Back on the 13th April, I noted that construction work was restarting in Spain and wondered what lessons could be learned from the experience there. It has been very difficult to find out to be honest. I have tried Googling, using a variety of obvious search strings, but it is virtually impossible to find anything other than references to the return to work in Spain on and around the 13th/14th of April. The only reference I could find to some future event was the postponement of Spanish construction equipment show Smopyc, which will now be held from 26th to 29th May, 2021, having previously been moved to September this year from its original slot in early April because of the pandemic.
Searches of the leading UK (or even European) construction journals online don’t reveal anything obvious either.
Fortunately, one of our marketing team speaks reasonable Spanish and he’s been on Google.es to see what he can find there. However, it seems it must be too early even in Spain for there to be any definitive news about the success or otherwise of the return to work.
The mainstream Spanish press have reported on a shortage of masks for industry in general, with the President of the National Confederation of Construction quoted as saying (on 14th April) that, “I’m not aware of anyone distributing masks so we have had to reinforce the two metre safety distancing requirement.”
What was interesting though was the numbers returning to work in construction. The El Mundo (the World) newspaper reported that over 78% of national construction began again, a total of some 1,389,000 workers. Those figures are impressive and heartening.
We’ll be continuing to monitor what’s happening in Spain and elsewhere in Europe as we think there will be a lot that we can learn for when Scotland starts to allow construction to resume. In the meantime, it would be good if the UK trade press conducts more investigations into this subject.
Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment