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Industry Updates

Builders Need to Shed Old Habits During Pandemic

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It’s not easy to find a contractor that is not doing its absolute best to keep safe during COVID-19. But adapting to these new practices can require some adjustment as firms shed and unlearn some of the practices they followed for years.

Spectrum News NY1 observed this when it visited a project site in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., on Monday. The network discovered that workers were six feet apart on their lunch break, but some were standing and talking a bit too closely a block away — and not wearing masks.

These habits can be a risky business for New York City-based contractors. The city, which is in phase one of reopening, will give builders a month to adapt before issuing citations with penalties as high as $5,000.

It seems best for builders to take advantage of that month to make sure employees are picking up these new habits instead of sticking to the old ones. And Carlo A. Scissura, the president and CEO of the New York Building Congress, seems to share that opinion. “This week is going to be learning week right, figuring out what’s new, what’s different,” he told NY1. “How we work with masks and gloves.”

But this may be hard for some, after more than a decade of doing the opposite. “We’ve spent the last 15 years or so packing people into benches and as many people into spaces as possible,” architect Bill Mandara of Mancini Duffy told the network, “which is in direct contravention with everything you’re supposed to be doing now in this post-COVID world.”

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