What You Should Know About Construction Industry Falls

construction industry falls

Construction workers get high more often than most people. We work on skyscrapers, scaffolding, rooftops, and even a loading dock is considered working at-height. And too many of us take unnecessary risks.

The numbers are not good: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says fall fatalities are highest in the construction industry vs. all others. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) says the leading cause of private-sector worker deaths in the construction industry are falls.

Falls #1 Cause of Fatalities in the Construction Industry

The construction industry “fatal four” are*:

  • Falls – 338
  • Struck by object – 112
  • Electrocutions – 86
  • Caught/in-between** – 55

We can reduce those numbers this year. Here are some FYIs (for your information) to promote a better understanding of fall safety.

  • All roof workers need fall protection – Even if you’re 6′ from the edge, observe the OSHA options for protection:
    • Controlled access zones
    • Guardrails
    • Personal fall arrest systems
    • Positioning device systems
    • Safety monitoring systems
    • Safety nets
    • Warning line systems
  • Boom/scissor lifts require different PFPEs – Boom lift personal fall protection equipment is a body belt with a lanyard attached to the boom/basket. OSHA has no requirements for scissor lifts but some OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) may require PFPE. Consult the scissor-lift manual/verify OEM requirements to be sure.
  • PFPE alone won’t protect – Personal fall protection equipment involves more than wearing a harness and securing to an anchorage point. It should stop you from hitting the ground but doesn’t prevent falls. Guardrails protect against falls.
  • Training/leadership make the difference – Training is necessary but a safety program reinforced by leadership is even more valuable. Encourage employees to report unsafe conditions and assist in developing safety processes.

Diligence Saves Lives

Fall prevention tips are relevant. But your commitment to safety can make the real difference. Our goal is to provide relevant information to the construction industry. Every week, Construction Monitor sorts data into information that can grow your business. Contact Construction Monitor to learn more.

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*2018
**Construction industry workers killed when caught-in/compressed by equipment/objects, and struck/caught/crushed in collapsing structure/equipment/material

Construction Marketing: Video Production Tips

Construction Marketing Video Production

The statistics about using video in construction marketing tell the story best:

How To Use Video in Your Construction Marketing Strategy

There’s just one problem with using video in construction marketing: If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s a real goat-roping.

Here’s a way to prioritize your video advertising:

  1. Make a plan – A successful construction marketing plan can only be a success if it generates growth/revenue. You won’t know that if you don’t track it.
    Your plan should be:
    1. Actionable
    2. Have specific start/stop dates
    3. Measurable
    4. Relevant
    5. Specific
  2. Go with what you know – Whichever style of video you choose, you’ll learn if it works. Or not.
    The three types of videos are:
    1. Educational
    2. Entertaining
    3. Inspirational
  3. Start creating – “Your first video is supposed to be your worst,” says Neil Patel. So, jump right in and get it over with. (He recommends InVideo for editing.)
  4. Search matters – SEO (search engine optimization) is always critical. You can maximize it, even if you don’t have a huge budget. If you’re familiar with blogging SEO, it’s the same thing – you want high rankings on YouTube, etc.
  5. Use influencers – Can’t afford Peyton Manning? (He averages $15million/year in endorsements.) Find a “micro-celebrity.” In our industry, there are respected influencers willing to help you out. They might even be more effective because they’re ours.
  6. Use ads to their full potential – Be very clear about who your audience is. Your goal is to reach them.

Where should you spend your video monies? You’ll just have to try a few – start with your favorite – and measure the results. The platform that works best for one company may not be best for your company.

Use Construction Monitor for Construction Marketing

We take building permit data and custom-sort it into actionable, relevant information for you. If you use it, you’ll have powerful insight into construction marketing: your area; your demographics; and your leads.

The Construction Monitor Knowledge Base is a good place to start. Then contact us to get started.

Measuring Progress for Construction Projects

construction projects

Why is it important to track progress on construction projects? One very important reason is to prove to investors, stakeholders, and other important sources of support that you’re making progress. And you’ve got the numbers to prove it.

