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Archive for the ‘Construction’ Category

4 Concrete Reasons Construction Companies Need Business Insurance

18 07 4 concrete reasons COPY - 4 Concrete Reasons Construction Companies Need Business Insurance

Construction is an inherently dangerous business, constantly ranking at the top of the most dangerous industries to work in. Luckily, with effective management and solutions, this danger can be greatly reduced. Nonetheless, it is crucial that construction companies arm themselves with good business insurance policies which protect them when things go awry – and they will eventually. Below we offer you 4 concrete reasons why construction companies need business insurance.

1. General liability

Although you can train your workers until the cows come home, accidents and human error still happen. Normally this isn’t too much of an issue for most businesses, but a minor slip-up at a construction site could quickly lead to death or serious injury. As a result, you require general liability insurance to protect your company against death and injury claims, as well as damage claims and product claims which can arise when projects don’t go as planned. You can also use this policy for copyright claims, which may occur, for example, if a competing company sues you for allegedly infringing the copyright on one of their project designs.

2. Professional liability

This insurance, also known as E&O (errors and omissions) cover, protects you if your advice or counsel leads to bad consequences for your client, such as financial losses. This type of insurance is more geared toward professional negligence, misrepresentation, poor advice, violation of good faith and fair dealing practices. If failing to carry out your work at an appropriate level could lead to clients suing you down the road, it would advisable to seek professional liability insurance.

3. Commercial vehicles

If you or one of your employees is involved in a crash while driving a commercial vehicle for the company, commercial auto insurance could cover your subsequent medical bills and any damaged property, including the car itself. If your company has a fleet of vehicles, which is not unlikely, you should strongly consider getting extensive commercial auto insurance which protects you, your team, and your vehicles.

4. Workers’ compensation

As is the case for the vast majority of businesses, you are legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance if you own a construction company. This type of policy is very common, and will cover lost salary and medical bills in the event that one of your team is injured on the job. It will also protect your company from being sued by injured workers, which is as good a reason as any to make sure that your workers’ compensation insurance is up to scratch.

If you run a construction site and you’re looking at various forms of business insurance but aren’t sure which is right for you, get in touch with us today! We have years of experience in the insurance industry and can point you in the right direction.

Five High-Danger Jobs in Construction

 

18 07 C Five High Danger Jobs in Construction - Five High-Danger Jobs in Construction

Whether it’s falling machinery, fire hazards, or tripping over debris, construction remains one of the most dangerous industries to work for in the US and worldwide. However, some construction jobs are consistently ranked as the most dangerous ones in the industry, so take special care if you find yourself involved in one of these construction-based tasks.

1. Working with power tools

When you first work with power tools, you tend to be very cautious. However, with repeated use, the tasks become more mundane and easy for the worker, which can actually lead to dangers. The more that a task becomes “second nature”, the more likely you are to lose concentration and form sloppy habits which aren’t safe. According to the OSHA, 37,000 people injure themselves every year from nail guns alone. Be careful with power tools!

2. Operating heavy equipment

It’s not uncommon to find heavy machinery on construction sites, and the operators of this potentially dangerous machinery need to be well trained and educated on safe procedures. Heavy machinery should be maintained and inspected regularly, ensuring that it is safe to use for operators.

3. Constructing ducts and sewers

Working in confined spaces is dangerous if proper ventilation is not provided, as workers could be low on vital levels of oxygen and thus become unwell. Tight spaces obviously present a range of challenges, including getting trapped, so there needs to be evacuation and emergency routes planned well in advance of work being carried out.

4. Demolishing things

As fun as it may seem, demolition is an undoubtedly risky business. Demolition is construction’s most unpredictable job, as despite one’s best guesses, the forces of physics may bring down a building in unexpected ways. Of course, this volatility can be mitigated with proper planning, but demolition carries an innate sense of “anything can happen”.

5. Working at height

Working on high-rise construction sites presents an obvious danger of falling from a great height (probably to your death) if adequate safety equipment is not provided. 40% of construction site deaths are caused by falls, so it’s essential to take all the proper safety precautions on high-rise projects in order to avoid death or serious injury in your team.

