- Engineering News-Record has released its 2020 list of the construction industry's Top 600 specialty contractors, with Houston-based electric power, pipeline, industrial and communications firm Quanta Services topping the list at $12.1 billion in 2019 revenue.
- As a group, the Top 600 contractors reported 2019 revenue of $151.3 billion, up almost 12% from 2018. Nevertheless, the 128% growth that the firms making the Top 600 list have seen since 2011 will likely take a major hit next year due to work stoppages and productivity losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- What these leading firms have in common is their response to the novel coronavirus, including a focus on employee health and safety, increased recruiting efforts in order to take advantage of industry layoffs and a plan to diversify or increase their range of services so that they can better insulate themselves from market fluctuations, according to ENR.
With total revenue of approximately $48.5 billion, the top 10 specialty contractors for 2019 were:
- Quanta Services, $12.1 billion
- Emcor Group, $9.2 billion
- Mastec, $7.2 billion
- Brandsafway, $5 billion
- APi Group, $4.1 billion
- Primoris Services, $3 billion
- Artera Services, $2.1 billion
- MYR Group, $2.1 billion
- Comfort Systems USA, $2 billion
- Rosendin Electric, $1.9 billion
Most construction firms have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even those in sectors like healthcare and pharmaceutical, which have benefited from a novel coronavirus-related uptick in the number of medical facilities and a run-up in plant conversions in preparation for vaccine production, have felt the effects.
Contractors are also concerned about how they can best keep their employees safe, particularly since many health officials are warning that winter could bring another surge in cases of COVID-19.
At the beginning of the pandemic, OSHA was slow to issue guidance beyond that required by existing standards and ones provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unlike some state agencies, OSHA refused to develop and issue an emergency standard.
According to attorney Phillip Russell with Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart in Tampa, Florida, it would be difficult for OSHA to come up with an effective safety standard regarding the novel coronavirus because guidance from health agencies is still evolving.
What the agency has done is set recording and reporting requirements.
In May, OSHA said employers must record an employee's illness as COVID-19 if it is properly diagnosed; is work-related; and meets one or more of OSHA's general recording criteria — death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, loss of consciousness or a diagnosis considered significant by a physician or other health care professional.
Most recently, OSHA said employers must report worker deaths from COVID-19 within eight hours.