Coronavirus (Covid-19) is an infectious disease transmitted through physical contact and exposure to contaminated air or surroundings. Coronavirus has affected the economy, industries, import/ export, education sector, construction sector, etc. In short, there is no aspect of life that this pandemic has not affected. It would not be wrong to say that the construction industry is most disturbed compared to the other sector. All the construction is stopped by the government and the result of which labors suffered a lot.
Impact of the Pandemic on the Construction Sector
Many different companies and other organizations were unable to continue work daily due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Construction work is very harsh and demanding, and not all the jobs in this field could be performed online, unlike many other jobs. Covid-19 has made a huge impact on the construction sector, which results in the decreased trained workers, productivity, and delay in work. Here is how the covid-19 pandemic has affected the construction sector in the UK.
The decrease in Trained Construction Workers:
Most of the construction-related work is taught physically to new workers. However, few people bother to get out and perform to conduct their duties online. But training new workers online is not working out properly, considering that understanding such kind of work online is not possible, and not everyone can afford the facility of having a personal laptop or PC with a stable connection.
The decrease in Productivity and Increase in Mental Health Problems among Workers:
Being a construction worker does not promise you a reliable source of income. Many workers are anxious about their performance even on normal days. If they do not work properly, who will bother to rehire them? Adding the fact that the pandemic has effectively halted many construction projects for various reasons, there are not many jobs around for many workers. This makes the performance of the workers suffer and leads to depression and anxiety.
Delay of work and interference:
As mentioned above, not all the work related to a construction project can be done online or through technology. Physical manpower is also required for many jobs. But there are not enough experienced workers available who will risk their lives during the pandemic on construction sites unless there is an emergency. In many cases, work was not done at the time due to the lack of manpower as well as materials.
Issues regarding Delivery of Materials:
The imposed lockdown has effectively stopped the nonessential transportation in the whole nation. Even if we disregard the issues regarding transportation, there is not enough staff available to perform the job and deliver the required goods to the construction sites.
Projects are Cancelled or Put on Hold:
Many projects are facing delays due to a shortage of workers and delivery staff. Some projects were put on hold or canceled outright because they were considered to be ‘nonessential.’ There is also the problem regarding cash flow difficulties, which has effectively halted many projects. In many cases, it was the site managers who canceled the project.
Safety of the Workers is Compromised:
This actually, a serious issue, which has forced many projects on hold or canceled. In addition to construction sites not following the safety guidelines provided by health organizations, workers were unable to maintain the mandatory 2m distance.
Shortage of Resources:
Like we have mentioned above, transportation problems and shortage of delivery staff have made it difficult for the project managers to get their hands on resources. Then there is the manufacturing of these supplies and machinery, which is also lagging, as it is not considered to be essential, and therefore, there is not much demand for them to be produced right now.
In one of the interviews of the Site manager, we learned that there is no effectively pre-manufacturing done, and working through modern machinery is also not being done the way it should be. In this way, work is being affected. Many of the operations were suspended, in which 23% of the operations were suspended due to – site closed by the main contractor. 1% were due to difficulty of cash flow. Similarly, issues like safety of staff, etc., also occurred. Some projects were outright canceled due to negligence in following the safety guidelines or because of their status as a nonessential operation.