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The new normality in construction

80% of the construction works have made modifications to their health and safety plans or implemented alternative measures

The beginning of the confinement due to the covid-19 supposed to rimsa an important change in our working methodology. Aware of the situation, we apply all the measures imposed by the Ministry of Health to protect the health of our workers, who, after the mandatory two weeks of rest, have resumed their productive activity under strict order in their schedules and social distancing. In addition to this, we are working on doing tests for the entire team in order to further guarantee the health and well-being of everyone.

“Responsibility and social awareness”. These are the characteristics that for the president of the General Council of Technical Architecture of Spain (CGATE), Alfredo Sanz, have marked the return to the ‘pit’ of thousands of workers in building works in Spain. They are also the main conclusions that emerge from a survey carried out by the entity to analyze and assess the degree of compliance on site with the measures indicated by the health authorities for return to work after two weeks of paid compulsory leave.

The sample that has had more than 600 responses from the 17 Autonomous Communities has allowed the CGATE to confirm with satisfaction that in a large majority of the works they have taken measures to face the return to work with guarantees. “That yes”, assures Alfredo Sanz, “the differences are notable between the works with a smaller number of workers and the big works that have acted with a higher degree of prevention”.

Of the total of the surveys carried out on technical architects and surveyors on works throughout Spain, 7% confirm that modifications have been made to the previous Health and Safety Plan, 26% have implemented an alternative plan and 47% have led to perform both actions. The total sum exceeds 80%, so that only 18% of those surveyed acknowledge that in the works in which they carry out their activity, no modifications or extensions have been made after returning to activity.

The situation is different depending on the magnitude of the works and the number of employees who provide their services. In works with less than 5 workers, the percentage of works that have not modified their safety plans reaches up to 30%, while in works with between 5 and 15 workers the percentage drops to 12% and in works with more than 15 workers is only 7%.

The perception of the technicians regarding safety is also favorable: 63.6% have noticed some change in the processes in the construction works to avoid contagions compared to 15 days ago. In addition, slightly more than 52% of workers believe that the measures indicated by the health authorities with the use of PPE or the distance of two meters between workers are met, according to this survey.

For Alfredo Sanz, “the construction sector, which employs more than 1.3 million workers, is showing its increasing professionalism and maturity. Two factors that will help the economic recovery of the activity when the situation returns to normal”.

Original source: Cemento Hormigón