Safe working practices help MacGregor Flooring complete NHS Louisa Jordan work in record time

A commercial flooring company said it pulled off a “minor miracle” – while maintaining the highest possible standards of safe working – to help get the new NHS Louisa Jordan temporary hospital facility up and running in Glasgow.

Safe working practices help MacGregor Flooring complete NHS Louisa Jordan work in record time

The MacGregor Flooring Company from Hamilton helped complete the equivalent of three months’ work in an astonishing five days to provide flooring at the 1,036-bed bay hospital which opened on April 19 after an exceptional communal effort.

Working in partnership with another flooring firm, the business undertook the mammoth task at the SEC Campus while working under the guidance issued by the newly-established Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum (CICV Forum).

The CICV Forum, made up of the majority of professional bodies working in the construction industry in Scotland, issued guidance to companies and employees following government orders that building sites with the exception of hospital work should close.

The MacGregor Flooring Company instituted daily briefings for operatives, stressing the importance of social distancing, handwashing and working in reduced numbers. Conditions on site ensured everyone was working safely.

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.”

Safe working practices help MacGregor Flooring complete NHS Louisa Jordan work in record time

A total of 16 MacGregor operatives, including working supervisors, completed the flooring package, with Crawford sharing the day-to-day running with managing director Kenny Smith and contracts supervisor Jim Hart.

The project was carried out in partnership with Veitchi Flooring Limited of Cambuslang, who had 17 operatives under the control of operations director John Brown and contracts manager Gareth Allan.

With the campus’s Pavilions and Atrium split between the two partners, the contract saw all the holes in the subfloor screeded, before 23,000m2 of loose laid safety sheet vinyl was fitted and welded. Extra matting works were also carried out.

Kenny Smith, MacGregor managing director, said: “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.”

Safe working practices help MacGregor Flooring complete NHS Louisa Jordan work in record time

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

Alan Wilson, who chairs the CICV Forum, and is also managing director of electrical trade association SELECT, said: “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.”

The project to build the NHS Louisa Jordan – named after a First World War nurse – was led by Balfour Beatty Construction in partnership with NHS framework contractors Robertson Construction, Kier Construction and Graham Construction

Built in just over two weeks at a cost of £43 million, Scotland’s newest hospital is now ready to take its first patients.

While Scottish Government ministers hope that it will never be needed while people are staying at home, it has an immediate capacity for 300 patients which can be expanded to accommodate 1,000 beds.

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.
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