Construction is a dangerous industry, as countless workers have unfortunately found out over the years. If you’re looking for advice on minimizing construction site hazards, speak to a member of our team today!

Construction Zone Fire Dangers

Construction Zone Fire Dangers - Construction Zone Fire Dangers

Between 2007 and 2011, US fire departments were sent out to an average of 5,120 fires taking place at construction/renovation sites, with a total of 9 deaths, 94 injuries, and $265 in damages accompanying such fires. However, it doesn’t have to be this way! Heed our advice about controlling the danger of construction zone fires.

When planning a construction project

Before you start construction, review the entire site for fire hazards and assess how easy or difficult it would be for firefighters to reach the site with their equipment. It is essential to plans routes for firefighters, ensuring that their access to nearby fire hydrants is not impeded. You should also teach employees how to prevent fires and deal with them should they occur, perhaps implementing a Hot Work Permit system which enforces certain protocols when dealing with open flames, sparks, and heat in general.

For every 3000 square feet of protected building area, there needs to be at least one fire extinguisher which is rated 2A or better. From the protected area to the fire extinguisher, there must be a no more than 100 feet to cover. Also, if there are multiple levels, an extinguisher should be put in the stairwell near the entrance to levels. It is also a good idea to have a sprinkler system installed if possible.

If you’re working in a cold area and there are temporary heaters around, be sure to attach them to a solid base and place them far away from combustible materials and any woodwork, remembering to turn them off as you leave!

During a construction project

On-site inspections should be regularly carried out around the work area and anywhere where workers frequent, documenting material storage areas and keeping track of flammable materials. In order to help with fire prevention, any trailers or portable offices should be made from noncombustible materials and should be a minimum of 50 feet away from construction sites, as well as 30 feet away from other trailers.

When it comes to flammable materials, be sure to store them appropriately and minimize how many you have around. In addition to this, enforce a no smoking policy throughout your entire construction site, although this should be common sense! The dumpsters you use should be positioned away from buildings, and metal containers with closing tops should be used for potentially-flammable rags.

It’s best to avoid burning refuse, but if you must, do it at least 150 feet away from any buildings, bearing in mind that some regions have temporary or permanent burning bans in place for open fires, especially if nearby forest fires are currently blazing away.

Being aware of fire hazards and how to prevent them is one of the easiest ways to enhance the safety of construction sites, but many people remain uneducated about the best ways to minimize risks. If you’d like more information and tips on fire prevention in construction sites, get in touch with us today!

Five Big Construction Site Hazards to Manage

Five Big Construction Site Hazards to Manage - Five Big Construction Site Hazards to Manage

Construction sites are inevitably dangerous places to work, housing a myriad of possible hazards and conditions which are conducive to injury. In 2016/2017, construction was unsurprisingly found to be the industry with the most fatal industries present for employees. Nonetheless, if proper precautions are taken, risks can be mitigated. Here we inform you on 5 of the biggest construction site hazards which you should manage.

1. Falling from a height

According to a report from the UK, approximately one-quarter of all worker deaths occur due to falling from a height. Any employee working at height thus needs to be adequately trained in working on a variety of equipment and surfaces at height, using ladders and scaffolding appropriately, as well as any other relevant equipment. Construction site managers must perform a risk assessment which identifies their employees’ risk of falling from heights, ensuring that all appropriate preventive measures are in place and that all employees are adequately trained. If any work being conducted at height could indeed be done on the ground, be sure to take this precaution. Furthermore, consider setting up harnesses and safety nets which would cushion falls if they were to happen.

