Customer-Conscious: Avoiding the Hazards of Remodels and Renovations

Part of an ongoing accident prevention series from experts at Builders Mutual.

 

There are many differences between new construction and typical remodeling jobs. With new construction, you must consider risks to your workers and job-site visitors. But with remodeling, it is possible that your customers may be living in the home at the time of renovation, which poses a host of differentiating hazards. These unique risks call for new considerations to be made in your risk management strategy.

Continue reading “Customer-Conscious: Avoiding the Hazards of Remodels and Renovations”

Down in the Trenches: The Top 10 Trenching and Excavation Pitfalls.

Tips from the industry experts at Builders Mutual.

Developers, excavation contractors, utility contractors, masons, and even plumbers know the dangers of working in the trenches. A sudden cave-in can trap or even crush a worker. Asphyxiation from a lack of oxygen or the inhalation of toxic fumes threatens workers. The danger of an explosion or electrocution looms because of underground utilities. Surprisingly, even drowning poses a risk. Water rushing into a trench can quickly overtake a worker.

 

Working down in the trenches means putting your life on the line. According to OSHA, the fatality rate is 112% higher for excavation work than for general construction. Fortunately, sloping, benching, and shoring systems help mitigate the risks, but only when these protective measures are employed properly. Your knowledge of trenching and excavation pitfalls might help save someone’s life. Look out for one another—and avoid these top 10 oversights—while trenching or doing excavation work.

 

Continue reading “Down in the Trenches: The Top 10 Trenching and Excavation Pitfalls.”

What’s Behind The Drywall?

Quality control guidelines from the experts at Builders Mutual.

Once the drywall installation is complete, does your homebuyer come closer to getting keys to a defect-free home, or does it simply mean that you no longer have to look at the problem? Quality control begins on the job-site with you, the general contractor.  

 

Without quality control measures in place, costly callbacks eat away at profits and you risk customer dissatisfaction. If you haven’t met your homebuyer’s expectations, then you can be sure your homebuyer’s neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family will hear about it. Customer dissatisfaction can spread rapidly through social media channels–and scare off potential clients. Your reputation is on the line with every housing start. Let’s consider how to protect your business from the very beginning.

 

Continue reading “What’s Behind The Drywall?”

The Ultimate Gamble: Failing to Ask for Your Subs’ Insurance

Protect your business with advice from the experts at Builders Mutual.

Not long ago, general contractors (GCs) would have been hard-pressed to build a house if they required their subcontractors to use fall protection. Subs would simply work for a less stringent GC. Fall protection, although practical, was anything but popular. Nowadays, the unpopular has become the norm. If you stop by a job-site, you will find workers protecting themselves with harnesses, Safety Boot® Guardrail Systems, WallWalkers® and other types of safety equipment.

 

What is seemingly unpopular these days on the job-site? Requiring subs to have insurance, specifying minimums for limits, and requiring that they periodically provide proof of such coverage. Many GCs have concerns about losing subs if they mandate insurance requirements. Nevertheless, GCs who fail to require their subs to carry adequate insurance open their businesses to great financial risk.

 

Continue reading “The Ultimate Gamble: Failing to Ask for Your Subs’ Insurance”

Floor Without Fear: Protecting your employees from the strains of flooring

The industry experts at Builders Mutual tackle your FAQs.

Many highly regarded flooring subcontractors work best with teams that don’t exceed more than three to four members. The question is, how do small-scale subs build big safety strategies without breaking the bank?

Building a safety strategy from the ground up doesn’t always have to come with an exorbitant price tag. Even small teams can find the right balance of price and practicality without sacrificing the safety of their employees. Knowing the risks that differentiate your operations from the next flooring installation sub is a surefire way to provide your crews with the biggest bang for your buck.

What are the primary risks you should look out for? Depending on the type of flooring, our experts have offered answers to your risk-related questions.   

 

Continue reading “Floor Without Fear: Protecting your employees from the strains of flooring”

Expect the Unexpected: A Guide to Job-site Visitors

Part of an ongoing accident prevention series from the experts at Builders Mutual.

In an average day, you expect supervisors, subcontractors, and inspectors to appear frequently onsite. You’ve also grown to expect real estate agents frequenting the property with homebuyers. At this point, you even expect the nosy neighbor, the venturesome child, and the mischievous teen.

Regardless of whether or not someone has permission to enter a job-site, it is important to implement safety programs that account for the many visitors your site may attract. Continue reading “Expect the Unexpected: A Guide to Job-site Visitors”

The Cost of What’s Lost: How to Avoid Job-site Theft

Tips from your industry experts at Builders Mutual

Rapidly growing in relevance, job-site theft is an epidemic affecting contractors throughout the nation. With very little regard for the implications of their practice, thieves would steal the shirt off your back if you weren’t wearing it. Continue reading “The Cost of What’s Lost: How to Avoid Job-site Theft”

Take A Closer Look: Inspecting Your Job-site Equipment

The industry experts at Builders Mutual tackle your FAQs.

A growing business brings with it stressors of every caliber, forcing you to divide your attention accordingly, from your team members and equipment to insurance and billing. Keeping track of the minor, intricate details can become difficult, and as time passes, those “minor” to-dos can evolve into mountainous dilemmas, causing you even more stress and money. Thanks to our experts in the field, inspecting your equipment doesn’t have to fall to the back burner. Continue reading “Take A Closer Look: Inspecting Your Job-site Equipment”

Road Ready: Revisit Your Driving Policy

Tips from your industry experts at Builders Mutual.

For most contractors, the margin between success and failure on a project is small. You can’t afford to have issues that negatively affect your equipment or your employees. According to the Builders Mutual Focus Four report, vehicle collisions take the fourth spot in claim frequency and severity.

Continue reading “Road Ready: Revisit Your Driving Policy”

Heat Stress: The Hidden Danger on Your Job-Site

Tips from your industry experts at Builders Mutual.

Picture your crew ready for the work day with safety glasses, harnesses, and hard hats. And your job-site? Guardrails cover openings, and WallWalkers eliminate the need for makeshift scaffolding. When it comes to safety gear, you have it all.

Yet, there’s one glaring hazard that could take down anyone on your crew. The sun. Are you and your team prepared to spot the signs of heat stress? Continue reading “Heat Stress: The Hidden Danger on Your Job-Site”