Worker in PPE cutting steel beam

Creating a safety culture:
Focus on more than just recording zero incidents

by Bob Fitzgerald, Sr. Risk Control Consultant at Willis Towers Watson Great news! Your project achieved a safety milestone with zero OSHA-recordable injuries. Mission accomplished, right? Not entirely. Most safety practitioners insist that there is always room for improvement with safety practices and procedures. While the OSHA Recordable Incidence Rate (RIR) is a common and important metric for many organizations, some industry groups rank this indicator too high. Avoiding OSHA-recordable injuries is always a good thing, but claiming victory basedRead More

2019 with man in pointing to the sky

3 New Year’s resolutions to improve your construction business

New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for trendy diets and exercise goals, two of the most common promises made as the calendar turns to January. Setting your sights on fresh beginnings and commitments to using or improving business practices can put your construction firm on the right track for a successful 2019. Embrace technology Every year seems to arrive with a dizzying array of innovative technology for both personal and business purposes. While the use of drones on the jobsite areRead More

Rattlesnake in grass

Poisonous Snakes: How to avoid them and what to do if they bite

After a Texas man’s recent post of a video showing a den of rattlesnakes under his shed, we knew it was time to pull out one of our articles from 1969. This information is still helpful today. FROM OUR ARCHIVES: Usually rattlesnake bites are a rare occurrence but there is no point in putting out a welcome sign. Seldom, if ever, are such bites fatal to healthy adults if the victim refuses to panic. For those who do not know snakes: assume thatRead More

Follow the traffic:
98 percent of Fortune 500 companies use social media, do you?

The New England Patriot’s Bill Belichick, arguably the most successful coach in the history of the National Football League with a record five Super Bowl titles in eight tries (which is another record), doesn’t have time for social media. During his press availability for Super Bowl 52 in February 2018, the legendary curmudgeon said, “No, I don’t have ‘Snap-Face.’ I don’t do it.” It was a death blow for the plucky trend that once commanded undying attention from its devotees.Read More

Lower equipment operating costs:
Simple ideas for reducing fuel-related expenses

Contractors know that today’s marketplace is more competitive than ever and any edge can make a difference. With ever-fluctuating fuel prices, one chief concern is how to bid a project, knowing that the job may not start for months. Do you bid at current prices and hope they stay stable, or do you plan for potential price increases? Either way, there are methods to offset the rising costs of running equipment. Some may be things you’re already doing, others areRead More

Vintage Police Car

Caught red-handed:
Telematics system leads to recovery of missing excavators

A recent global fraud report showed that more than one third of construction, engineering and infrastructure firms were victims of theft during a one-year period. Count Jackson Plumbing and Ates Construction as members of that unlucky group as both companies had Komatsu compact excavators stolen from jobsites. One morning Alan Ates, Owner of Ates Construction, needed his Komatsu PC55MR excavator for an emergency water-line repair, only it wasn’t where he left it the evening before. “We were doing a jobRead More

Magnifying glass close up of the word "GRAMMAR"

Why good grammar is still important:
7 tips for clear communication

When you hear the word grammar does it bring back memories of a high school teacher and perhaps make you cringe a bit? Many people associate grammar with errors circled in red ink on a term paper. Thanks to my ninth grade English instructor, Miss Marie Shea, I learned that grammar is much more than a set of pesky rules, but instead serves as a path to ensuring clarity of communication. Whether you are writing content for a social mediaRead More

Road sign that says Marketing and Strategy

How to connect to customers through testimonials

Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the best types of promotion. In addition to the cost (free, you can’t beat that), it is so successful because potential customers are hearing good things about your company from someone they can relate to and trust. This is invaluable currency to have in business. However, Nancy in Omaha, who happens to love your product or service, has a Facebook following of about 30 people – your company is one of them, and her catRead More

Workers and foreman uses virtual reality glasses

Construction goes high tech:
Wearable technology monitors health, safety, jobsite data

Nearly a decade ago, the use of electronic devices to transmit information about equipment operation earned widespread acceptance throughout the construction industry. Now called “telematics,” it was first used for tracking equipment. But, what about the health and safety of workers? Now there are ways to monitor that as well, with the use of wearable technology. At approximately the same time as machine telematics began earning favor, the advent of wearable tech occurred. Most people are familiar with it, thanks,Read More

Construction wages rising:
Firms paying more, but labor market remains tight

An Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) analysis showed construction wages on the rise, which seems to be attracting workers to return to the industry. The organization cautioned, however, that labor conditions still remain extremely tight. “Many firms are boosting pay and taking other steps to compete for a relatively small pool of available, qualified workers to hire,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC’s Chief Executive Officer. “While these measures appear to be luring construction workers back to the job market,Read More

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