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Worker misclassification is a serious problem in the construction industry that often goes unchecked and unpunished. Penalties for misclassifying employees as independent contractors can be severe, but unfortunately, the risk of getting caught has historically been minimal. The payoff for unscrupulous business owners who purposely misclassify workers can be enormous. It’s a classic risk vs. reward scenario where, for the most part, the rewards for purposely misclassifying workers as independent contractors far outweighed the risks of getting caught.
The construction industry continues to hold the top spot on a list that it isn’t proud of—total annual worker deaths. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ revised Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, there 4,821 fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. in 2014. (Note: This is the most recent year for which data is available.) In the construction industry there were 899 worker deaths, which is about 18.65% of total fatal work injuries. This is the largest number of construction worker deaths since 2008.
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Is your construction company still not using Building Information Modeling (BIM)? If your firm hasn’t adopted BIM yet I’m sure there’s a valid reason. Perhaps you think it’s too expensive or you don’t have the resources to implement adoption. Maybe your estimators love spending countless hours doing manual takeoffs from plans and specs when preparing bids. It could be you enjoy doing costly rework that eats away at your profits.
Most of the focus on applying 3D printing technology to the construction industry revolves around building structures. The world’s first 3D printed office building opened this week in Dubai which has set a goal of 3D printing 25% of all buildings in the city by 2030. Taking just 17 days to print and two days to assemble, the 2,700-square-foot building was printed by WinSun Decoration Design Engineering. Back in 2014, WinSun printed 10 single-room buildings in a span of 24 hours. They followed that up last year by 3D printing a five-story apartment building and a nearly 12,000-square-foot villa.
Earlier this month, Gilbane Building Co. proposed that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) should require construction workers to wear safety harnesses whenever they are working at a height of 6 feet or more above a lower level. This requirement is part of Gilbane’s safety program, which they claim has prevented 20 potential fatalities since 2011. It’s hard to argue with a company that has won multiple industry safety awards with a safety program that has resulted in 95% of projects completed having zero lost time injuries and 80% of projects finished with zero recordable injuries in 2015.
Is cybersecurity a major concern for your construction business? Maybe you don’t think your company is a potential target for a cyberattack. You’d be right too if your company doesn’t use computers to store any information about your business and if you never connect to the internet.
In honor of Earth Day today, we're taking a look at some of the greenest and most sustainable buildings throughout the world. Since measuring the greenest or the most sustainable or even the most eco-friendly building is nearly impossible to do, we chose a few of our favorites that highlight and showcase the many ways architects and construction companies are using design, materials and technology to create more sustainable buildings.
Telematics systems combine GPS technology, on-board diagnostics and monitoring sensors to track, log and report data via cellular networks on the performance and operation of your construction equipment. Data from telematics systems are typically accessed through a web portal and can provide data on a number of machine systems. Common data points include GPS location, fuel consumption, idle times and machine alerts. Equipment manufacturers are installing telematics systems as standard equipment on an increasing number of their product offerings each year.
Jobsite thefts of tools, equipment and materials continues to be an issue plaguing the construction industry. Unattended construction sites are easy targets for thieves, especially those lacking adequate security measures. Heavy equipment, power and hand tools and materials such as copper are the most targeted items. According to the National Equipment Register (NER), heavy equipment theft has been on the rise the past couple of years with 11,625 thefts being reported to law enforcement in 2014.
Chances are you’ve probably seen them hovering over a construction site, capturing photos and collecting data. Maybe your firm has even used them to do some surveying or to monitor progress on a job. We’re talking about drones, or more correctly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and construction firms are realizing the many benefits this technology can provide.