Another reason is to provide reinforcement to the troops. Your workers will see through false encouragement, but when you provide them with the metrics proving they’re doing a good job – and making progress – it’s the best motivator you have.

Tracking Methodologies for Construction Projects

Key metrics for construction projects are:

  • Compliance
  • Deliverables
  • Milestones
  • Spending

Too often, we emphasize the required tasks without analyzing the results. “…Teams are watching the wrong signs and metrics. Instead of leading indicators, which might warn of problems before they happen, these teams may focus on lagging indicators…flagging issues when it’s too late,” says process improvement professional Lori Benson.

Measuring Metrics for Construction Projects

Here are some types of metrics used for construction projects:

  • Cost ratio – This measurement is based on the dollars budgeted vs. labor hours. Example: The overall progress of the project was 42%. The contractor earned 42% of the overhead and fees.
  • Experience/opinion – This method is obviously subjective and not recommended; it can cause conflict between project managers, owners, contractors, or architects.
  • Incremental milestones – Aka the “steps” method for subtasks that need to be completed in a certain order. You calculate each step and the amount of time needed to complete each step. Each completion is an incremental milestone.
  • Start/finish – This is good for short-time tasks. Examples: load testing, flushing/cleaning, pipes. You measure the percentage of completion. Some teams use these length-of-time milestone metrics:
    • 0/100
    • 20/80
    • 50/50
  • Units completed – This is great for task-tracking, especially repetitive jobs. Example: We have 100 light fixtures. Each light fixture takes the same amount of installation time. Units to measure: 100.
  • Weighted/equivalent units – This requires more effort but gets the thumbs-up from many construction projects. Tasks’ measurements are calculated and divided into sub-tasks and their varying units of measurement.

We’re curious to know which progress measurements you use for construction projects.

Construction Monitor is interested in the most up-to-date methodologies for construction projects. Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor for data that drives business development.

Is Your Construction Marketing Strategy Stale?

construction marketing strategy

“I’m too busy for a construction marketing strategy,” said no contractor ever. If you’re too busy to win more business, why aren’t you on the cover of Fortune Magazine? We’re in this business because we love what we do, but making money is nice, too. 

Make 2021 your year to take control of your company and its construction marketing strategy for greater profits. Here’s how:

Construction Marketing Strategy for 2021

Advertising is not the same thing as marketing. “Advertising” forms the foundation of your construction marketing strategy but there are organizational analyses needed as well.

Plan to revamp your:

  • Budget – You can’t invest in marketing if you haven’t set aside the money to finance it. Develop and fund your marketing budget; it’s basic but often overlooked in small- to midsize-construction company management.
  • Connections – Are you a member of one or more Chamber of Commerce organizations? What’s your BBB (Better Business Bureau) rating? Make this your year to strengthen alliances with other contractors and professional organizations.
  • Direct mail – This is still a great way to target a specific demographic and deliver your message. Response to direct mail advertising increased by 43% in 2016. “It’s a game-changer for any serious marketer,” says Neil Patel.
  • Market analysis – What are your bread and butter projects? They can’t be neglected, but what sector or industry would you like to develop? Determine your objectives for this year.
  • Social media – Many contractors once said “word-of-mouth” was the best way to get new business. Your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages are an essential part of your construction marketing strategy. Think of them as new-age word-of-mouth advertising.
  • SWOT – Schedule a meeting with your team for an in-depth SWOT analysis: What are your perceived strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats?
  • Video – Are you targeting business owners? Fifty-nine percent of executives prefer video.
  • Website – Your website identifies your company as legitimate and technologically knowledgeable. If potential clients can’t find your website, you’re toast. Make sure your website has tabs/pages for:
    • About us
    • Blog
    • Contact us
    • Our services
    • Photo gallery
    • Testimonials/reviews

Building permit information can be an integral part of your construction marketing strategy if you know how to use it. We can help. Call 800-925-6085, or contact Construction Monitor to speak with one of our professionals about how to use our marketing tools.

