The reopening of America’s workplaces is creating a variety of challenges for employees and employers alike. In some cases, employers attempting to resume operations are hampered, and in some instances, they are unable to do so due to laid-off employees’ reluctance or refusal to return to work. Many are receiving more in unemployment benefits as the result of the $600 per week federal enhancement than they would make working. That additional amount was scheduled to end July 31.
Despite the recent comments by some in the federal government that it will not be extended, the staggering numbers of unemployed—many of whom worked at jobs that have been eliminated due to business closures—will require a continuation of enhanced benefits in addition to the increase from 26 weeks to 39 weeks of eligibility, which was also provided.
There has been some speculation that if the federal add-on is continued, it could be reduced to some lesser amount. The figure of $450 per week has been mentioned. This could exacerbate the refusals to return to those jobs that are available. For some, the short-term additional benefits outweigh returning to a job they fear may be lost in the near future anyway. Click here to read entire article.
Online equipment buying has seen a surge in activity over the past several months as COVID-19 accelerated an already existing trend to online marketplaces. Since the start of the pandemic, global commerce leader eBay has seen a steady increase in the number of visits and new buyers to the site as contractors and other essential workers sought the necessary tools and equipment to continue their work.
“We’ve seen that buyers are becoming more comfortable with purchasing equipment online, a trend that was already growing in popularity prior to the pandemic,” says Nick Stalcup, head of heavy equipment, parts and attachments, eBay. “During these unprecedented times, many equipment auction sites have had to shut down their in-person operations in order to navigate the challenges presented by limited interpersonal contact, travel and other precautions. The pandemic has forced buyers away from traditional ways of acquiring equipment, such as live auctions, introducing them to online marketplaces like eBay, where they can fulfill their equipment needs from the comfort and safety of any location.” Click here to read entire article.
The world has encountered an unprecedented event in the spread of COVID-19. At print time, world markets were rattled worse than the mortgage crisis and that of 9/11, with few answers about when and if the world will go back to normal.
The new “normal” may require a new definition as it relates to education, recreation, business and even construction. Click here to read the entire article.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced shutdowns of many global businesses, a coalition of leading critical infrastructure and construction companies has banded together to launch the “Next Coalition” to promote and share industry safety best practices. Black & Veatch, DPR Construction, Haskell and McCarthy Building Companies are leveraging their deep safety expertise and best practices in a campaign to ensure the well-being of crews and office team members facing complex challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
The coalition seeks to identify and advance processes and technologies most likely to bolster construction safety in response to the “next normal” ushered in by COVID-19. To that end, the coalition is launching the “Construction Safety Challenge,” an open call to companies, startups and other innovators with emerging safety solutions that can be quickly deployed and scaled. Click here to read the entire article.
While contractors and their legal advisers try to work out how the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated mandatory project shutdowns will affect future jobsite operations and profitability, it’s worth looking ahead to what kind of contract terms construction companies could face in the future.
It is every party’s responsibility to protect their own positions, so how might owners change their preferred contract delivery methods or, at the very least, the terms to help them decrease risk and maximize flexibility? Click here to read the entire article.
The coronavirus crisis has had a negative effect on construction firms across the country but those working in a handful of states, especially those with government-mandated jobsite shutdowns, have been especially hard hit.
A look at government employment statistics and jobsite construction activity pinpoints the states that have been most impacted.
While the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics' data shows deep construction job losses across the country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, states including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Vermont experienced all-time lows. All but one state — South Dakota — had a decline in construction employment. Click here to read the entire article.
As businesses across the country begin to reopen and bring people back to work facilities, it’s critical that measures are in place to protect the health of workers and others who enter your facility.
“You should have a pandemic plan for your workplace, and the key here is that you may need to add reentry procedures to that plan,” says Deb Roy, M.P.H., RN, COHN-S, CSP, CIT, FASSP, FAAOHN, president of SafeTech Consultants and ASSP President-Elect. “As part of your planning process, you have to think through how you safely bring people back to work.”
Here are some practical strategies you can use to protect your workforce and the public, as well as some other factors to keep in mind as you plan for bringing people back to your work facilities. Click here to read the entire article.
In the span of two months, the coronavirus crisis has demanded sweeping changes from the U.S. construction industry, and experts say many of them will remain in place even after the outbreak recedes.
As contractors prepare to return to work on sites that have been shut down by shelter-in-place initiatives, they will face an industry that has been drastically changed by the both public health and economic effects of the pandemic.
“There are new factors coming into play now that you or I never thought about,” said Joe Natarelli, leader of Marcum LLP's national Construction Industry Group. “And people need to plan now to be prepared for the long term.” Click here to read the entire article.
There are many aspects of the construction industry that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Construction companies have been confronted with new concerns around worker safety; their clients are pulling out of projects or, at the very least, delaying them; some local and state governments have ordered a halt to most construction activity; and many contractors and subcontractors are trying to figure out how they will meet their financial obligations until work ramps up again.
These unprecedented times also have raised questions about what kind of relief contractors might find in their construction agreements from issues related to the pandemic. Click here to read the entire article.
In order to better understand the degree of impact and biggest concerns that the construction industry has about the COVID-19 crisis, Dodge Data & Analytics conducted a survey of 172 contractors across the U.S. from March 19 to March 31. The results of that study, published in the Keeping Business Going in a Time of Crisis: Findings from the Dodge Contractor Panel Study on Contractors’ State of Business During the COVID-19 Outbreak white paper, reveals that most contractors are feeling at least some impact from the crisis, with the worst impact expected to be felt within the next three months.
Two-thirds (67%) of the contractors surveyed reported that they are currently experiencing project delays due to COVID 19. Click here to read the entire article.