Young Adult holding blueprints.

Investing in the future: Partnering with education

by Katrina Kersch             The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce states, “The business community is the number one consumer of the public education system and therefore must be an involved and engaged stakeholder in the education of America’s children.”             It is not unusual to hear employers talk about partnerships with education as having no real return on investment (ROI). I have personally heard the following statements from employers: “I attended three career fairs and sawRead More

Additional federal infrastructure investment is critical for safe drinking water

by Sara Schwartz When news of the Flint, Mich., water crisis made headlines, nearly 21 million people across the country relied on water systems that violated health standards. Low-income communities, minority populations and rural towns disproportionately deal with barriers to safe water. (See related story from Pittsburgh, Penn., below.) Drinking water challenges are complex: failing infrastructure, polluted water sources and low-capacity utility management are all part of the issue. Declining investment in water infrastructure throughout the last several decades hasRead More

How advanced technology is shaping tomorrow’s jobsites

            Technological revolutions don’t happen overnight. Instead, they typically resemble the progression of a jobsite; one area is built, connected to another, tied to a third and so on. Once a project nears completion, the full picture finally begins to emerge. When looking at the future of technology in the construction industry, that picture is starting to come into focus.             While other industries may receive more mainstream attention for exciting advances, construction has already experienced its share of revolutionaryRead More

Road construction

Mobile technology aims for safer highway work zones

More than half (54 percent) of highway contractors reported that motor vehicles had crashed into their construction zones during the past year, according to the results of a highway work zone study conducted in 2018 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). In response, association officials have launched a new mobile advertising campaign that urges drivers who pass through work zones to slow down and be alert. Forty eight percent of contractors who reported crashes on jobsites said driversRead More

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

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