How to Achieve an Injury-Free Jobsite

Out of the more than 4,500 workers who were killed at work in 2016, one in five of them died on a construction site. It’s a grim reminder that faulty safety processes can be deadly. Also at stake: your company’s reputation, costly schedule delays, higher insurance rates and expensive litigation.
If you’re a superintendent who is spread too thin or a painter who’s rushed and behind schedule, the lines between what is safe and risky can get blurred. What safety experts know for sure is that most, if not all, construction accidents can be prevented.
“Every incident, every accident on every project, everyday is entirely avoidable.” You can start looking within your company, regardless of your size, to help you achieve a injury-free jobsite. Here are some proven steps that will help you get there:   Start at the TopThe more direct participation from the people at the top, the higher the chances of reducing accidents, studies have shown. The idea behind this approach is that when senior leaders…

5 Ways Small, Minority Owned Firms Can Build Success

To spread the economic benefits that construction projects generate more fairly across communities, government agencies reserve some public work for contractors owned or operated by traditionally disadvantaged groups. 
Federal, state and even city and county agencies have special programs that give qualified minority- and woman-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) and other disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs), such as service-disabled veterans, a chance to bid on and win certain construction projects ranging from small to mega. That is, if they are certified.
The Small Business Administration, for example, runs the 8(a) certification program, which is probably the most well-known among government contractors, but other letting agencies have renditions as well. Most certifying agencies require that a qualified business be owned by at least 51% minority or disadvantaged owners.
African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asian-Pacific and Subcontinent Asian Americans and women a…

The Dotted Line: 7 Invoice Mistakes That Waste Time, Money

Submitting an invoice for completed work and then getting paid is about as straightforward as the construction business gets. Or at least it should be. Getting paid on time is the lifeblood for contractors, but many consistently make the same mistakes over and over when handling this vital process.
Here are the biggest mistakes many contractors make when it comes to invoice management.
Not knowing what's in the contract Reading a contract and knowing its terms are the first steps to getting invoices right. The contract contains information on which forms to use, billing and payment timelines and what information must accompany each payment request — this is important to know if you want to be able to pay bills and make payroll.
"As basic as it sounds,” said Carl Oliveri, partner and construction practice leader at New York City accounting and consulting firm Grassi & Co, “that's where it all starts and stops. If you're not billing within the terms of the contract…

Making Up for the Construction Labor Shortage with Technology

In spite of recovering major ground after the Great Recession, the construction industry is still facing troubling skilled labor shortages, with a lack of qualified candidates stepping up to take over the positions once held by industry veterans nearing retirement age. The construction industry lost 2.3 million jobs between 2006-2011, and today there are a million fewer residential construction jobs than before 2006, according to Tradesmen International.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey shows nearly 200,000 unfilled construction industry jobs nationwide. This gap between available positions and skilled workers ready to fill them puts added pressure on developers, contractors and owners. Even in the face of a worker shortage, construction is booming. Companies are now looking to technological solutions to shore up operations, increase efficiencies and do more with less.
Drones and AI The use of drone technology and artificial intelligence has gone a…

How to Make a Preventative Maintenance Schedule

A recent report by the Marshall Institute stated that a company will pay two to five times more for reactive maintenance than they would for proactive. In the construction industry, where deadlines are tight and reputation important, there is even more at stake if a machine breaks down. Here are the consequences of irregular machine maintenance and tips on performing it correctly. 

Performing regular maintenance doesn’t only prevent surface preparation equipment from breaking down, it also maximizes its lifespan, meaning contractors don’t need to spend large amounts of money replacing them unnecessarily. It also helps prevent downtime or excessive labor on the job. If a machine is down, they have no choice but to do the work manually. A job that usually takes one piece of machinery may then require the labor of several people, which is certain to have a negative financial impact on the company.

THINK AHEADWhen a machine breaks down, the job comes to a halt. This means the contractor wil…

The Prime Contractor's Biggest Struggle with Prevailing Wage Compliance

Labor compliance can be a sticky business. Just ask the thousands of contractors who have had to repay millions of dollars in back wages since Davis-Bacon (DBA) and its Related Acts (DBRA) went into effect decades ago. Better yet, talk to the prime contractors that had to pay for their subcontractors’ mistakes. Primes Acting as Mini Compliance Enforcement Agencies Let’s start with the obvious: city/county agencies and other state/local authorities have obligations to regulate certified payroll reports (CPRs) when any federal, state, local, or other agreement-specific funds are applied to projects. It’s their job, right? They are the ones that need to make sure every contractor is compliant.
While this is true, prime/general contractors might be surprised to find that they, too, can benefit from operating much the same way: as mini compliance enforcement agencies. Why is that? Because it’s not just their employees’ payroll that a prime needs to worry about; they need to ensure every wo…

How Field Service Technicians Are Reaching Higher Levels of Efficiency and Ensuring Safer Jobsites

When hard-hatted men and women are operating forklifts and scaling skyscrapers, it’s essential for equipment to work safely and efficiently; otherwise, firms risk losing millions of dollars, not to mention human lives.

Field service is vital to ensuring that neither happens. With regular maintenance and proactive repairs, field service can keep workers safe by preventing unplanned outages and keep projects on schedule by preventing downtime.

Imagine that a crane malfunctions days before a frame installation is scheduled, and the project deadline is looming. Repairing the crane might take multiple days, several field service technicians, and various parts or replacements to get the machine up and running. The cost of machine downtime adds up quickly both in time and in money. Worse, crane operators were likely using the crane in the days prior to the outage, unaware of the machine’s dangerous maintenance issue. With connected technology, this scenario is entirely avoidable.