2. Slips, trips, and falls

Although these can happen in any workplace, construction sites are more likely to be littered with uneven surfaces and debris, making slips, trips, and falls more likely than in typical workplaces. It is thus crucial to maintain work areas and access routes appropriately, ensuring that things such as footpaths and stairs are free from debris or equipment and are well-lit throughout the day. Be sure to keep an eye on things such as cables and cords, especially if cordless tools cannot be used for the tasks at hand. Also, as many parts of a construction site will be exposed to the elements, it is essential to take the proper precautions if snow, rain, or mud affect the surfaces and how slippery they may be. There are many ways to control surfaces which have been made dangerous by the weather, so be sure to read up on this and keep the appropriate supplies close by.

3. Excessive noise

Although it’s not the first thing you might think of, hearing damage is a very real phenomenon and construction sites are full of very noisy equipment which can damage one’s hearing. As a result, it is imperative that an employer assess noise risks and provide the appropriate PPE, such as ear plugs, where necessary. It’s common for people who work in noisy environments to suffer from tinnitus and hearing loss, things which they inevitably regret later in life as their hearing deteriorates further.

4. Asbestos

Asbestos kills around 5,000 workers every year, making it a major risk on certain construction sites. If you’re working on buildings beyond a certain age, you might certainly encounter asbestos. If you move or damage materials which contain asbestos, the fibers are released into the air, then being breathed in by unsuspecting construction workers. Asbestos can cause numerous serious conditions such as asbestosis and lung cancer, so it must be avoided at all costs.

If working on an older building which may contain asbestos, it is important to have an assessment carried out beforehand and inform your workers about where the asbestos is, ensuring they have the proper training to identify potentially asbestos-ridden materials and protect themselves from the associated dangers.

5. Electrical currents

Certain electrical live parts could be harmful or fatal if touched, whether directly or indirectly. Problems can occur when machinery comes in contact with underground or overhead electrical cables, for example, and electric shocks commonly cause workers to retract (instinctively) and fall from heights too. Some construction sites have even been found to have people working on electrical wires who are not licensed electricians, taking their fate into their own hands. Suffice it to say that anyone dealing with live electrical currents should be fully trained to do so.

Construction sites are always inherently dangerous places to work, no matter how many risk assessments you carry out. If you’ve got questions about reducing accidents at construction sites, give us a call today and speak to one of our team!

Keeping Your Construction Workers Safe from Active Shooters – Top Strategies

18 05 C Tips for Protecting Construction Workers From Active Shooters 1 - Keeping Your Construction Workers Safe from Active Shooters – Top Strategies

Active shooter events are occurring on a far too regular basis. The average of active shooters was 6.4 per year in 2000 to 2006, that number has since seen a sharp rise. Between the years of 2007 and 2013, the number almost tripled to an average of 16.4 per year, according to The Department of Homeland Security.

While these events are rare occurrences on a construction site, the reality is, they do occur within the workplace. There is the same risk with other major attacks, such as in the event of vehicle hijacking, which on a construction site, can potentially become fatal.

As it currently stands, there is no law that says construction sites or companies need to put into place protection measures to safeguard their employees from these rare, but potentially fatal events. However, that doesn’t mean that construction companies can’t put into place potentially life-saving protection measures themselves.

The measures could just be simple, like including education on the early warning signs of active shootings, with a guaranteed complaint follow-up system. There are a number of ways that a construction site can approach active shooter protection, including the following four strategies for a safer workplace:

1. ) Work on Correct Worker Response

Response time is one of the biggest shooter prevention strategies, focusing on getting workers to run and hide, and if there is no other possible course of action, to fight. There is already a model in place for active shooter response, both from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). Workers should be educated and trained to follow the recommended actions in the event of an active shooting, which includes three possible reactions:

Response One: Run from the event and find a safe location and call for help.

Response Two: In an event where running is not possible, find the best hiding location nearby and call for help.

Response Three: Use whatever is available to fight the attacker until the threat is gone.

Running drills to practice these emergency responses is one of the best ways to get workers accustomed to what they would need to do in a real scenario.

