Covid-19: Bringing Sustainable Improvements to Construction
Site manager Steven Dunn on Covid-19's positive legacy for construction site management.
The introduction of one-way systems on construction sites in the United Kingdom has contained the spread of Covid-19, and also created much safer, clearer routes for loading of tools, plant and materials. Surely, the measure deserves to be made permanent as being able to plan access routes in the knowledge that there will be clear thoroughfares makes a massive difference - in addition to improving efficiencies and site safety.
Previously, passageways and stairways on site were frequently heavily congested with operatives travelling in one direction and manoeuvring complex equipment or (in my company's case) heavy panels of glass, and as frequently confronting other trades and operatives coming in the opposite direction. Lost time, in turn, often resulted in priorities and methodologies being revised. The new protocols, whilst created to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, have clearly demonstrated how efficient and much safer one-way systems on construction sites are.
Improvements to cleaning and hygiene procedures as a result of the new protocols have also created much improved construction site washroom, toilet and mess facilities: a development as long overdue as it has been universally welcomed. Indeed, many of us who work in construction had previously become so accustomed to sometimes squalid canteens, rest areas and toilet facilities that we unquestioningly accepted the categorisation of such deficiencies as "welfare" or "procedural" concerns rather than as the significant health and safety issues they represent in the post-Covid-19 era.
Lessons have now certainly been learnt and suggest a safer and cleaner future the entire construction sector.