The international shortage of face masks could lead to many new construction projects to be put on hold unless the leaders of countries find a viable solution. Since construction workers are deemed essential during this period and they haven’t stopped working, many have complained that it won’t be too long before the protection equipment will run out.
One of the biggest suppliers of personal protective equipment in the world is Moldex, a company with many manufacturing facilities across Europe and North America. It handles distribution in more than fifty countries, but in early April, the company revealed that the British sector had to stop taking orders in. Why?
There is too high of a demand for their equipment which made the company not be able to handle them all and simply suspend any further orders for the foreseeable future. The company will continue to offer its services for critical industries and the health sector once they will be able to have more products in stock.
Why are the masks necessary?
A level three filtering facepiece mask is pivotal in offering workers protection against the various cancerous dust they come in contact with such as silica while also stopping them from inhaling any chemicals that could be dangerous for them. When working with such products (including paint) the workers have to wear such a mask by law.
This means doing chores such as those related to portable fencing could go on for now, but since that is only a small part of any construction site, people start to ask themselves for how much longer could construction sites go on? Buying masks online is one way that could keep the companies afloat for now, but, again, those inventories must run out someday as well.
Moldex has donated plenty of personal protective equipment to the National Health Service which made their inventories run out quicker than anticipated especially since it continued to serve the public and private sectors at the same time. The prices for masks has gone up to 20 times the value they had before the pandemic had begun.
This means industry leaders must work together and create a central supply for all if work in construction is to be continued. No masks simply stops work, pandemic or not. For many people including painters, those working with concrete, joiners, laggers, and so on. This is a problem faced by many companies and workers in many countries.
Not only are the masks normally required in those lines of work because of the chemicals, but they are now mandatory because of the spreading virus. As there aren’t even enough masks for hospital workers or the general public, it’s no wonder that people aren’t prioritizing construction companies which are the ones that can keep the economy alive for now.
Many mask manufacturers are located in Asia, specifically in China, which meant that as soon as the virus started to be a problem, those factories closed, leaving the whole world to rely simply on what they had already in stock. Because the demands were so unexpectedly big, the inventories ran out of them in just a couple of days.
Thankfully, now with China recovering, it seems that there is only going to be a slight delay in construction plans.