A year in the life of COVID-19 in the Restoration/Construction Industry
COVID-19 has presented numerous challenges as well as some opportunities to companies in our industry. Business owners, executives, and employees in the restoration/construction industry were scared in mid-March. Questions about job security, workplace safety concerns, and the various personal issues of COVID-19 created a world of uncertainty and fear.
Uncertainty can lead to stress, and we know many in our field were stressed at the beginning of this pandemic. Adding to the uncertainty, our industry, unlike some other industries, does not have the option of working from home because we perform services at client properties. It would simply be impossible for restoration/construction companies to serve clients if project managers, estimators, and technicians were not onsite.
Buildings were closing to outsiders and homeowners did not feel comfortable with anyone coming in their homes unless an emergency occurred. Companies quickly realized a strong culture was the perfect solution to the scariness, uncertainty, and stress COVID-19 caused. Overnight, restoration/construction companies faced multiple new, unknown issues such as:
- Dealing with numerous local, state, and national regulations regarding lockdowns and stay at home orders.
- Implementing new procedures for COVID-19 testing and worker safety.
- Emergency work only
One thing that was seen at the beginning of the pandemic was many business owners in our industry thought they might go out of business because phone calls from clients were not coming in. Structure and put-back work was put on hold.
In some cases, business owners injected new equity capital into their company and/or obtained bank financing (or PPP loans) to ensure long-term solvency. Now a year later and 3 vaccines out into the world what does this mean?
We are not sure, however being vigilant is the best way, still maintain the social distancing and wear your mask. We will probably see an increased vigilance on cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection on construction sites. This along with regular handwashing will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 along with other viral and bacterial infections that can be easily spread on construction sites.
Law 31, instated in 2004, required that “building owners follow and retain evidence that safe work practices were used for all repair work.
Mell Goldman has been invited to join the Spirit of Huntington Art Center Board of Advisors as a member this coming year.
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