2.) Understand the Risks

Very often, a potential active shooter will draw attention to themselves before a shooting occurs. Employers and employees are in a prime position to be able to see any changes in their behavior first-hand and address the changes quickly. Incidents that it’s important to be on the lookout for, and address, can include:

  • Violent talk or acts of violent behavior, including aggression
  • Signs of depression/paranoia
  • Sudden habit or hygiene changes
  • Threats or threatening gestures and remarks
  • Changes in performance at work
  • Harm inflicted to themselves or another person
  • Destruction of property
  • Self-destructive tendencies.

It’s also crucial to be on the lookout for potential workplace security risks, areas where individuals may be able to trespass or think they can, and any warning signs from recently terminated employees.

3.) Be Prepared to Face Threats

Knowing the risks is vital, but so is being ready to face them if it’s ever needed. Establishing a Threat Response Team, that is able to actively aid law enforcement in the local area, and who understand the protocols for emergency response, can greatly aid the workplace.

With a Threat Response Team, employees have somewhere to turn to for advice, information, or even first-aid supplies. It also means that there is a group of people to deal with potential warning signs through investigation.

4.) Work with Law Enforcement

Law enforcement in the local area will be able to provide a wealth of advice on training, protocols, and responses, and also give feedback on performance. They will be the main responder to any reported active shooting, so it’s beneficial to build a relationship with them as early on as possible.

Do you work on a construction site or run a construction company, and are worried about the threat of active shooters? Talk to us today to learn more about essential insurance for a safer workplace and how to get better coverage.

The Rising Risks of Construction Work

The Rising Risks of Construction Work - The Rising Risks of Construction Work

Working in construction has undergone a dramatic change over the last 60 years. Since the 1960s and 1970s, when safety wasn’t the highest priority, construction work has transformed by introducing a whole host of new safety precautions.

However, whilst the precautions account for a large number of the risks associated with working in construction, they haven’t eliminated every danger from the industry. In 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 937 workers were killed in construction, accounting for 21.4% of the full total of worker fatalities in that year. This number is higher than in any other industry sector and marks the highest number of construction fatalities since 2008.

Breaking Down the Statistics

While the full number of fatalities is shocking, when you break it down, the statistics become even more alarming. Those 937 fatalities mean that 18 people a week never came home from work. Tragedies that didn’t have to happen.

To combat the unnecessarily high number of fatalities, more focus needs to be directed towards improving safety conditions – more so than what has already been done. If safety measures aren’t constantly improving, then there is the risk of bouncing back to the days of incredibly poor safety measures.

A Risk That is Rising

The need for heightened measures for safety becomes even more critical when accounting for the increase in workers within the construction sector. 2015 saw the highest level of construction employment since 2008, with 75% of firms having plans to extend their workforce.

The combination of higher amounts of work and increased wages in the construction industry, make improving safety a top priority. This is especially prominent as the heightened demand has led firms to hire workers that are not as qualified or are experienced primarily in different industries.

To combat the growing issue of risk for construction workers, education and training on a continuous basis have become very important.

Construction Training

One of the most important aspects of modern construction safety training is centered around the ‘Construction Focus Four’. The Construction Focus Four are hazards that have been identified as the most prominent by OSHA. These consist of:

  • Caught-in/between – accounting for 67 construction fatalities in 2015
  • Electrocution – accounting for 81 construction fatalities in 2015
  • Struck-by – accounting for 90 construction fatalities in 2015
  • Falls – accounting for 364 construction fatalities in 2015

With the vast majority of the accidents, 602, being a direct result of the Construction Focus Four, the emphasis is being put on continuous training – reaching as many small-to-medium sized construction contractors as possible. By directing training at small-sized contractors and subcontractors, the aim is to assist those who otherwise might not have ample resources to do so themselves.

Reducing Risks Through Ongoing Training

Training that continues into the workplace and beyond is of the upmost importance when reducing safety risks. This includes new-employee/experienced-employee mentoring and buddy systems, that can help all construction workers at every level.

Being aware of what other workers are doing and responding with help and assistance is key in making sure that everyone stays safe on the job. Certain programs have been developed to help enforce this through encouragement and rewards, such as the ‘Thumbs Up for Safety’ program.

