The UK’s Construction Industry Is Congratulated for Adapting
Alok Sharma MP, who is the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has congratulated the British construction industry for adapting during a difficult year. He pointed out in a letter his “admiration” for the work that they are carrying out during 2020.
More Details of the Letter
In his letter, Sharma stated that the construction sector is a “key part of our economy” and that it remains open despite the restrictions that have affected other types of worker. His letter was addressed to everyone in the industry and pointed out the vital role that they are performing.
The MP confirmed that these workers should continue to travel to their places of work to carry out their jobs, even while other people have been encouraged to stay at home during the second lockdown.
He added that the likes of building merchants and hardware stores can also stay open to allow construction companies to operate as normal. Supplies can be obtained in the usual way, or else by using click and collect services.
In the letter, Sharma pointed out the construction industry has been crucial in building infrastructure projects and helping the country to adapt, while constructing the Nightingale hospitals. He also reminded us that the sector has had to “innovate and adapt” to find more efficient processes and safe ways of working this year.
A Look Ahead to IoT
One of the other key issues that the construction industry will need to adapt to in the future is the introduction of new technology. In this respect, it is perhaps a surprise to find that only a quarter of executives in the industry expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to disrupt their ways of working.
This figure comes from the 2020 edition of the GlobalData Emerging Technology Trends Survey. The low number of construction bosses who see this as a major issue contrasts with the likes of the oil and gas sector, where more than half of executives see it as being something that will disrupt their industry.
Yet, new construction technology such as sensors and wearables with GPS trackers could provide valuable advances for companies in terms of boosting worker safety and efficiency. An example of how this could work comes from Australia, where a hard hat is used to track the level of fatigue felt by the user, sending alerts if needed.
Another example is how wearables can be used to monitor the amount of vibration that a worker’s hands and arms are exposed to. The IoT can also help workers to keep a safe distance from one another on a site and could detect when someone is working at height on a ladder or plant platform.
It seems likely that we hear more about these ideas as companies start to use them and can calculate the real-world benefits that they see. For the moment, the way that the industry has reacted to the pandemic helps to show that it is ready for the new challenges and opportunities that the future holds.