Safe working practices help flooring firms complete ‘mammoth’ hospital task

A Hamilton-based flooring specialist has revealed details of its role in the construction of Glasgow’s temporary NHS Louisa Jordan hospital.

The MacGregor Flooring Company said it helped complete the equivalent of three months’ work in just five days to provide flooring at the 1,036-bed bay hospital.

Working in partnership with Veitchi’s flooring division, MacGregor undertook the task at the SEC Campus while working under the guidance issued by the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum.

The business held daily briefings for operatives, stressing the importance of social distancing, handwashing and working in reduced numbers. Director Crawford MacGregor said, “We weren’t sure if we would get the number of people required on site to complete the works within the timescale, and we thought many might be reluctant due to the potential risks of catching Covid-19. But it was the exact opposite. Not only did they step up, they actively wanted to be part of the team that ensured the facility was built and ready in the event that it was required in the current crisis.”

16 MacGregor operatives, including supervisors, completed the flooring package, with Crawford sharing the day-to-day running with MD Kenny Smith and contracts supervisor Jim Hart.

With the campus’s pavilions and atrium split between MacGregor and Veitchi, the contract saw all the holes in the subfloor screeded, before 23,000 square metres of loose laid safety sheet vinyl was fitted and welded. Extra matting works were also carried out.

Kenny Smith added, “This was a great example of how correct Covid-19 construction practice can work and we introduced it at two other NHS contracts at Stobhill Hospital and Greenock Health and Care Centre.”

Both MacGregor and Veitchi are members of the Contract Flooring Association, who are in turn members of the Scottish Contractors Group, a contributor to the CICV Forum.

Alan Wilson, who chairs the CICV Forum and is also MD of electrical trade association SELECT commented, “There will always be situations in which construction work must go on – but it must go on safely, and what the MacGregor Flooring Company has achieved at Louisa Jordan is a perfect example of how to do it. It also shows that the guidelines which were issued by the CICV Forum to meet a set of unprecedented circumstances can be applied across the construction industry to mutually beneficial effect.”