The program introduces the ‘Countdown to Safety’, which is designed to help workers identify potential hazards and address them. These engaging programs go one step further than the standard rulebook, helping employees to work in a lower risk environment and construction firms put safety as a top priority.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but it seems that the construction industry is starting to make serious positive changes.

Interested in topics about health and safety in construction, and want to learn more about health insurance in the construction industry? Contact us at any time for any insurance questions you might have.

Common Types of Construction Insurance Coverage and How To Select a Carrier

Common Types of Construction Insurance Coverage and How To Select a Carrier - Common Types of Construction Insurance Coverage and How To Select a Carrier

It is important to assess the risks associated with construction projects before looking for insurance. The policy limits and terms in your insurance need to suit to your construction project and must be able to cover any losses you may incur. Construction projects are inherently risky operations, meaning that selecting the right insurance is particularly crucial to a project’s long-term survival.

First of all, let’s look at some of the most common types of construction insurance coverage.

1. Commercial General Liability coverage

When it comes to construction projects, CGL (Commercial General Liability) is the most common form of insurance policy. Standard CGL policies insure commercial enterprises against property damage and bodily injury, with these terms being greater defined in the policy documentation. You should bear in mind, however, that a CGL policy does not cover the cost of repairing defective work; it only covers the damage which results from said defective work. Repair claims usually differ from contract to contract, so it is crucial to pay close attention to the warranty and indemnification processes outlined in the policy.

2. “Umbrella” policies

Umbrella policies are most often useful for large contractors who run large-scale construction projects. An umbrella policy will normally come in addition to a CGL policy, as CGL policies have limits which may not cover all the liabilities at stake. An Umbrella policy allows the contractor to “fill in” this gap, as it were.

3. “Builder’s Risk” policies

This type of coverage protects specific builders from specific workplace dangers that they face regularly. These policies usually require the owner, the subcontractors and the general contractors to be named. Builder’s risk policies can cover the structure itself, as well as the materials involved. Builder’s risk policies usually have terms of duration strictly outlined, and usually cover you in the event of things such as wind, fire, lightning, theft, explosions, vandalism, and much more. Common exclusions from these policies include employee theft, earthquakes, flood damage, government action, wars, damages due to mechanical equipment breakdown, and much more. As with any insurance policy, be sure to read the fine print and find out what you are (and are not) covered for.

4. Professional Liability Coverage

Construction projects involving design usually see most of the professional liability lying with the design professional. As the industry changes, however, increasing amounts of contractors are working as designers and builders too, meaning that they assume the responsibility both for the design and the liability exposures too. People who work in this capacity will often purchase a PLC policy, as CGL is not designed to protect them in the same way.

5. Contractor’s Pollution Coverage policy

Pollution incidents are surprisingly common, and a Pollution Coverage policy provides coverage for third-party claims in the case of bodily injury or property damage. A Pollution Coverage policy may be especially useful if you’re involved in infrastructure, maintenance, demolition, HVAC services, carpentry, or any other similar field.

Advice for selecting a construction insurance carrier

Consider solvency when selecting an insurance carrier. What is their combined ratio? This combined ratio is the combination of the loss ratio and the expense ratio, and is said to indicate how well an insurance carrier is performing. The loss ratio is a measurement of the ratio of adjusting losses and costs against the number of premiums earned. On the other hand, the expense ratio is designed to measure the ratio of incurred business operation costs against written premiums.

If a company’s combined ratio is in excess of 100% for a year, then the insurance company has actually lost money during that period. The A.M Best Company rates insurance companies on a scale from A+ (excellent) to C (fair), taking their solvency into account. Try to aim for insurance carriers with A or A+ ratings!

Also consider whether the insurance carrier is admitted or non-admitted. Admitted carriers must comply with state’s Department of Insurance regulations, whereas non-admitted carriers are not required to comply with these regulations at all. This means that non-admitted carriers can be flexible with their rates, allowing them to provide insurance for higher-risk events which state-approved admitted carriers simply cannot be allowed to provide due to the financial implications.

