The coronavirus crisis caused record-breaking construction job losses around the nation in April as a number of firms were forced to lay-off 975,000+ employees. Even though most of the news surrounding the pandemic has been negative, many in the industry have noted the silver linings.
Construction has always been one of the most competitive markets in the world, but the coronavirus crisis appears to be inspiring more collaboration among those working around the industry now. Construction leaders know that a lack of collaboration is one of the leading causes of project delays, so most remain ready and willing to cooperate with other stakeholders and share solutions to help each other overcome all of these new challenges.
Instead of competing against each other like they usually do, general contractors are following the lead of the “in this together” campaign that encourages everyone to work together toward flattening the curve of COVID-19. Here are just a few of the ways that contractors have joined forces with others to promote workplace safety:
- Sharing job site photos. Those in construction are sharing how social distancing is possible on worksites.
- Hosting “toolbox talks.” Contractors are coming together online to discuss common challenges and share solutions on how to keep workers safe.
- Joining conference calls. These calls provide leaders with updates about new rules and regulations.
- Promoting best practices. Promoting their firm’s safety tips helps firms develop safety protocols adhering to CDC workplace guidelines.
A growing number of professional associations have also joined these collective efforts. For instance, The Associated General Contractors of Washington State prepared safety guidelines using the toolbox talk format. New York’s AGC helped prepare it’s members during the pandemic with a three-part webinar series. Meanwhile, various building groups at the national level continue to educate members about the PPP, CARES Act and other federal stimulus legislation. National construction associations have banded with trade unions to share their concerns over OSHA’s updated COVID-19 requirements. Construction leadership have also been invited to join President Trump’s advisory group for reopening the American economy.
The amount of collaboration during coronavirus has provided our industry with some much-needed optimism. Whether it’s the Blue Angels flying over to honor the contributions of essential personnel, or the numerous stories being shared about organizations donating food to families in need, you don’t have to look much further than #InThisTogether to hear real stories about people working together and supporting each other to overcome coronavirus.
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