Working with machinery on construction sites presents the opportunity for you to get injured. However, when you take the necessary precautions, you can work safely and create a responsible, efficient workplace. Here are five general safety tips to help you avoid heavy equipment injuries. Read more
Contractors rely on two things to get the job done: their knowledge and their tools. Even the most educated and skilled craftsmen will be unable to get work done if their equipment is damaged or destroyed and if no plan is set for replacement.
These concerns make it crucial to have your tools and equipment covered by an adequate insurance policy. Equipment insurance is especially important during the winter months when hazards increase and correspond to a rise in accidents.
Expert Tips on Getting Ready for Snow Removal
Winter 2015–2016 is coming up fast. Contracting companies should anticipate it by having a comprehensive snow removal plan for any new construction sites or any outdoor work in general. Construction work cannot safely continue as long as there is ice and snow covering up areas where projects are underway. Read more
Cold Weather Construction Checklist
Brace yourselves — winter is coming! These words aren’t just for popular television series; they’re a call to action for anyone in the construction and contracting industry. This time of year is especially hazardous for construction workers, with low temperatures, slippery surfaces and other conditions caused by inclement weather and environmental factors. It’s always a good idea to have a cold weather construction checklist to manage your liability in terms of financial and human costs. Now is the time to prep for working during the winter.
Dangers of Cold Weather Building
Building in winter actually makes many construction projects impossible. Concrete won’t always set properly. There are dangers from cold metal, slippery surfaces and more. Even with modern equipment that allows you to mitigate some of the risks, working in the winter is not an optimal choice. This is why many contractors close up shop in those four months. They spend the time hiring, getting ready for spring projects, taking on smaller, seasonal jobs and the like.
Advantages of Cold Weather Work
There are many advantages to making a go of it in the winter months. Competition will be down, since so many businesses close in the winter months. Supplies and costs of leasing equipment and tools will be far lower since fewer people are looking to use them. There will be less distraction and crowding.
While winter work carries its own risks, it can also provide a lot of benefits. You need to decide what is best for you and your business.
Follow this Checklist
For those who do decide to go it in the winter — and there are many reasons to do so — a checklist is vital to make sure that your job site and workers remain safe and stable. Ask yourself important questions such as:
- Is the jobsite insulated from cold weather?
- Can jobs be undertaken in the cold?
- Have your workers been given proper training on cold weather procedures and protective equipment?
- Do you have the right personal protective equipment (PPE) for your workers, including coats, hats, gloves, and boots?
- Are first aid policies solid and are there readily available supplies?
- Can you insulate and keep equipment and tools free from ice, snow or mud that can foul their operation and create risks?
- Will there be easy access to the job site in case of snow or inclement weather?
- Can you exercise solid wind and temperature control?
- Have your workers been trained to recognize the symptoms of frostbite and/or hypothermia?
- Do you have the staff to properly rotate job assignments?
- Do you have heated areas where workers can go to take breaks and warm up?
- Can you keep your workers hydrated and provide access to broth, soup, coffee, tea, hot cocoa or other warm beverages?
- Do you have the proper contractors insurance coverage to deal with cold weather dangers?
We all want to think that we can trust our staff and that they would never behave in a dishonest or malicious manner. Unfortunately, in this day and age, theft is all too common on the job site. In fact, professional industry estimates are that over $1 billion in losses every year are due to theft. The numbers have been growing ever since the mid-1990s and show no signs of stopping. Here are some tips to prevent job site theft and how you can mitigate the damage when these incidents occur.
Damages from Theft
The most obvious damage from job site theft come from the immediate loss of equipment and materials. You may suddenly not have the tools you need to perform a job. You might lose out on important construction materials from copper pipe to drywall.
This direct loss then leads to secondary losses: you have to pay extra money to replace the lost materials, and you may run overtime or over budget on the job as a result. This doesn’t even consider the loss in man hours as your crew waits for the needed tools and materials.
Why Construction is Targeted
Construction sites are often targeted for construction for several reasons. They often have poor security due to the very chaotic nature of the industry. This extends to off hours — nights and weekends — where things are often just parked and left unattended.
Equipment and vehicles have easy-access open cabs. A single key can operate most, if not all, of the equipment on a site. Record keeping is also often poor, meaning it’s hard to track when something goes missing.
Perpetrators of theft from job sites can include those who aren’t even employees, who simply break into the site looking for a quick smash-and-grab. They can also include workers who are desperate and in need of money, or very often can include disgruntled workers who feel they are “owed” something, or who have recently been let go.
There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of job site theft. When no one is working, keep the area well lit. Check up on things regularly and be sure your staff sees you doing it so they know you’re paying attention. Try to schedule supply delivery as you need it rather than stocking up right at the beginning of the job.
Maintain thorough records of all equipment, tools and materials and practice strong inventory management. Make sure that your perimeter is secured and locked down. Look into theft deterrents and recovery systems so that any equipment that is lifted can be tracked down.
No matter how secure you are, there is always the risk that someone will find a loophole and engage in job site theft. In order to mitigate damage, you should always carry employee theft protection on your insurance policy. Standard insurance generally does not cover you against theft; specialized coverage is necessary.