What with the inevitable risks associated with construction projects, it is essential to acquire the right type of insurance that protects you, your employees, and your property from damages of all kinds. Bear in mind, nonetheless, to focus on what your policy DOES NOT cover, as these are the things which often catch contractors out, especially in high-risk environments such as construction sites.

Are you a contractor looking to find the best insurance policy for your needs? Get in touch for bespoke advice about construction insurance policies in your field and location.

Protecting Younger Construction Workers

18 04 C Protecting Younger Construction Workers - Protecting Younger Construction Workers

BuildForce Canada estimates that around 21% of the labour force (over 132,000 workers) will retire between the years of 2018 and 2027, necessitating replacements in the near future. A new influx of younger workers is said to meet the new demand, with over 125,000 workers aged 30 and younger now entering the construction industry.

However, there are safety concerns about the sudden influx of younger workers, who are statistically more likely to experience deaths or injuries on construction sites due to their lack of experience in health and safety practices when compared to their older and more experienced counterparts.

Safety and construction associations are aware of this risk, with Tammy Oliver, Senior Director of the BC Construction Safety Alliance, saying that the BCCSA is offering health and safety-related courses to young people who wish (or need) to receive formal safety qualifications for industries such as roadbuilding and construction. The alliance also offers hazard awareness training programs too.

WorkSafeBC is also said to offer health and safety programs to new and emerging workers, with the Young Worker Speaker program being created to assist parent advisory councils and secondary schools that have concerns about young workers’ safety. Spokeswoman Erica Simpson claims that the program supplies speakers with unique experience and skills, allowing them to educate other young people and encourage them to take safety procedures seriously.

Terry Bogyo, a BC consultant, says that young construction worker deaths and injuries are a many-sided issue.

 “The loss of limbs, function, and life of anyone is serious, but, in the case of young workers, the potential years of life lost or the disability-adjusted years of life imposed are that much greater.”

Discussing how some younger workers may ignore safety rules in order to impress their new bosses, Bogyo goes on to say “we need a top-down change in what is important on a work site… Supervisors need to make it clear all the time that safety trumps production.”

Bogyo expresses the opinion that the frequent use of safety messages in construction workplace communication will eventually lead to an increase in site safety, as well as a drop in procedure violations.

Training is also a big concern for young construction worker safety, with other countries, such as Australia, being quoted as having superior training systems to Canada, at least when it comes to building sites. Bogyo goes on to explain how the Australian construction training system is designed to ensure that everyone uses the same vocabulary and has the same basic training, ensuring consistency and straightforward communication between workers.

Jeff Lyth, a Vancouver health and safety consultant, says that employers and their workers must think more deeply about hazards and the associated risks if they wish to see a drop in accidents. Many employers simply focus on rule and regulation changes, but Lyth argues that this is not enough to protect construction workers from deaths and injuries in their workplace.


Looking to learn about insurance for construction workers? Get in touch and see what we can do for you today.

The Common Insurance Every Serious Construction Contractor Must Have

The Common Insurance Every Serious Construction Contractor Must Have - The Common Insurance Every Serious Construction Contractor Must Have

More often than not, construction insurance is necessary for each construction project. This kind of insurance typically offers coverage for natural disasters, risks, material, employees, as well as your company. Here are some of the most common insurances for the construction industry.

  1. Contractor Liability Insurance Coverage

For protection against injuries, property damage, and accidents suffered on the job, there is a need for a good contractor liability insurance coverage. Also, workers in the construction industry can accidentally damage property by mishandling materials and tools, or while a remodeling process is ongoing.

  1. Builder’s Risk Insurance

This insurance policy covers the payment if there’s any damage as based on the coverage limit. This limit is a solid representation of a given structure’s entire completed value. In other words, it includes all materials and labor cost, without land value. Coverage for damages resulting from faults such as design, planning, materials, and workmanship are not included.

  1. Performance Bond

In a situation where the contractor is unable to perform or fails to complete the project according to established and provisions of the contract, the performance bond will help to protect the owner against possible losses. The surety will be responsible for reimbursing the owner for losses in cases where the contractor declares bankruptcy or defaults.

