15 Apr The impact of coronavirus on the building and construction industry
Despite new restrictions to the way many industries operate, building and construction are still considered an essential service, meaning that we are still open for business.
However, the industry is still facing uncertainty and some potentially major impacts amid the coronavirus crisis.
So what impacts are we facing as an industry?
Impacts on the building supply chain
Both the commercial and residential sectors are likely already feeling the effects of Coronavirus.
Since the construction industry in Queensland source some of their building products from China and Italy, there will likely be disruptions for the coming months with no end date confirmed.
However, in good news, China and Italy are not the dominant suppliers in Australia. Which means there will be relief for the construction industry having access to building materials sourced here in Australia.
For the construction workers experiencing delays, there are a few ways to deal with these impacts.
- Consider choosing alternative products available in Australia rather than waiting on the uncertain position of overseas suppliers.
- Notify your client immediately in writing if you do experience any delays caused by non-supply of products.
- Communicate with your suppliers before placing orders to ensure agreeable expected deliveries.
- Although it is your responsibility for the selection of suppliers, you are not necessarily at risk of additional costs because of a supply issue.
Impact of Coronavirus on construction workers
One in ten Australians is currently employed in the construction industry.
If the Coronavirus were to spread among workers within the industry, we would likely see a disastrous impact on the economy.
Therefore, it is critical to ensure workers and project managers are abiding by changes in the health and safety regulations outlined by the Queensland Government.
However, in the construction industry, this can be easier said than done.
Maintaining social distancing of 1.5 metres will likely lessen the number of workers you can have on-site and therefore push out expected completion dates.
On the other hand, not having social distancing measures in place could be far worse than stretched deadlines.
If Coronavirus were to spread through Australia’s construction industry, there would be major impacts on the industry’s 10% GDP contribution, uncertainty in the employment of over 1.2 million workers and the crippling of about 400,000 businesses within the sector.
To limit the spread of COVID-19, every employer should adhere to risk mitigation policies, hygiene practices and personal performance equipment regulations put in place by Safe Work Australia.
Overcoming Impacts of Coronavirus
While impacts are ever-changing in the current climate, these are the major impacts currently faced by the construction industry.
A combined effort to combat the spread of the virus is critical to the construction industry’s survival and therefore, every company has a responsibility to remain compliant.
Working together is the only way to ensure the survival of our industry and its major contribution to Australia’s economy.