With guidance on how to avoid these common pitfalls
In the fast-paced and rigorous world of construction, it's essential to be on top of every detail, from regulatory compliance and safety protocols to headcount and subcontractor management. In states like New York, builders are under the strict vigil of the Department of Buildings (DOB), while in New Jersey, they need to align with the DOT's regulations. But irrespective of the state, failing to adhere to these standards and properly manage workers and their safety on-site can result in hefty fines, wage theft, and even lawsuits.
The Five Areas That Deserve Your Focus
In the world of construction, even the largest firms aren't immune to pitfalls. Missteps can result in lawsuits that cost millions. While smaller firms might not see lawsuits of this magnitude, even minor legal challenges can cripple them. So, for construction managers, combining tech with preventive measures is crucial. Here's a roadmap highlighting five crucial areas, with guidance for improvement:
Prioritize Safety: Beware of the “Fatal Four”
Construction is notorious for its hazards. In 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported over 5,000 fatalities in the industry. The main culprits? The “fatal four”: falls, being hit by objects, electrocution, and getting caught in or between objects.
- Regularly inspect and document hazards on the job site.
- Schedule meetings to discuss safety and develop action plans compliant with OSHA guidelines.
- Appoint senior team members to oversee daily safety checks.
Tech Tip: Invest in construction management software with safety modules and checklists, but choose one that alerts you of safety hazards and keeps accurate records of each worker’s OSHA status.
Avoid Overtime Complications and False Hours
Labor issues extend beyond safety. Labor law violations and falsified hours can cost your firm dearly. Ensure that employees clocking over 40 hours a week receive appropriate overtime pay and maintain meticulous labor records. Keeping an accurate headcount with traceable clock-in and clock-out will prevent wage theft.
- Ensure robust record-keeping for on-site hours, including overtime.
Tech Tip: Use construction software for headcount tracking, preferably one with real-time alerts and reporting.
Counter Delays: Track Progress
Delays are a leading cause of disputes in construction. While some delays (like weather disruptions) can't be helped, others stemming from poor progress tracking can.
- Allocate more time to project planning and tracking.
- Collaborate with specialists to craft detailed, proactive plans.
Tech Tip: Utilize construction estimating and progress tracking software with statistical insights and progress reporting.
Track Contractors: Ensure They Are Compliant
Ensuring subcontractors are compliant is key. Their outdated permits and non-compliant workers will ultimately fall on you. In New York, it is vital to ensure that all workers and supervisors are Local Law 196 compliant.
- Ensure potential subcontractors have proper documentation for their companies and their workers.
- Spend extra time vetting subcontractors.
- Keep track of subcontractors upcoming permit expirations.
Tech Tip: Opt for general contractor software with a subcontractor management module and permit expiration alerts.
Stay Informed: The Power of Real-time Site Monitoring
Keeping a close watch on construction site activities in real-time ensures that everything is going according to plan. Being in-the-know as events unfold prevents unnecessary hitches and costly errors.
- Use cameras and other monitoring devices to get a live feed of various construction activities.
- Ensure that project managers and supervisors make regular, unscheduled site visits to verify the progress and quality.
- Engage with onsite team leaders daily to get updates and provide guidance if needed.
Tech Tip: Embrace construction site monitoring software. This technology can provide live reports, data analytics, and immediate notifications about critical on-site events, ensuring you're always in the loop.
Avoid the pitfalls of lawsuits, failed inspections, and wage theft. With Beti, you not only maintain the pristine reputation of your company, but also save significantly on potential fines and penalties.