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Sun July 21 2024

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Most major sites back at work by now

29 Apr 20 Major contractors now have nearly 70% of their construction sites in England and Wales back at work.

Social distancing beig observed on a Wates site
Social distancing beig observed on a Wates site

A survey by Build UK of its 36 contractor members reveals the extent to which the industry has remobilised after adopting new site operating procedures.

While the coronavirus pandemic remains a real threat, killing hundreds every day, and lockdown restrictions remain in place, the government has been keen to see as much of the economy remain functioning as is safe and feasible.

In Scotland, however, it is a different picture, where to the frustration of some contractors the regional government has taken a hard line of what constitutes essential work during the health crisis.

But in England and Wales the return to site has gained traction, where Build UK contractor members reported this week that almost 70% of their sites are open. The majority are construction (81%) and infrastructure (78%) sites, with members that include housing in their portfolios confirming that fewer than half of their housing sites (46%) are open for business.

With social distancing restrictions and shift patterns in place, productivity on construction and infrastructure sites is averaging 67%, Build UK says, with London construction sites proving to be a particular challenge, with just 56% output being achieved.

Broadly in line with the statistic that 30% of sites remain closed in England and Wales, so Build UK contractor members having furloughed an average of 30% of their staff.

Build UK contractor membership includes most of the UK’s largest  construction contractors, as well as some that work for them, including GKR Scaffolding, Altrad and Lyndon SGB, as well as logistics firm Wilson James and Munnelly Support Services.

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