Without warning, a pandemic swept across the United States and pushed our emergency response systems into the spotlight. In an effort to strike a balance between economic and physical health as a nation, many industries were shut down. For those in the construction field, it seemed that being named an essential industry would reduce much of the strain that comes with being benched for months on end. Of course, it didn’t come without some change.
In July of 2020, amidst a second coming of COVID-19 in Texas, Owner Insite posed a survey to our clients. The survey was designed to determine how project team members felt their organizations responded to COVID-19 and to obtain some idea as to how teams were keeping their teams safe.
The results of the survey indicate that the majority of the organizations with which we work have taken precautions very seriously and have done a tremendous job of keeping their employees safe.
To start, when asked how well the project team itself has adapted to COVID-19, only one respondent ranked his or her team with the lowest possible score. The interesting piece with this ranking, though, is that the respondent also said no one on his or her team had contracted COVID-19 (more on this later). In turn, the average result for the team adaption ranking was a 4.31 (out of 5) for all respondents.
Unsurprisingly, this exact same ranking carried over to the question about health and safety protocols implemented on site. Most respondents indicated that their new protocols were sufficient and effective, which is quite impressive given the collaborative nature that construction projects carry innately. This shows that most team members felt there were high levels of partnership to ensure the project was carried out as scheduled.
Another finding was that most respondents felt the same as above in regard to their own organization’s internal protocols. The average score? 4.27. Many of the documented protocols were related to following a six-foot distance, wearing masks (and taking other PPE measures), taking temperatures, limiting visitors or staff on site, and adding hand washing stations throughout the job site.
It is also worth noting that, out of all of the respondents, 5 indicated they had project team members who had contracted COVID-19 – just shy of 20% of respondents in total. Of those 5, none of the respondents felt that organizational leaders could have done anything differently to prevent those contractions of the virus. Despite that, 24% indicated that the measures being taken are not being documented, which might be a result tied to the 50% who did not know that OSHA has created specific requirements for – and is enforcing – preventing COVID-19.
Certainly, these results don’t reflect perfection, but they do present a pretty successful adaptation for an international event that continues to leave a wide wake behind it. Perhaps that success is due to the alignment to the industry in which we work where conditions rarely reflect a road without obstacles. Obstacles that can be and are repeatedly overcome with collaboration, documentation, and consistent monitoring.
For more information on how Owner Insite is helping professionals continue to build America despite the challenge of a pandemic, please check out one of our previous blog posts: Helping Companies Fight COVID-19.