5 Ways the Coronavirus Will Change Construction

All over the world, the human experience is changing right before our eyes. We once moved freely, hugged, and shook hands with strangers. Some experts believe it could be years before we’re all comfortable with those gestures again. Social distancing has become the norm. No one will come any closer than six feet away from you. It feels peculiar to all of us. We’re trying to get back to our jobs. We want to go get a haircut or eat out with friends. But is it safe to do so?

As of Friday, the U.S. saw its deadliest day yet with 2909 deaths in just 24 hours. This comes at a time when many people are talking about reopening their businesses. But is it safe to go back to work?

Keeping workers safe

The construction industry has continued to try and adapt its ways to make it safer for workers while still getting projects completed. In this industry, investors can lose a lot of money very quickly if projects aren’t completed on time. It has been difficult to weigh the need to get a project completed on time with the need to keep workers safe.

CDC spokeswoman, Kate Grusich, said that their agency’s data may not be accurate or complete. She did say that the data was “validated through a confirmation process with jurisdictions.” In addition, she commented that, “CDC does not know the exact number of COVID-19 illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths for a variety of reasons.”

One of the reasons for incomplete or inaccurate data is that many victims are asymptomatic, meaning they display no symptoms of being sick. In spite of that, they can still spread the disease.

Regardless of all this, construction must continue. But things are changing rapidly on job sites and these changes should be permanent even after the threat has been eliminated. The top five things that have changed and will continue on jobs sites are as follows:

Cleaner, safer sites

In the past, a construction site has been a hot bed of activity, dangerous items and large equipment moving about. This is why construction sites report more accidents each year than many others. With the new changes, job sites are now cleaner with less clutter and debris. This should cut down on the number of accidents.

Projects take longer

Because of all the new safety regulations, construction jobs are taking longer. This will most likely continue on. Accidents and injuries are expensive in the long run. Though the project might take a few week longs, eliminating accidents will save money and time.

Telework will continue

Even after the disaster is over, many office workers will continue to work from home. There are actually quite a few employees who can do this including accounting and admin. Working from home means that less office space will be required. Utility bills will be lower. Owners don’t have to provide computers, office furniture or even breakrooms. This is a big cost savings.

Supply Chains will morph

With China unable to provide materials, parts and equipment as they always have, the supply chain will have to adapt. There are many ways this could play out and no one will make any firm guesses about how the supply chain might look in five or ten years.

Project types will change

In the past, America has built quite a few hotels, casinos and theme parks. With the coronavirus continuing to be a threat in years to come, there will be less demand for large public spaces where hundreds could gather. Instead, project types will include more hospitals, laboratories, testing facilities and manufacturing plants.

The Bottom Line: Less Reliance on other Nations

So what’s the bottom line to all this? Experts believe that America will attempt to make its own products and grow its own food as we move into the future. It’s best not to rely on other nations, especially when America is quite capable of growing all types of produce from corn and tomatoes to melons and peaches. Our nation is also capable of manufacturing almost all of the goods we commonly use like clothing, shoes, furniture and even automobiles.

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