In recent years, the construction industry has migrated toward modular construction. COVID-19 has escalated this shift. The data indicates an increase in worker safety for companies who use this type of construction.
Modular builders construct project sections offsite, usually in factories or warehouses. Large wall panels and floor sections are perfect candidates for this style of construction. Trucks transport these components to job sites, where workers assemble them like a puzzle. The speed of modular construction appeals to builders. Offsite workers can build panels any time of the day or year. Pre-assembled panels can be used as needed.
New reports show savings in human health costs. These saving emerged before the pandemic but have increased since COVID-19 infections hit construction workers.
In modular construction, it’s easier to monitor worker movement in and out of factories. This enables supervisors to ensure that the sick stay home. Traditionally, workers arrive at job sites separately in their vehicles and make their way across open land to large-scale work areas. In factory modular construction, workers all must enter through the same doorway; this makes it easier to place mask and temperature monitoring stations and hand sanitizer dispensers. Factories also allow spanned positioning of workstations to maintain sufficient social distancing.
Other, non-virus-related reasons increase safety in modular construction. Falls, which account for most job site accidents, can be minimized on the factory construction floor. For example, a wall to be installed on the second or third story of a home could be constructed as a flat panel on the factory floor.
Modular construction, which was already seeing a pre-COVID rise, is sure to grow in a post-pandemic world due to cost savings and increased worker safety.