Construction contractors need to know what builder's risk insurance will and won't cover at work sites, Autumn Heisler writes. The biggest risks to the sector include construction defect claims, contractual provisions that could lead to personal injury claims, and a workforce that increasingly comprises aging employees, as well as inexperienced ones.
Manual methods for gathering important project data are still in use among 47% of construction managers surveyed by software firm TrackVia. A McKinsey report published last year suggests construction contractors adopt a focused and flexible approach to overcoming obstacles when trying to implement new technology.
Improved handrails, safety netting, harnesses and other solutions have helped reduce the rate of deadly falls and construction injuries in Washington. While safety gear is an important piece of the puzzle, companies also must establish a culture that emphasizes safety, said Mandi Kime, safety services director for the Associated General Contractors.
With 10 hours of safety training under their belts, construction workers in New York City will be required to complete 30 total hours by the end of the year. The city recently announced the new safety law, which will require 40 hours of completed training work when the law is fully phased in by next May.
Good subcontracts begin with a standardized procurement system that can reduce the risk of disputes regarding specifications, inclusions or exclusions, George Hedley says. It's important to execute all subcontracts before starting work on a project and to use contact scope checklists to avoid forgetting important items when drawing up subcontracts, Hedley adds.
Pay-if-paid clauses can help general contractors shift the risk of monetary losses when they aren't properly paid, but subcontractors are better off with pay-when-paid clauses that ensure that they will be paid as long as the general contractor receives payment, according to Jeremy Wyatt of Harrison Law Group. Meanwhile, subcontractors should strive to limit indemnity clauses in construction contracts to insurance and negligence only, he says.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's National Safety Stand-Down campaign this year is continuing its focus on falls, which account for a disproportionate percentage of deaths on construction sites. This year's campaign recommends several fall-prevention measures, beginning with equipment inspections, training and written policies.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has begun enforcement of its new beryllium standard that could prevent 46 new cases and 90 deaths annually. The new standard reduces the exposure limit of beryllium dust from 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter of air during an eight-hour period to 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter.
The Miller Act requires general contractors working on federal projects to procure payment bonds equal to the contract price. The bonds guarantee payment to certain subcontractors and suppliers as long as they make a claim within 90 days of completing their portion of the project, an attorney writes.
New York Wheel and contractor Mammoet-Starneth have until Sept. 5 to restart or cancel the Ferris wheel project on Staten Island in New York City, according to an agreement filed in a bankruptcy court. The project, which has been mired in cost overruns, delays and disputes between investors, has stalled since May 2017.
A 14.5-mile rail line is being planned in Minnesota, and the cost has increased by $145 million to a total of $2 billion. The most recent low bid for civil construction was $799.5 million, and heavy construction could begin in 2019.
The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is considering a public-private partnership to complete the final segment of the city's elevated fixed guideway rail system. The final segment is projected to cost $1.6 billion, moving the project's total cost to nearly double its original projection of $4.6 billion.