Architecture and planning expert Orla Hegarty has called on the construction industry to hand over to the HSE any personal protective equipment (PPE) they have.
It was a “waste” of PPE to give them to construction workers when they are needed by the HSE she told RTÉ radio’s Today with Séan O’Rourke show.
“It’s time to close the building sites. People are being put at risk,” she added.
Ms Hegarty acknowledged that some sites are important such as utilities.
The director general of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), Tom Parlon said he was “inclined” to leave the decision about closing down building sites “to the experts”.
So far the construction industry has followed public health advice “to the tee” with regard to social distancing, introducing measures such as staggered starting times for workers, he said.
The construction industry was critical for the country, he said. With many projects currently being undertaken to help the fight against the coronavirus such as the building of testing centres and modular pods.
This “massive” build had happened so quickly because of “the lack of red tape and rigmarole.”
Mr Parlon said that is any building site that was not safe then it should not be allowed to operate. The issue for the government was one of proportionate decision making, he said.
Meanwhile, a trade union is calling for all construction sites to close immediately.
Unite the Union says social-distancing is not possible during the Covid-19 emergency.
It claims 150,000 construction workers are in danger of getting the coronavirus and bringing it back to their families.