The 3 Ps of Construction Digital Transformation

Construction Digital Transformation

Construction Monitor sorts building permit data into actionable information for your area and your business development requirements. We are proud to have been a part of digital technology for the construction industry and industry-related businesses for so many years. Our software statistics were some companies’ first experience with the construction digital transformation process.

How Do We Go About Achieving Construction Digital Transformation?

Some people still don’t understand what construction digital transformation means or what it can accomplish. Digital technology is any electronic tool, system, device, or resource that generates, stores, or processes data.

These three p’s can help you understand and develop a construction digital transformation plan for your business:

1. People

Our industry depends on people working together. This is why transparency – information-sharing with everyone involved – is integral to construction digital transformation success. Before investing in any technology, consider who must adapt to it and use it, and then get their feedback before the purchase:

  • 52% say field staff needs are a top priority but only
  • 28% request feedback, so
  • 36% report the technology didn’t fit with current processes/procedures

2. Process

Our processes are what lead to productivity issues. Implementing construction digital transformation has resulted in 14-15% productivity improvements and 4-6% cost reductions. Process change enablers include:

  • Capability enhancements
  • Contract reviews
  • Data tools
  • Legal liabilities and responsibilities defined/updated
  • Redefined responsibilities
  • Updated processes/mandates

3. Progress

Technology is progress. Every technological process you embrace moves your company forward. Technology progress requires fixing problems, not investing in the IT flavor of the month without understanding its capabilities. “Full-scale digital transformation requires integrated, cohesive systems,” says CTO Sameer Merchant. The bottom line is, analyze what will provide your team with the best advancements.

Construction Monitor: Powerful, Local Construction Statistics

Every week, we enter thousands of construction project leads into our database. You can learn more about commercial, residential, and solar construction projects in your area when you get your sample edition today.

Finishing Others’ Construction Projects: Yes, It’s Tricky

construction projects

This would make for a great Halloween blog: It’s no treat to finish other companies’ construction projects. And being politically correct when dealing with another construction professional’s mistakes is tricky.

You may be finishing up for a competitor, but you’re also dealing with the work of a company that may be a future partner or source of more work. And if it happened to them, it might happen to you someday.

You literally don’t want to burn any bridges here.

Taking On Construction Projects Halfway Through

What happens when you’re asked to take on construction projects halfway through? The first question to ask is, “Why?”

Relationship conflicts, disagreements, job conditions, financial issues, personal emergencies, or unforeseen circumstances can lead to a general contractor or subcontractor leaving a project midstream. If you’re the replacement, it’s important to know why they left.

Look Before You Leap

It’s a bit of an ego-trip. Everyone wants to be “The Wolfe,” the prestigious problem-solver in Pulp Fiction. Don’t let the initial excitement of landing a new project cloud your judgment. If you do, you could wind up with the same issues as your predecessor. 

  • If the first contractor was overwhelmed, that’s something you can manage.
  • If money was an issue, it might not have been the general contractor’s lack of money. It could be a delinquent client.

You also need to know exactly how much money is available for the scope of work you inherited. “You may get in and think you have $1 million of work to do, and the bank may think you have $100,000 of work to do,” said Michael Rune II, Carlton Fields P.A.

Are There Do-Overs?

Your contract should specify the work that remains as-is, work to be completed, and itemize any crossover work. If you’ll be responsible for the quality of any scope of work, make sure it’s your work. You don’t want to assume 100% liability for 10 percent of the contract price, Rune continued.

If you’re taking on another company’s construction projects, the bottom line is how much you’re willing to risk to turn a profit. Only you can decide.

Other Construction Projects Impact Your Business

Construction industry businesses know what’s important to business development. You should be regularly evaluating your competition, seeking alignment with other companies’ construction projects, finding mentors, or nurturing startups.

