Dealing with Unexpected Job Delays
The construction industry is fraught with peril and danger. Contractors already know the importance of proper liability insurance to protect you and your workers from accidents and injuries at the job site, but other liability and financial delays can arise when job delays happen. You do everything you can to predict how things might go wrong, but the plan always falls apart when something unexpected happens. Here are some ways you can handle unexpected job delays to keep your business going strong.
Materials and Labor Changes
Every contractor understands that on occasion materials aren’t going to make it when needed, and some materials will arrive early and clutter up the job site. Deliveries are not always as reliable as we would like, which results in the need to change up the plan. Rather than dealing with unexpected job delays as a result, always try to have a contingency ready to go. Are there other jobs that can be performed while you wait for the materials to arrive? Hand off labor as you can to keep the workflow going.
Weather is your biggest enemy, especially on an outdoor job. Even the weatherman on the local news can’t seem to get the forecast right, so you certainly can’t predict when it’s going to rain, snow or when winds are going to kick up making high altitude work unsafe. There’s little you can do to avoid weather delays, so try to build the inevitability of one or more into your overall job timetable.
Accidents happen, as we’ve said. A disaster can occur any time as a result of workers falling from heights, equipment malfunction or accidents, or any other incident that brings work to a stop while you assess the damage and address injuries to your staff. These unexpected crises can present the biggest challenge to the job site and work time frame. Do what you can to account for their possibility and understand that it’s better to complete a job ahead of schedule than behind schedule!
Once you begin work, apply strategies to minimize unexpected issues that will cause delays. Make sure that you have strong security and organizational oversight on site to avoid materials being stolen or misplaced. Make sure that your people are experienced professionals — on-site training is one of the biggest causes of work delays. Make sure that you have all the right permits, proper site access, safety standards and all legal issues related to the job well covered.
Keep in constant communication with your workers. Inspect the site regularly, understand the impact of union contracts and keep a close eye on all costs and inventory. The more open and frequent your communications, the better you will be able to spot potential delays.
Of course, having the right contractors insurance is necessary to deal with unexpected job delays when they do occur. If you fall too behind schedule and have to deal with accidents, injuries or loss, the right insurance will mitigate those problems.