COVID has reshaped everyone's workday, including the construction industry. It's easy to dream of returning to the normal we knew as recently as February 2020, but many of the safety protocols we've adopted over the last few months are likely to become lasting industry practices.
Discover the 5 construction industry trends ushered in by COVID that will become long-term safety protocol.
#1: Increased Use of Technology
The pandemic forced construction companies to find innovative new ways to allow their workers to social distance, one of which was an increased use of technology. This included the use of drones or robots on the jobsite, 4D simulations, new digital softwares, and other innovations. Expect to see the impact of these technologies long after COVID is behind us.
#2: Off-Site Construction
Off-site construction was another trend that became increasingly popular during the outbreak. Working off-site as much as possible allowed for greater social distancing throughout the construction process. Expect to see planning, designing, fabricating, and preassembly of elements to continue to be done off-site wherever possible.
#3: Job Site Social Distancing
Many pre-COVID construction industry safety trends focused on preventing specific incidents that could cause injury. However, they weren't equipped for social distancing. Because of this, COVID took many companies by surprise and forced job sites to close so they could implement social distancing protocol and enable deep cleaning. Expect to see social distancing continue as a way to prevent these types of closures in the future.
#4: Continued Use of PPE
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has always been a vital part of day-to-day operations in the construction industry. The need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has added additional need for PPE on top of pre-existing risks, like crystalline silica exposure and other hazards. Expect to see further use of cloth face masks, in addition to OSHA-required equipment like respirators.
#5: A Larger Remote Workforce
Most office employees in the construction industry have switched to working from home since the outbreak closed offices across the country. Many companies have found since then that their office workers have been able to keep operations running smoothly from home. As companies look to manage costs following COVID, expect to see remote work continue in an effort to save money.
The COVID-19 outbreak has forced all of us to consider the safety protocols we use, and has dramatically transformed the way construction companies do business. From social distancing to innovative new technology, our day-to-day operations look very different now. What safety trends in construction do you expect to see companies use after COVID?
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