The £3bn steelwork sector has been worst hit by the wave of firms falling into administration.
President of the British Constructional Steelwork Association Jack Sanderson warned the industry would have to wait another year before the cuts to capacity and rises in workloads saw any let up in pressure.
Speaking at the association’s annual dinner in London, he said: “We expect that 2011 will be another very difficult year, but hopefully we can see some light at the end of the tunnel and recovery will get under way in 2012.”
He also added that it was disappointing that amendments to the Construction Act that will improve payment practices in construction have been postponed until October.
The sector’s health and safety performance continues to improve, ahead of government targets for a 60% reduction in reportable injuries over ten years.
There were no reportable injuries involving BCSA members resulting from falls from height for the second year running. “We place great emphasis on eliminating accidents and injuries and health and safety of our people is always at the top of our agenda,” said Sanderson.
“Our recent performance is particularly creditable against a background of difficult contractual conditions and the current economic climate.”
Meanwhile, Dr Derek Tordoff, director of the BCSA, is to retire after 35 years with the association at the end of the year.
Dr Tordoff said: “Perhaps the greatest achievements of the sector during these years have been the improvement in safety and the increase in our market share in multi storey buildings from 30% to 70%.
“It has been an exciting and sometimes challenging time and I have been proud to have played a part in steel construction’s amazing success story.”