How Will Construction Firms Build on a Rough 2020?

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Most employees found themselves working remotely since the beginning of the pandemic. However, that hasn’t been the case for those in the construction industry, as their work hinges on the physical work they do on a day-to-day basis.

How have construction companies managed so far, and what can they expect for 2021 and beyond? Daniel Litwin, the Voice of B2B, dives into the impacts of COVID-19 on the construction industry and how it’s navigating the new health and safety risks in the workplace.

In order to do so, he met with David Patrick, the president of Downes Construction Company, as well as Rachel Walla, an industrial safety and health consultant at Ally Safety, to get their insights on the topic.

“We’re going to see a lot more in the multi-family housing market,” predicted Patrick. “There’s a lot of money on the sidelines that’s willing to be invested in this. I think that market rate and lower-income housing is going to be a popular topic of discussion.”

Walla’s experience on the health and safety side of the industry offered another perspective. “It’s been really difficult for businesses to manage how they approach COVID-19,” she noted. “We jumped into this without any real regulations, so although some companies had certain pandemic response plans, they were pretty limited and we didn’t really have them in place where we were ready to enact them.”

However, they are both optimistic — although a little cautious — for the future.

“What we’re seeing is that there were some stops and starts for 2020,” said Walla. “2021 seems to have a more stable outlook overall for the projects, but there’s still uncertainty.”

Patrick echoed her sentiment: “Here in New England, we certainly have seen a slowdown from 2020, but going into 2021, I think everyone’s a little more comfortable with what’s going on in the construction marketplace.”

KEY POINTS:

  1. In 2020, commercial and office real estate development took a hit in many regions.
  2. OSHA citations related to COVID hit the $3.9 million mark in early January 2020.
  3. Moving forward, employers will focus on vaccination education efforts rather than pushing for vaccinations themselves.

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