Archive for General Construction

How Will Lower Oil Prices Affect the Construction Industry?

Gas Station Fill 300x168 How Will Lower Oil Prices Affect the Construction Industry?With the cost of oil hovering around $50 a barrel, economists are projecting both positive and negative effects on a national and global scale. But how will lower oil prices affect construction, an industry that’s looking for a big year, and heavily reliant on fuel for transportation, heavy equipment and more?

ENR.com attempted to answer this question in the recent article, Contractors Get Reprieve at the Pump.

While responses are mixed, we thought you’d find the perspectives interesting as you look forward to the building season. What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Simple Tips for a Safe Holiday Season

Xmas Safety 270x300 Simple Tips for a Safe Holiday SeasonWith the holiday season in full swing, here are a few tips to help you keep the festivities safe for family and friends. While many of these tips may seem like a blinding flash of the obvious, year-after-year emergency responders across the nation are called to action for entirely avoidable circumstances. So please keep these in mind while celebrating this season.

Drink Responsibly

Appoint a designated driver, get a taxi or simply stay put until you can drive safely. Alcohol is still one of the leading causes of traffic fatalities. It’s just not worth it. If you are hosting a holiday party, make sure to have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages available.

Buckle Up for Safety

This simple and effective safety measure is forgotten by many during the holidays. Whether you’re visiting family far away or just going down the street, take a moment before pulling out of the driveway to make sure everyone is ready for a safe journey.

Be Weather Ready

Winter travel requires additional preparation. Start with an inspection by a professional mechanic and address any issues before you hit the road. Have flares, blankets, a first-aid kit, flashlight, water, and snacks in your vehicle at all times. A shovel and a bag of kitty litter are especially helpful when you’re stuck in the snow.

Holiday Decorations

Choose decorations made from flame-resistant or non-combustible materials. Always keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials. Carefully inspect all lighting and repair or replace any damaged items before plugging them in. Make sure lights are mounted securely to avoid damaging the wire insulation. Confirm all outdoor lighting is certified for outdoor use and make sure all lighting is properly grounded. Never overload outlets or extension cords as is can lead to fire. And remember to turn off all electric decorations before leaving home or going to bed.

Fireplaces and Wood-Burning Stoves

Before using a fireplace or stove, test all smoke alarms and have fire extinguishers nearby. Keep the area around your fireplace or stove clear and double check that the flue is open before starting a fire. Always use a fireplace screen to catch burning embers. Never Read more

2014 Construction Industry Roundup and 2015 Forecast

improve 300x153 2014 Construction Industry Roundup and 2015 ForecastWhile architects, engineers and construction pros close the books on 2014, industry experts have already crunched mountains of data and released their predictions regarding where the construction industry is headed in 2015. Here are some highlights from industry analysts.

The Associated General Contractors of America @AGCofA

AGC of America Economist Ken Simonson took a look back at 2014. In a recent release, Simonson cited a report from the Department of Labor which confirmed 37 states and the District of Columbia added jobs between October 2013 and October 2014. The association’s chief economist noted, “These year-over-year and one-month changes show that construction is doing well in most of the country. Yet, the list of states that have added construction jobs varies from month to month, showing that the industry’s recovery remains vulnerable to worker shortages and unfavorable governmental actions.”

Forbes @Forbes

Houston was the fastest growing U.S. city in 2014, according to Forbes Staff Writer Erin Carlyle. The oil industry metropolis was the site of $25.1 billion in new construction in Read more

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2014

gokit11 150x150 Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2014Fall Protection remains the most commonly cited OSHA standard according to the recently released top 10 OSHA violations in 2014. The annual list from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is intended to help employers identify safety concerns so they can take corrective action to avoid citations, injuries or worse.

Top 10 OSHA Violations in 2014

(as of October 28, 2014)

  1. Fall Protection – 1926.501 – 2013 Rank: 1
  2. Hazard Communication – 1910.1200 – 2013 Rank: 2
  3. Scaffolding – 1926.451 – 2013 Rank: 3
  4. Respiratory Protection – 1910.134 – 2013 Rank: 4
  5. Powered Industrial Trucks – 1910.178 – 2013 Rank: 6
  6. Lockout/Tagout – 1910.147 – 2013 Rank: 8
  7. Ladders – 1926.1053 – 2013 Rank: 7
  8. Electrical, Wire Methods – 1910.305 – 2013 Rank: 5
  9. Machine Guarding – 1910.212 – 2013 Rank: 10
  10. Electrical, General Requirements – 1910.303 – 2013 Rank: 9

Read more

10 Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries

construction worker 300x223 10 Tips for Preventing Falling Object InjuriesEarlier this month a man was killed at a construction site New Jersey when a 1-pound tape measure fell 50 stories and struck him in the head. This tragedy is a stark reminder that falling object injuries can and do occur. It could also be considered a call for an industry-wide effort to prevent these incidents in the future.

