Ash Contracting expects to deliver projects ‘safely and in accordance with government guidance’

Published by Richard Yarrick-Holmes on September 8th 2020, 1:01pm

Kent and Surrey-based construction company, Ash Contracting, has announced that they are ‘engaged and prepared’ to deliver all of their projects ‘safely and in accordance with government guidance.’ This comes after their extensive work, to ensure all of their sites were Covid-compliant, was given the green light in June after inspections by an independent safety advisor.

Writing on their website, the firm explains: ‘These inspections have provided extremely positive feedback on our new procedures. We are proud of all the Ash team, our suppliers and sub-contractors and how everyone has adapted to the change and continue to push onwards to deliver quality construction safely and efficiently.’

This is a significant success story, given that Ash had to close all of its sites at the end of March.

‘The construction industry was left a little unsettled as to how they would be able to continue to work safely with the COVID-19 pandemic which had hit the UK hard. As a result of the unknown, Ash decided to close all sites to protect the health and safety and wellbeing of our staff, clients and sub-contractors. We sent letters and emails to our clients and supply chain to advise them of the steps we had taken and contact details for anyone who had questions or concerns.’

Writing in The Parliamentary Review in 2019, managing director Dean Cooper described his employees as ‘the company’s biggest asset’ so it was no surprise that they were the top priority as soon as the government’s lockdown came into effect.

‘Finding the right people is very difficult: The skills shortage is real,’ said Cooper. ‘This is why, in addition to skilled and experienced employees, we also do everything we can to employ young people, including apprentices. We then mentor them to encourage them to have a full understanding of the industry: the highs and lows, the risks and rewards.’

In terms of the response to Covid, the organisation furloughed a number of staff but kept them up to date with the company’s progression via phone calls and emails. Beyond that, things remained as normal as possible.

‘As a business, we have always had the facilities to be able to work from home when needed, which enabled the staff still working, to continue as normal.

‘Payments to our sub-contractors continued [and] apart from our sites being shut, it remained business as usual - with more teams and zoom calls than you could shake a stick at.’

The priority then became to make all of their sites as safe as possible, which the June inspections deemed to be a success.

Ash Contracting was founded in 2004 and its clients include the University of Surrey, Addison Lee and the NHS. Having started with just a handful of employees, it now has over 50. Given the swiftness with which they have got their sites back to work in a safe and effective manner, and their determination to ensure all their projects are completed, there is reason to hope that, despite the set back of Covid-19, their next sixteen years will be as successful as their journey to date.

As Cooper puts it, ‘We want to fight the fight and win the race. Practically, that means delivering and exceeding clients’ expectations and encouraging long-term relationships that deliver negotiated work, constructing buildings that are a pleasure to live or work in and that stand the test of time.

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Authored By

Richard Yarrick-Holmes
Associate Editor
September 8th 2020, 1:01pm

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