From the category archives: Workforce & Safety

Workforce & Safety

The Construction Jobs of Today May Require Different Skills for Success Tomorrow

For some time now, the construction profession has been in decline and skilled workers have left the industry during economic downturns. But new research about skills and jobs in 2030 shows the future of work is brighter than conventional wisdom suggests. Of today’s workforce, only one in five workers is in occupations that will shrink. This figure is much lower than other predictions claiming 40 percent to 60 percent of workers are in declining job fields. The reality is that many jobs recognized today will still be in demand by 2030 and beyond.

Responding to Hurricanes and Other Natural Disasters

Weather events are changing the construction landscape, giving new vigor to the force majeure clause and requiring new approaches to project completion. Most recently, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria—and the wildfires in California and Montana—have highlighted the need to focus on best practices for responding to such events. Contractors and subcontractors can take steps to minimize out-of-pocket costs related to damage and recovery efforts and maximize their ability to transfer to others risks of force majeure events.

Repairing Flood-damaged Floors

Businesses that fall victim to floodwaters will face a long list of challenges that need to be carefully approached in order to get the site back on its feet as quickly and effectively as possible.

One area of the building that will be particularly at risk, but that might not be immediately apparent as a cause for concern, is the floor finish. The floor is a crucial area for any business: It’s part of the visual image for commercial companies and it’s the solid foundation for the intensive work in an industrial facility.

Inbound Recruiting: A Quicker Way to Attract Prospective Hires

Based on his research of companies that went from good to great, author Jim Collins advocates for keeping a position open rather than hiring a person who isn’t perfect for it. A bad hire simply costs a company too much—as much as or more than $17,000. 

Finding the right hire in an industry with a skills gap requires a two-pronged approach: undertaking long-term measures to eliminate the gap and adopting inbound recruiting strategies to fill positions in the short term. 

Thwarting the Worst of Hurricane Irma

Insurance companies, homebuilders, and city and county officials are still assessing residential and commercial building damage after Hurricane Irma tore through South Florida on Sept 10, but in general, the stricter building codes enforced after Hurricane Andrew did their job. 

Rising Above

In the days and weeks after Hurricane Harvey’s cataclysmic late August landfall, the resilience of the south Texas construction community and the area that it serves was put to the ultimate test. The largest storm to hit the United States since 2005, Harvey slammed into Rockport, Texas, as a Category 4 hurricane, and then it dumped more than 40 inches of rain as it meandered across southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. 

Fall Protection Failures Top OSHA’s List of 2017 Safety Violations

Fall protection (general requirements) was OSHA’s most frequently cited workplace safety violation this year, totaling 6,072, according to a preliminary report from the National Safety Council. Next was hazard communication with 4,176 violations, followed by scaffolding with 3,288 citations. Rounding out the top five were respiratory protection (3,097) and lockout/tagout (2,877).

Retaining Construction's Greatest Asset

As the industry struggles to improve its reputation among the younger generation, many tactics can be used to foster a company culture that improves employee retention. Offer attractive benefits packages. Provide access to training and education. Keep communication with leadership clear and comfortable. Focus on safety. Encourage employees to become active in their communities. And, don’t be afraid to have a little bit of fun.

Filling the Surety Industry's Generation Gap

Word of the construction industry’s labor shortage is being heard loud and clear: Two-thirds of U.S. contractors are having a hard time finding qualified workers and possess a virtually nonexistent backfill of young talent entering the industry. But what about the surety professionals working behind the scenes? Are they facing the same challenges?

Industry Changes Push AEC Firms Toward Proactive Recruitment

When it comes to recruitment, the AEC industry is grappling with an already limited pool of talent, mass retirements of baby boomers and difficulties attracting millennials—compounded by rapidly advancing technologies, evolving project delivery methods and owners demanding specific capabilities on complex projects. 

Owners also have become increasingly savvy and well-educated in terms of design concepts, construction processes and delivery methods. They want to be highly engaged in the construction process, and many have their own internal design and construction teams that understand costs, schedules and constructability issues.
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