Falling Object Statistics

  • A solid object dropped from 64 feet will hit the ground in 2 seconds at a speed of 43.8 miles per hour.
  • The same object dropped at 106 feet will hit the ground in 3 seconds at a speed of 65.8 miles per hour.
  • A 2-ounce pen dropped from 230 feet has the potential to penetrate a hardhat.

Tips for Preventing Falling Object Injuries

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5 Apps Every Construction Pro Should Download Now

Construction Tech 150x150 5 Apps Every Construction Pro Should Download NowEquipment World.com named the Apple iPhone 5s the best smart phone for construction industry professionals. It’s not the biggest, the most rugged, or the most affordable. Despite its faults, the iPhone still has far more readily available apps that make construction pros smarter, more efficient and more effective on the job. Add a beefy case and the right app and you have a powerful tool that goes wherever you do, including the jobsite.

App Appeal

Construction apps can provide the developer, project manager, and even site foreman a wealth of real-time resources that make every job easier. From apps that monitor project bids to finger-assisted CAD drawing to calculating architectural formulas, the number of available construction-specific apps is currently in the thousands and growing.

Best Apps for Construction

The best app for you depends on your job responsibilities, personal preferences and technical aptitude. Here are a few of our favorite free apps you may find useful: Read more

5 Big Benefits of In-factory Construction

DSC 0056 300x199 5 Big Benefits of In factory ConstructionMost people know that in-factory construction is faster than traditional, site-built construction. But there are several more advantages to in-factory building. Here are a few that may impact your decision on where to build.

1. Precision Assembly

The repeatable nature of in-factory construction allows builders to continuously improve equipment and processes that cannot be reproduced onsite. Cuts and connections are practiced and confirmed accurate.

As the building proceeds through the assembly line, frequent checks confirm strict adherence to specifications. Components that fail to meet specifications are corrected Read more

Infographic: Deconstructing Construction Waste

Construction accounts for 24 percent of all solid waste produced in the U.S. That’s approximately 160 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris created every year.

Reducing construction waste can have a tremendous impact on landfill costs, not to mention the obvious benefit to our environment. One solution for greener building is modular construction. Modular is inherently more resource efficient, and can dramatically reduce C&D waste.

Click on the infographic below to see some staggering construction waste figures, and the waste and money savings that can result from modular building.

modspace deconstructwaste final 012413 Infographic: Deconstructing Construction Waste

Copy and paste the code below to embed this infographic on Your site.


<img src="http://modspaceblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/modspace_deconstructwaste-final-012413.png" width="800">

Deconstructing Construction Waste – An infographic by the team at ModSpace

The Real Cost of Construction Site Accidents

 The Real Cost of Construction Site AccidentsOccupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can sometimes be expensive, appear unnecessary or extreme, or even just a pain. But when faced with the alternative, a robust safety program is the far better option. Here are just a few factors to consider every time your team heads out to the construction site.

Insurance Hike

Workers’ compensation insurance is frequently a contractors single largest expense next to payroll and materials. Even a single claim can result in a huge rate hike that is sure to put a dent in your bottom line.

Read more

The General Contractor’s Guide to Understanding Safety Performance Ratings

 The General Contractors Guide to Understanding Safety Performance RatingsIt’s no secret that injuries on the job site are a costly mistake. Nonetheless, the Bureau of Labor Statics recorded more than 1.1 million non-fatal construction-related injuries and illnesses in 2012. It’s a powerful incentive to go the extra mile to keep injuries to a minimum and with them, their impact on your bottom line.

Soon we’ll talk in greater detail about the many costs associated with poor safety performance. But first, here are some terms that every GC or sub, or any firm working in construction needs to understand.

Experience Modification Rate (EMR) is a computation determined by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) that compares a company’s annual losses in worker compensation Read more