Insights

Contractors seek governmental support in the face of COVID-19

Article authored by X4 Construction Team Leader, Charlie Webb.

The government have warned the costs of shutting down construction sites will leave thousands unemployed and construction leaders across the country have written to the prime minister to ask for their support in doing everything to allow construction sites to remain open for as long as possible.

One of the country’s largest contractor, Laing O’Rourke has “taken steps to minimise the number of people on sites in any location to complete work safely and be productive” as part of new measures introduced by many contractors, to enable their sites to remain up and running.

Contractors, such as BAM Construction are investigating “specific risks for each project, working closely with clients and the supply chain to identify and validate potential solutions”. BAM Construction have just put a hold on building the new Facebook headquarters in King’s Cross as they have told all staff not to work on sites that involve working in offices.

Other businesses forecasting potential loss include Mace, where, Mark Reynolds, Chief executive has warned that shutting all of its 90 sites in the UK will cost them £10 million a week, which is five times more than their anticipated for a no-deal Brexit.

Meanwhile, a Balfour Beatty site in Boston has escaped the city-wide shutdown of jobs by its mayor Marty Walsh. Balfour Beatty’s wider rail network project was thought to be at risk, however the project is part of the Massachusetts Department of Transport MBTA, a state agency that has not yet announced job site closures. Most of the work is also said to take place in the open, which is relatively adaptable to social distancing and hygiene protocols.

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