pressures, and the associated increases in the cost of living is likely to lead to greater demand for social housing and by implication, on the house building/refurbishment sector more generally. 

Project Team

  • Helen Balmforth, HSE
  • Helen Beers, HSE
  • Neil Bourne ,The University of Manchester
  • Ruifeng Cao, The University of Manchester
  • Clara Cheung, The University of Manchester
  • Sharon Clarke, The University of Manchester
  • Bill Collinge , The University of Manchester
  • Ed Corbett, HSE
  • Angelique Hartwig , The University of Manchester
  • Amanda Howells, The University of Manchester
  • Sheena Johnson , The University of Manchester
  • Richard Kirkham , The University of Manchester
  • Claire Mann, The University of Manchester
  • Patrick Manu , The University of Manchester
  • Qingyao Qiao, The University of Manchester
  • Sabrina Saba, The University of Manchester
  • Martie van Tongeren , The University of Manchester
  • Akilu Yunusa-Kaltungo , The University of Manchester

VIDEO: Minimising the transmission of COVID-19 in the construction industry

Sign up for research updates

Receive quarterly email updates from the PROTECT study on how the COVID-19 virus transmits in different environments, and the most effective measures to control it.

Updates will include new evidence statements, briefings, journal papers, event invites and more, aimed at policymakers, businesses, public health and health and safety professionals, and researchers.