Philip Doleman the director of Pod Developments Ltd says although there are challenges in making construction sites safe, there are systems that can be put in place to minimise the risk posed by Covid19.

Philip Doleman stated, “We all need to be more careful, but with construction being so important to the economy, it is in all our interests to find a safe way of getting back to work”.

Whilst staff safety is paramount, Pod Developments Ltd has changed how they operate. Mr Doleman said, “Implementing new workplace patterns can reduce the risk and make our staff and subcontractors feel like they are operating in a safer environment”.

The company is now relying on more offsite construction, has split teams into households that work together on the sites, informed staff of safe practices including handwashing, PPE, and social distancing where possible, and has made sure there are direct lines of communication for any concerns or ideas for improvement.

Philip Doleman is aware the is not ideal saying “The current situation is not perfect, but our team really wanted to get back to work. We are mindful not to rush anyone back to work who does not feel comfortable, so it is all about everyone taking care of themselves and each other”.

Pod Developments are working on a number of bespoke, designer, eco-friendly projects, and have seen enquiries for there services rise during lockdown. Mr Doleman stated “At the start of the pandemic there was a lot of worry within the construction industry. Companies were very worried that orders would dry up, and construction workers were rightly worried about their jobs in the short and long term. Initially we did see enquires drop, and we have had a few projects we were hoping to build over the next few months put on hold. We do a lot of work for schools, and in fairness most of the schools we spoke to did not know how to plan for the future, when they would be open again, or what will happen to their budgets in the future.

Since then all the projects that were delayed have spoken to us and are now planning the construction of the new buildings later this year or in 2021. On the other hand, we are now dealing with a large increase from the leisure industry as many companies in the travel and tourism sector are starting to plan for the future.

There is a general feeling within this industry that there will be a boom in staycations over the coming years. With flights abroad set to rise in price, restrictions on foreign travel being imposed, and less willingness to be far away from home until a vaccine is found, many of us will be holidaying in the UK for the foreseeable future”.

Philip Doleman continued, “We have also started to notice confidence coming back into the education sector. The headteachers I have spoken to are starting to decide it is a good time to build with pupils not expected to be back in full numbers until September, and budgets for this year have already been decided for the schools.

The construction industry accounts for £117 billion of the UK economy and employs 2.4 million people so it is really important that we help the economic recovery of the country. To do this we have to be safe, but also have the confidence that demand is there for the thousands of construction business in the country. To achieve this we need the governments backing so that there is clear legislation which will in turn boost the confidence of our workers and clients”.




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