A CONTRACTOR PLAN: CONSTRUCTION DURING COVID-19
Construction is complex. The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) further complicates an already challenging time within the construction industry. The immediate ripple effect of COVID-19 to General Contractors and their Subcontractors, Suppliers and Vendors have yet to be determined. Further complicating the matter is the continuously changing applications and classifications of the industries and project types between governing authorities at the outbreak.
Contractors that are allowed to continue work on ‘essential’ projects during the pandemic need to consider the care and protection of their workforce and the surrounding communities. Contractors need to understand what is required to protect their workforce, account for supply chain impacts and manage labor availability uncertainty, and how these conditions may impact the cost and time to perform work on their projects. Given that 40% to 60% of small businesses (1) never reopen their doors following a disaster, Contractors must remain diligent on the financial viability of their Suppliers and Vendors.
Also, Contractors need to evaluate how their local governments classify their projects. Most governmental agencies have deemed construction, or at least various types of construction activity, as ‘essential’. On March 16th, the President issued the updated Coronavirus Guidance for America that states:
“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”