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Construction sites may have been more productive thanks to fewer workers operating on site during the covid-19 pandemic, new research suggests.
Research undertaken by Loughborough University found that with more time spent planning tasks and better forward-planning, site managers were able to deploy better sequencing for tasks and avoid unnecessary overlapping of trades.
Typically, frontline workers have been deployed in smaller groups than normal, and trades have been working in sequence instead of alongside each other.
This, suggests the report, has led to increased worker effectiveness and productivity and improved logistics and housekeeping on site.
Those interviewed for the research generally considered individual productivity had improved, even if the total site productivity was reduced due to fewer workers being on site.
The report did however note that some tasks still took longer than usual due to the requirement for workers to observe social distancing rules, in addition to the delays in obtaining certain materials.
The report also noted a perceived reduction in health and safety risk as a result of increased planning and fewer workers.
Loughborough University interviewed 33 representatives working on six different projects to provide a snapshot of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on construction.
The research was conducted in collaboration with several contractors; Balfour Beatty, GKR Scaffolding, Kier, Mace, Morgan Sindall and Skanska.