The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the world. It has been created unexpected immediate disruptors to every industry around the world, whilst the engineering & public construction industry is one of the few industries that has been maintained to some extent.
However, in some of the countries that have gone for the fully or partially lockdown/shut down (many countries such as China and Italy have slowed or shut down their production sectors) and or curfew for long term with various of COVID-19 retractions such as travel ban, etc. every construction project has been heavily influenced negatively due to various issues associated including the following key factors:
Steps for companies to overcome the situation
At this gable challenge and crisis, the following steps can be recommended to the engineering & construction industry to successfully manage and overcome the situation.
Safety is a top priority
As all construction workers and professionals are well aware of, the well-known motto of “Safety First” using in the Construction industry is precedence over all others as the construction activities always remain at the high range of the potential risks with plenty of safety hazards.
In usual practice, the Main Contractor of the project has to lead all health & safety measures, however, it is not only the main Contractor’s responsibility but also all the other stakeholders of the construction projects are responsible to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for everyone, especially on the job site team.
At this point of the particular crisis situation, it’s very essential for all the concerned parties to re-evaluate the health & safety program/policy that has been established and in place/implementing to include all necessary health & safety measures and extend the existing safety program/policy to ensure the safety of everyone working for the project and to the general public from this COVID-19 pandemic.
The top leadership of each and every company/group should be undertaken and hold the responsibility of facilitating the necessary health & safety measures and arrange the ways for supervision/monitoring them. Also, they need to keep alert on the ongoing situation to ensure all personnel in the team updated on the current scenario, aware of what necessary actions to be taken individually and as a group, and finally to ensure all in safe, while efficiently navigating inevitable delays and other business losses.
Otherwise, without enhanced health and safety measures, employees and workers are feeling unhappy and uncomfortable with projects that are not taking the necessary steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, which can subsequently cause a significant impact on the all the process’ efficiency and productivity.
“Moving quickly can certainly create an advantage especially in construction, ensure the changes you make are more impactful positively – Work safe, Stay safe”
Senior Quantity Surveyor
MBA in Engineering Management