The Real and Present Danger Facing the Construction Industry

The global crisis facing the construction industry due to Covid 19 and the measures being adopted to mitigate the spread and effect of the virus are already having far reaching consequences for everyone.
Our recommendation based on our global experience of the issues that affect construction projects is that now is the time to protect our businesses and plan for the inevitable effects.


Many projects rely on various supplies from domestic and international sources and such supplies are, and are increasingly likely to be, delayed, disrupted, or cancelled, due to temporary closure (or possible permanent closure) of manufacturers and suppliers in all countries.
There will be potential shortages of available labour.
Site staff, labour and consultants will be disrupted as people become infected, travelling is restricted and/or lockdowns are enforced.
The availability of materials, plant and equipment will be restricted.
The overall effect on the Construction Industry could be catastrophic.
As these issues begin to take effect the time for action needs to start if it has not done so already.
We are already involved with a client providing advice and assistance to establish recording and reporting procedures that may prove vital as the world will one day return to some degree of normality.
That involvement based on our specific experience of construction processes and “live” projects that may face delays and disruption leads us to offer recommendations that can be instigated now; and can be maintained even if the project is ‘locked down’.
On a practical level our recommendation, irrespective of the form of Contract employed, is to act now and record all events that impact your ability to perform your obligations and make any progress.
Firstly, we recommend that you talk directly to the Employer and Consultants and seek a consensus on ways of mitigating the effects both potential and real. It would also assist all parties in trying to move things forward in a measured way.
Even if you achieve a broad measure of project cooperation, we still recommend that you undertake some measures now to record events.
These include:

  • Ensure you daily resource levels are recorded;
  • If works are proceeding, record the resources employed on the various activities;
  • If works are idle (temporarily or permanently) record the resources that are affected;
  • Record the progress, if any, that is achieved;
  • If you are able take photographs of what is (or is not) happening;
  • Check your material delivery schedules;
  • Contact your suppliers for updates on projected deliveries;
  • Check the impact of those delivery updates on your programmes;
  • Contact your suppliers and subcontractors and maintain regular dialogue as to labour, material, plant and equipment availability. Record the discussions in writing;
  • Ensure the records are accurate;
  • Keep your Employer up to date with the potential impact of all of the above on your ability to proceed and progress the construction work and ultimately complete the Project. Record such discussions in writing;
  • Issue notices and or early warnings as required under the Contract to protect your position;
  • Set up database of the above records so that it is readily available;
  • Ensure all emails are logged and available in a central file;
  • Establish a secure back up file for all the records / documentation; and
  • Keep all records until any discussions / issues have been fully and finally resolved.
  • There is no better record than a contemporaneous one!

What you do now may be your lifeline in the future!

Our team of experienced professionals are available at all times to provide advice and any assistance you require.

We have taken precautionary measures in respect of working practices and business travel is restricted to safeguard our staff and clients and to ensure business continuity. However, our resources are experienced in working remotely and we can work around any lockdowns with our ability to provide remote advice via Microsoft Teams / Skype for Business, email or telephone.

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