Construction Firms and Pandemic Mandates: Inconsistency Is the Formula for Failure

construction firms and pandemic mandates

No doubt about it; these are strange times. We thought (hoped) the great mask debate would be history by now. We also hoped the pandemic of 2020 wouldn’t repeat itself as soon as it did. But now we have the Delta variant. Construction firms cannot avoid dealing with the realities of the situation any longer. 

Can Construction Firms Mandate COVID-19 Vaccinations?

No matter how you feel about it, mask-wearing and vaccinations are tricky topics. You may say that most of your workers are outdoors, so mask-wearing is unnecessary. But you have an office staff that works primarily indoors.

You cannot mandate office workers wear masks but let field personnel have a choice. You can, of course, but you’d risk discrimination charges.

What if your client insists? In addition to requesting eco-friendly materials, clients are demanding construction firms require employee vaccinations. If you’re working a government contract, that makes a difference.

The location of your project site matters, too. Many mask mandates expired in March 2021. As another fall pandemic looms, there are states, counties, and cities returning to mandatory masks. Arkansas says you cannot enforce mask-wearing. But some Arkansas cities disagree and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) puts most of that state at high risk.

California says fully vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks. But fully vaccinated or not, if your project is a retrofit for an open school or operative healthcare facility you probably – perhaps legally and even ethically – need to wear masks.

(California) employers must provide unvaccinated employees with NIOSH-certified respirator masks for voluntary use when working indoors…Employers must also make masks available to
vaccinated persons upon request.
Littler Insight

Legal Sources Advise Transparency, Consistency

Regardless of which approach you take, make sure every employee knows what your company is doing. “Updated policies should be clear and unambiguous and in writing,” says construction news source Construction Dive.

Before you issue mandates, consider the unique factors of your workplaces. Choose your policies wisely and make sure everyone knows exceptions exist. Documenting policy violations remains critical. Consult with local union advisors. And before you risk firing non-compliant employees, make sure your company can manage the turnover.

Construction Monitor Data Analytics

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Ask Construction Monitor about marketing tools you can use.

Materials Tracking for Construction Firms

construction materials

Construction firms using software for materials tracking have a competitive edge. And during the pandemic, one company managed supply chain challenges in such a way it increased productivity.

New York City’s HAP Construction shares steps to protect against contract loopholes for a more successful project lifecycle.

9 Steps Construction Firms Can Use

The construction company said these logistics were implemented during the pandemic, but they are strategies that will prove effective every year.

1. Before the project start date, make a list of all materials to be purchased:

  • Doors
  • Finishes
  • Fixtures
  • Flooring
  • Kitchen supplies/appliances
  • Lighting

Sort the list to give an exact location of where items will be used.

2. Order all needed materials as soon as possible. Purchasing items earlier allows you to avoid future price increases due to supply shortages.

3. Materials are shipped offsite for storage. Designate a logistics manager to:

  • Oversee all vendor purchase orders
  • Receive/log materials deliveries

This enables more oversight and materials control. It also allows project managers to reduce subcontractor surcharges.

4. Using architectural drawings, create a building map that designates where specific materials will be needed and when.

5. Following every materials delivery, the logistics manager should inventory items to ensure the correct quantities were delivered and materials are undamaged. The logistics manager then updates the master list, showing the materials are stored and ready for jobsite delivery.

6. All items in storage should be sorted according to building site locations. Perform a second check to ensure everything is accounted for and undamaged.

7. Label all boxes/materials with an individual QR (quick response) code. When pieces are ready for delivery to the construction site, the workers onsite can easily see where every piece of material or equipment needs to be.

8. When possible, all materials for each task should be delivered together. This reduces the number of deliveries and the number of trucks in traffic which lowers gas emissions.

9. Schedule jobsite deliveries after regular hours if possible. This frees hoists for workers that need them during the day. After-hours delivery also lets delivery crews get in and out quicker.

The time savings are measurable But it’s also morale-building when project workers and subcontractors can find the materials they need quickly and in the right spot. 

Logistics for better business organization are what construction firms value. Construction Monitor takes building permit information and customizes it, making it easier, faster to use. Contact us to learn how our data can transform your marketing strategy.