Construction company Beard is continuing to
operate on 90 per cent of its sites despite the wave of closures that the
industry has seen in response to coronavirus.
The family-owned business has implemented the
Site Operating Procedures drawn up by the Construction Leadership Council to ensure
that staff and subcontractors are not exposed to unnecessary risk of infection.
Additional safety measures include
lengthening the working day and resequencing work to allow different workers to
be on site at different times, minimising the need for contact.
However, operational capacity has been
reduced to around 50 per cent by these measures and by the enforced absence of
Another key issue faced by the industry is
the availability of building materials. Beard has engaged with industry leaders
and trade bodies such as the Construction Products Association (CPA) and
received assurances that materials are available.
While some builders’ merchants have been
forced to close, many are still trading and able to supply sites that remain
open. Beard is also working with the CPA to identify specific supply
bottlenecks and support industry-wide action where necessary to address these
Mark Beard, Chairman of Beard, said, “The
safety of all those working for us, and of the general public, is always our
top priority. We are doing everything we can to ensure our sites are as safe as
possible and we will never put pressure on anybody to work on-site when they
should be self-isolating.
“We respect other firms’ decision to close
sites but the Government has given the industry a
clear steer that it wants construction work to continue where possible. We
are putting in every possible measure to follow this steer and continue to
operate as many sites as we can.
“When sites close, that results in a fall in
demand for materials, and builders’ merchants shutting their doors. This can
lead to a vicious circle with more sites being forced to shut.
“In response to the Government’s urgings to carry on working, to honour our commitments to clients and to keep as many staff and subcontractors in productive work as possible, we are determined to do our bit to help turn the current vicious circle into a virtuous cycle.”
Pictured: Mark Beard