Can you think of a commercial construction project that has been completed without the use of hand tools or power tools? Yeah, neither could I. Maybe it’s our familiarity with them or the fact that they are such a commonplace item on the construction site that hand tool and power tool safety often gets overlooked. Hand tools and power tools present a host of potential hazards such as flying objects, electrical shock, falling objects, punctures and lacerations. Here are 10 quick and easy tips for safely working with hand and power tools.
Our new monthly series on construction law is authored by J. Norman Stark, an Attorney-at-Law and Architect Emeritus, (AIA, NCARB) with over 40 years of experience in construction and consulting expertise in construction accidents and disputes.
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The construction industry is in the midst of a growing labor shortage. Just this month I’ve run across a half dozen local news reports of construction worker shortages across the country. Construction firms in Phoenix, AZ; Bradenton and Sarasota, FL; Long Island, NY and the Lowcountry of South Carolina, which includes Charleston, are having difficulties finding enough skilled workers to meet demand. These aren’t isolated events. Every month you’re bound to find new reports of areas feeling the pinch.
Networking is all about making new connections and building longstanding relationships. In the commercial construction industry being able to effectively network is a vital skill that as an individual could land you your next job or put your company on the path to your next big project. While networking is something that you should always be doing it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It’s as simple as meeting new people and forming an initial bond with that person that can be nurtured into a relationship. We’ve put together some simple and easy networking tips and tricks to help you further expand your network of contacts.
Regardless of how detailed your construction company’s safety plan is, and despite how in-depth and meticulous your training program is, accidents involving injuries can still occur. When a worker suffers an injury it is vital to have a first aid program in place. Because no two construction sites are exactly the same, you should design a jobsite specific first aid program so that your workers can receive the best possible care should they suffer an injury. Procedures for developing a jobsite specific first aid program should be a part of you overall safety plan. Each first aid program should be written down and copies should be kept on hand for reference, review and revision.
Welcome to the first article in an ongoing, monthly series tackling aspects of construction law for the construction industry. This new monthly series is authored by J. Norman Stark, an Attorney-at-Law and Architect Emeritus, (AIA, NCARB) with over 40 years of experience in construction and consulting expertise in construction accidents and disputes.
Most people probably don’t give much thought to advancements in building materials. The oldest known bricks date back to around 7500 B.C. Concrete-like substances were in use as far back as 6500 BC and the ancient Romans mixed lime and a volcanic ash, pozzolan, to make concrete which was used to build structures like the Coliseum and the Pantheon.
I first came across the Solar Roadways project back in 2014 from an article in “Fast Company.” The basic premise of the project is that if all the roads in the country were “paved” with solar panels they would produce more energy than the country consumes in a year. The article also discussed some of the features of the solar panels like embedded LED lights for dividing lines, heaters to keep the panels free of snow and ice, and tempered glass that could support a 250,000-pound vehicle and textured to provide traction. The article also mentioned that the owners of the company developing the project were currently trying to raise $1 million on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo in order to hire additional engineers in order to perfect their product. (Solar Roadways went on to raise over $2.2 million during their Indiegogo campaign.)
Imagine walking onto a construction site to find a fleet of bulldozers, graders, and excavators doing site prep without any operators behind the controls. Upon closer inspection, you notice some of the equipment is cab-less with no manual controls. The operators might be standing at a safe distance operating the machine remotely. Maybe the equipment is operating itself while someone monitors the work from the jobsite trailer or even back at the office 50 miles away. Autonomous and semi-autonomous construction equipment are the future and we’ll see it lead to safer jobsites with the work being done more efficiently and accurately than today.
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. They 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.