Construction lawsuits, unfortunately, seem to be a truth of the industry. They cover a laundry list of topics, from basic contractual disputes to employment disagreements, to accident and injury claims. While these things happen on a regular basis, there’s no reason they have to be a foregone conclusion for you. Read more
Fraud in the construction industry does damage in the hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Any given incident of fraud can cost the industry between $100,000 and $300,000, a whopping figure which drives up costs, increases liability issues and even puts legitimate companies out of business. It’s vital for every contractor to know how to prevent fraud in the construction industry. Here are some tricks, tips and information to help you learn to spot and prevent these problems. Read more
Acquiring a building permit in NYC is far from simple. The high building density and long history of revised standards and regulations requires that every applicant go through a lengthy approval process before the first hammer is swung on a new or remodeled building.
Luckily, the number of steps to keep track of is not overwhelming. Follow the process outlined below to learn more about how you can acquire a NYC building permit from the NYC Department of Buildings. Read more
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.
Dangerous Construction Site Safety 101
Construction sites are some of the most dangerous places there are. In 2012 there were more than 760 fatal incidents surrounding the industry, with falls, electrocution, falling debris and “caught-in” accidents being the most common causes. Here are some ways you can improve dangerous construction site safety.
You should ensure that all of your staff, supervisors and subcontractors are well-educated and trained in all OSHA safety regulations and why these are in place. The organization offers Construction Industry Outreach Training, which encompasses everything workers need to know to recognize, avoid and prevent hazards. The program includes 30 hours of training and is excellent for workers, subcontractors and supervisors.
Personal Protective Equipment
Using the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) is a vital aspect of construction safety. Hardhats, safety goggles, face protection, slip- and puncture-resistant work boots, the right kinds of gloves to protect hands while allowing necessary dexterity and the like should all be applied without exception and wherever needed.
Scaffolding and Heights
Scaffolding accidents are some of the most common accidents in the industry. They are some of the most frequent citations issued by OSHA for dangerous construction site safety violations. Ensure that scaffolds are always on solid footing, securely planed together and anchored, in good working condition, and never overloaded or moved within 10 feet of power lines.
Whenever possible, any worker on scaffolding or at height should be tethered and anchored so that if the unthinkable happens, they do not fall a great distance and suffer injury or death. Guard rails should always be applied as additional safety, and entrances and egress should have handrails and be permanently available.
Electrocution is a major risk for workers. Work should never be performed on or near live wires or circuits. Power should always be completely cut before work begins. Effective tag and lockout systems must always be in place, and all cords should be properly grounded. Know where all power lines are and keep any ladders, scaffolding and equipment away. Finally, never use damaged, worn or frayed electrical cables.
Communication is your first line of defense against accidents. This does not just apply to alerts issued when incidents occur. It also means using the proper signage and warnings wherever needed. It means offering and ensuring that all of your workers have the proper training and education.
Having a solid plan of action when dealing with heavy equipment is vital. Make sure that no one not rated to use the equipment is anywhere in the vicinity. For moving equipment or vehicles, establish zones where no one is permitted to walk past, and specific procedures for equipment movement.
Of course, accidents can happen no matter how strong your dangerous construction site safety may be. Carrying proper liability insurance is vital to make sure that you and your workers are covered in case the unthinkable happens.