Court Decision Says that GCs Can Receive OSHA Citations for Subcontractor Violations

Multi-employer worksites are extremely common in the construction industry, but they can still make work extremely complicated.  One of those complications results when a subcontractor receives a governmental violation, such as an OSHA violation.  As a controlling employer on the site, can a general contractor be held responsible for safety hazards of a subcontractor?  One court says yes.

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JBKnowledge Releases 2018 Construction Technology Report | ConTech Junkie

JBKnowledge, a construction technology and consultancy company, has been producing their annual Construction Technology Report since 2012.  Now in its 7th year, it is far and away the most comprehensive collection of survey results in the construction technology sector.

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AGC: Almost 80% of Construction Firms Plan to Add Headcount in 2019

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The construction industry is still booming in most of the country, which is turning into a double edged sword for many contractors. On one hand, more work equals more money.  On the other, more work means the need to find more qualified workers to actually build the projects, which has proven to be a very tough task in recent years.   A recent survey highlights the repercussions of that dilemma.

The 2019 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report

The Associated General Contractors of America and Sage Construction and Real Estate recently released the results of a survey, titled Contractors Remain Confident About Demand, Worried About Labor Supply: The 2019 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report that shows 79% of construction firms plan to add headcount in 2019.  That percentage is a slight increase over 2018, in which 75% of respondents said they plan to increase headcount. Almost have of the group that plans to add headcount only plan to increase by 10% or less.

Over 1,300 firms responded to a 20 question survey, covering 49 states and Washington DC. You can find the full survey results here.  

Workforce Shortages

On the flip side, 78% reported that they are having a tough time filling both salaried and hourly positions, which was down from 83% in 2018’s results.  Not only is the inability to find qualified staff making it difficult to complete more work, 37% of the firms say they are increasing bid costs to compensate for staffing changes.

Pay and Benefits for Employees

Increased labor costs can be good news for the actual workers, though. 59% of firms reported that they gave pay raises, another 29% say they added incentives or bonuses, and another 34% increased benefit packages to help retain and attract employees.

Training and Development

63% of firms plan to invest more into training and development programs for both new and current workers, which is up from 52% last year.  That’s great news to hear, because as it becomes more difficult to find qualified workers, firms are increasingly hiring “green” employees with little to no experience.  Inexperience on a job site can lead to an increased risk of safety issues without proper training.

Technology

42% of responding companies said that they plan to increase their IT budget in 2019 and 30% of those will use that money towards project and document management software.  That makes perfect sense to me, as companies that are serious about using technology to further their business need to pick a centralized platform for sharing and communicating with others.

The survey showed that firms are getting more comfortable with moving their project data to the cloud, with 31% saying they are very comfortable, up from 24% in 2018. Just over a quarter of the respondents say that their biggest technology challenge is finding the time to implement and train employees on the new programs.  Overhauling a formerly paper driven system is no doubt a tall task not for the faint of heart.

Full Report: Contractors Remain Confident About Demand, Worried About Labor Supply: The 2019 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook Report | AGC and Sage

Report: Construction Worker Deaths Dropped Slightly in 2017

After an uptick in construction industry fatalities in 2016, a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that both the amount of construction worker deaths and the rate of fatality dropped in 2017.

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Turner Construction, Bloomberg Execs Charged in $15M Bid Rigging and Commercial Bribery Conspiracy

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr strikes again on his hard stance against corruption and safety negligence in the construction industry. A Few weeks ago, he announced assault charges against a superintendent and a manager after 2 construction workers were seriously injured on a jobsite.  In 2016, he successfully convicted a construction foreman of criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment after a laborer was killed in a trench collapse that he was overseeing. Just last week, Vance announced charges against formers Turner Construction and Bloomberg LP executives in a $15M bid-rigging and commercial bribery conspiracy.

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PlanGrid Beefs Up Their Integrations with 3rd Party Apps for Enhanced Efficiencies

Fresh of the heels of their $875 Million Acquisition by Autodesk, PlanGrid has released several enhancements to streamline your processes. Through the release of PlanGrid Connect and a couple other enhancements, it will now be easier than ever for users to reduce manual data entry across multiple applications.

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OSHA Issues Yet Another Final Rule on Crane Operator Certification Requirements, Effective 2018

The long delayed rule for crane operator certification has new life as OSHA has issued yet another final rule, after making alterations and clarifications.  OSHA originally planned to require all crane operators to obtain certifications in 2010, but it has been delayed several times since then. A different final rule was proposed in 2017, but it was announced in May of 2018 that the administration intended to alter the rule

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The Ultimate Construction Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Another year is about ready to wrap up as the holiday season is upon us. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can be stressful for those in your life that are hard to buy for, especially those in the construction ideas. Our goal is to make that process easier for you or your loved one with our top picks for gifts every year!

For more gift ideas, be sure to check out our Ultimate Construction Holiday Gift Guides from 20152016, and 2017 or our past Father's Day Gift Guides from 2016 and 2017.

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