  1. Payment Bonds and Construction Projects

To ensure all subcontractors, material suppliers, and laborers are paid to leave the project lien free, there is a three-way contract, the payment bond, formed between the owner, the contractor, and the surety.

  1. Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance covers errors caused by Contractor’s carelessness while carrying out his functions under the specified agreement. If your omissions and errors resulting in loss of client investment or if you do not perform your contractor duties, the insurance covers your litigation expenses.

  1. Flood Insurance

Flood insurance may be beneficial (or required) in situations where a project is located in a flood zone. It is needed for avoiding insurance solicitations when the construction project could be impacted by a flood event.

Construction Insurance Cost Control

By completing your jobs in a timely manner and maintaining excellence in your construction business operations, you can save with smaller premiums and deductibles in your insurance.

On the lookout for other great information about insurance topics? Contact us anytime for all insurance related questions.

Tips for Building More Efficiently this Year

17 01 C Tips for Building More Efficiently this Year - Tips for Building More Efficiently this Year

It’s shaping up to be a busy year for building. Already, construction companies and tradespeople are finding ways to stay ahead of the pack. See what others are doing to improve construction and building in 2018.

1. Build Modular

One of the newest trends in construction is the building of modular dwellings, units, and other fabricated parts. Building on one location before delivery allows for greater environmental and waste control. It can also help limit liability by increasing control over access to the construction site, tools, and materials. The tiny home movement, modular mid- and high-rises, and other offsite construction methods are growing in popularity.

2. Embrace Technology

Nearly any aspect of construction can be augmented with a technological device, software, and other advancements in tech. While it’s possible to lean too much on technology, a balance of the right tech can add exponential value to a project. Drones, cloud sharing, GPS tracking and enhanced employee communication are just a few of the many options available. Be sure to follow all applicable local and federal laws utilizing drones and other technology. Design tools, virtual meetups and more can increase productivity utilized correctly. Find the right tools for your team and accomplish more.

3. Attract Talent (and keep it!)

Labor shortages are already apparent; some companies are grappling with more work than skilled labor to complete it with. For others, projects-in-progress have been placed on pause due to immigration enforcement. To stay ahead of the competition, some construction companies are offering better pay and benefits. Others are relying more on temporary labor. Finding help may become a challenge, be prepared to court skilled tradespeople and work diligently to retain them.

4. Go Green

Environmental awareness is growing and companies with a reputation for green policies are more likely to see revenue. Material waste and disposal, resource consumption, and environmental impact can affect company image. Wherever possible, implement sustainable policies and be sure to comply with all federal, state, and local laws. Expect this trend to continue. Companies taking a proactive approach will be better positioned for further legislative changes.

5. Control Costs

Almost ten years after the housing crash, lenders have yet to release funds with the same willingness as before. Materials costs are high, and increased costs for attracting labor add to the challenges of doing business this year. This year, more builders are contracting into public-private partnerships with government agencies. In this partnerships, public funds and assets can be made available for hiring private companies. This can be a great way to maintain infrastructure while stimulating the economy, and more builders are discovering the value.

6. Building Information Modeling

The latest in construction innovation, Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a great tool for improving the construction process. Building Information Modeling is a design and management tool. Builders, architects, and others in the design and construction process can collaborate with this BIM to deliver a winning project. Building Information Modeling can also have a positive impact on workplace safety and compliance and can help limit expenses. For more on BIM contact a Business Information Modeling firm or expert.

7. Communicate

While perhaps an older concept, communication on the job site can almost always be improved. Today, multiple digital solutions for encouraging and improving communication are available. Builders have schedules to keep and communication can help increase efficiency and safety. Missed deadlines, liability claims, and materials waste can add up. Stay on top of projects with clear, competent communication.

Approaching 2018 with a positive attitude can help gain the edge over the competition. Review practices to see where improvements can be made and see how much more business is possible. Come back often for more on ways to improve efficiency and save money.