Construction Monitor has been providing data analytics for construction business development since 1989. Let us give you information for a better 2021.

Construction Industry: Equipment Uptime

Reducing do-overs and avoiding downtime is easier said than done, especially when a project has suffered work interruptions. Many 2020 projects continue operating with a reduced workforce and money has been tight. One of the inefficiencies that haunt construction projects is construction equipment failures.

Fallout From Construction Equipment Failures

Insurance companies say not recognizing the risks of construction equipment failures is problematic. (Remember, “Plan for the worst; hope for the best?”). Project managers should put mitigation equipment failure measures in place by creating actionable processes before the project begins.

Failure to mitigate equipment failure risks can lead to:

  • Equipment/machinery needing to be quickly replaced
  • Liability exposures/on-the-job accidents
  • Project delays/losses
  • Safety/environmental non-compliance due to defective machinery/equipment

Preventive, Predictive, and Reactive Maintenance

Obviously, preventive maintenance is key to maximizing equipment performance. Construction equipment is designed to work hard and long with proper care. Manufacturer-recommend maintenance and parts replacements are basic and preventive.

Predictive maintenance is data-driven: You use historical and performance statistics to best-guess when a piece of machinery or equipment is likely to fail. Then you put a plan in place for that event so your team can make an almost seamless transition and fast response.

Reactive maintenance is another way to keep a project on-time and within budget. Using a checklist, inspect each piece of equipment. If a problem is identified, reactive maintenance manages the problem sooner, rather than later. Corrective repairs take time, but they are easier, smoother, and usually more effective when you’re not under pressure.

Technology Facilitates Communication

Eighty-four percent of construction equipment repair time is spent coordinating and communicating with managers, repair specialists, manufacturers, and team members. The repair itself is much faster.

When you use technology to put a predictive plan in place for equipment failure, you’re going to save time. And you’ll have a better profit margin because of less downtime.

Construction Monitor also offers a technology tool that can lead to increased profit. The information you get from our customized datasorts is knowledgeable and actionable. You simply have to use it. Building permit information can lead to better business – more business.

Call 800-925-6085 or contact Construction Monitor to learn how.

Reduce Waste for Your Construction Business

construction business

“Haste makes waste.” “Waste not; want not.”

Wasting time, labor, materials… For a construction business, waste means fewer profitable projects or worse. A good question we should be asking ourselves is, “Why do we waste so much?”

A more important question is, “How can my construction business waste less to earn more?”

Construction Business Technology Drives Efficiency

“Rework costs, including labor, materials, equipment and subcontractors can run from 2%-20% of a project’s total contract amount. That equates to an estimated total of $15 billion a year,” says communications professional Eric Harris. The construction industry also generates 39% of global carbon emissions; a lot of it is due to waste.

If you’ve implemented processes to increase productivity and efficiency, good for you. But if your construction business team is ignoring the amount of waste you’re generating as well as the amount of energy you lose to reworks and runarounds, you’re only tackling part of the problem.

BIM (building information modeling) is a process utilizing technology to digitally generate and manage construction business projects. This streamlines production in theory but sometimes fails in reality.

Ordering more materials “just in case” is a prime example of wasteful working practices we need to manage. Most companies don’t even realize how much waste they were generating until they get the technology to measure it.

Here are 3 examples of companies that used technology to reduce waste:

  1. A project timeline was shortened from 120 to 42 days at a cost savings of $500,000 by using a materials management system and modern technology vs. manual methodology.
  2. An excavation operations construction business worked 41% faster with 75% increased accuracy when machine-control technology was introduced.
  3. Working from 2D drawings, one company averaged 10%-15% waste in rebar fabrication. Using constructible models, 99% of the rebar was fabricated correctly.

Construction Monitor Generates Profits

Construction Monitor is the construction business resource for accurate, timely, and geographically complete building and solar permit information in the United States. Our construction leads help building professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers reach new customers

 Contact us today.

What is Lean Construction?

lean construction

Working “lean” is a business principle for reducing waste and increasing profits. It can apply to any industry.

