Given the fundamental nature of bonds and the obligations they bring, subcontractors should be doubly careful when providing a payment and performance bond on a project when the general contractor is not doing so. In that situation, the subcontractor may find himself "looking uphill for payment and may face contractual issues from a 'pay if paid' clause to flow down notice and other provisions from the prime contract," writes construction lawyer Christopher Hill.
Builders' risk insurance, otherwise known as an "all risk" policy, insures projects during the construction phase and mustn't be overlooked, writes attorney Peter Strniste. Several prominent BRI issues should be addressed in contract negotiations, including who pays, who is insured and who will bear responsibility for policy deductibles, he contends.
Pull planning, in which all major stakeholders in a project come together to reverse-engineer the schedule, can be an effective way to encourage more streamlined processes and trim project schedules. The collaborative method tends to highlight potential roadblocks as well as excess built-in time that can be eliminated.
A contractor may be considered as the employer of a subcontractor's employees if the contractor has or shares the power to direct or supervise the workers directly or indirectly, writes Michael Lord. Other factors that can lead to an employer designation include whether a contractor can directly or indirectly fire such workers and whether the contractor shares or allocates responsibility for payroll, workers' compensation insurance or the provision of equipment and materials needed for work.
A letter signed by 55 Republicans and three Democrats asked a House subcommittee to add provisions to the 2018 budget that would delay the new joint-employer standard from the National Labor Relations Board. "This new joint-employer standard would hold businesses liable for management and actions of workers they do business with, but don't actually employ or control," the letter notes.
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A California startup is hoping to disrupt the construction industry by applying the principles of electronics manufacturing. The company says it uses digital technology, assembly line processes and just-in-time supply principles to prevent waste in construction.
Safety often requires decision-making but, given our human nature, we often make bad decisions or fail to make any decision at all, says Thomas "TJ" Lyons, safety director in New York with Gilbane Building. To minimize the risk of such human failings on construction sites, "we must remove the chance for someone to make a poor decision or remember to make that decision," he writes.
Only 3% of young adults express any interest in entering the construction trades, and a large majority of people undecided about their future say they probably wouldn't consider the field regardless of the pay offered, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders. Experts say more hands-on and technical training could help spur greater interest, especially industry-driven programs targeting high-school students and people in correctional institutions.
Dodge Data & Analytics says new construction starts increased 5% in March, but, for the first three months of 2017, they are down 3% overall from last year. The $4.2 billion Rover pipeline and the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 pipeline fueled much of the growth.
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