The COVID-19 Pandemic still holds sway over the world, and though vaccinations have started in several regions, new strains of the virus are emerging. People need to mask up, wash their hands frequently, and maintain social distancing at all costs. Individuals need to navigate well during the Pandemic, and the same holds for the construction industry.
Anouk Govil is a biology student in California State University Channel Islands and is a fan of several things, including the latest developments in the construction industry. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities like kayaking and surfing. She finds being out in the waters to be exciting and relaxing.
She adds that the construction industry was highly volatile even when things were normal before the Pandemic. Now, with the coronavirus sweeping the whole world, the construction industry needs to have more strategies for flexibility as it adapts to this new normal. Both workers and employers should be flexible in attitude and work to keep projects afloat and prevent them from getting delayed or completely cancelled.
How can these changes be made?
Managers in the construction industry need to assess their present practices and highlight areas that can be made more flexible. They can check to see the areas where they can make positive changes to keep their workers completely safe and highly productive during the Pandemic. Business owners must begin planning for the Pandemic before imposing lockdowns in the regions where they operate to close everything down.
How will social distancing work?
Like the whole world, social distancing and masks will protect the workers. However, there is a challenge here as the construction industry entails long working hours with large crews close to each other. If the above is not controlled in time, it will not take much time for construction projects to become hotspots for the spread of the coronavirus.
As per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), most construction project tasks are low risk in nature; so long the workers stay six feet apart. Once they move into an indoor space or area with others that are sick or at some point of time have the coronavirus, the area becomes a medium to high-risk zone for spreading the virus.
It is here that correct planning for the project will work. One potential resolution to the above problem is to manage teams that are small in size effectively.
Anouk Govil recommends employers ensure they keep the smallest number of workers on any site at a given point in time. If the number of workers on a site is not enough for the task at hand, they can be deployed in rotating shifts of smaller teams to complete the work. There are 24 hours in one day, and you can split them into three to four shifts for your workers. In this way, construction tasks for your project will not stop, and your teams will be safe by maintaining social distancing. They will be virus-free and highly productive when meeting deadlines and completing the project in time.