Lean construction has been slow to develop, according to the Lean Construction Institute (LCI). But construction technology developments are making this practice easier to implement and therefore more attractive to construction business owners and managers.

How Does Lean Construction Work?

Lean construction shares the same 5 business principles as lean manufacturing:

  1. Identify value
  2. Map the value stream
  3. Create better flow and fewer bottlenecks
  4. Establish a pull-planning system
  5. Seek perfection and continuously adjust principles 1-4.

The most basic residential renovation has thousands of documents and pieces of information. Today, it’s impossible to manage without technology.

Value stream mapping approaches the job from the customer’s point of view and explains the value possibilities and how you’re maximizing them. “Necessary materials, labor, and other supplies are identified before each stage of work,” says PlanGrid “…rather than during the fray or only after bottlenecks create delays.”

Lean construction principles reduce waste:

  • Defects/reworks due to lack of skilled/trained labor, outdated information, etc.
  • Excessive inventory ordered “just in case”
  • Extra materials processing (dimensional lumber cutting, assembly of trusses never used anyway)
  • Unnecessary transportation of unnecessary materials, workers, or equipment to a jobsite
  • Wasted time due to unnecessary distances between worksite locations and/or poor storage sites

Benefits of Lean Construction

The new generation of workers is invested in your company. They will appreciate lean construction business principles and take pride in working for your organization. They’ll delivery higher quality work. You’ll also realize higher quality work by virtue of early problem-solving to reduce rework.

Advanced pull-planning encourages effective risk management.

You sometimes know when a project is designed with a formula for failure. Walk away before you waste time, lose money, and lower morale. Remember, you’re seeking higher profit margins and greater ROI (return on investment). You’re using lean construction business principles.

Information You Need

Business permit data sorting is time-consuming. Construction Monitor does that for you. Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us today to learn more about using business permit data to increase profits.

Cyberattack: The Other Virus

While we’re developing processes to protect workers from each other during a pandemic, we may be lowering our defenses against other viruses. Cyberattacks are becoming more cause for concern in the construction business, but we’re taking fewer steps to mitigate cybersecurity.

Construction Companies and Cyberattacks

“Hackers are increasingly going after construction companies,” said Zachary Phillips of Construction Dive. And construction companies are often underprepared for an attack. “The disconnect between the field and the office can create lapses that hackers can exploit, and there are more chances employees can make mistakes.”

How They Hack

Hackers will pose as subcontractors. They’ll message construction business A/R (accounts receivables) or accountants and claim to have a new routing number.

Another hack is to email an employee at 4:00 p.m. on a Friday, just as things are wrapping up for the weekend. The hacker will ask for vital information and hope the employee is too distracted to see the red flags.

5 Clues You’re Being Hacked

“Odd-sounding” wording and spelling mistakes are often clues to a potential hack. Other indicators your construction business may be the victim of a cyberattack can include:

  1. Action pop-ups – One of the more successful pop-ups says, “You’ve won! Click here to claim your prize!” A more deadly pop-up is “Your files have been encrypted. Send $1,000 by noon tomorrow or we’ll delete the key.” It’s called “ransomware.” Even if you send the money, you may not get the key.
  2. Crashes – Uploaded malware can cause crashes or slow-running equipment.
  3. Mass emails – Employees not known for sending mass emails about anything suddenly send one to the entire organization.
  4. Network performance – Your construction business router or network slows substantially. A hacker is downloading large amounts of information or connecting to your network.
  5. Unusual activity – You see activity at vacant workstations. Working employees may notice their cursors move or programs and files open “by themselves.”

Construction Business Intelligence for Our Industry

Your construction business has technology options to maximize efficiency, including cybersecurity software. Make one of your new year resolutions to explore cybersecurity options for your company. You may think you’re “not big enough” to be a target, but you’re wrong.

Construction Monitor uses business intelligence data to help your organization work smarter and more competitively. Contact us today.