Construction Labor Woes Continue

Despite Florida’s steadily rebounding real estate economy, much of the state’s major real estate sectors are still experiencing the pressure from the lack of skilled construction labor available. This labor shortage has caused a ripple effect throughout the industry, increasing costs of labor and materials as well as causing project delays.

However, it isn’t just investors and developers that are susceptible to the negative effects of the labor shortage. Much of the pressure — and increased risk of accident — has been pushed onto construction laborers themselves.

According to a recent survey of construction industry though-leaders, more than half of survey participants feel that the lack of skilled construction labor directly relates to the increase in on-site safety risks. Those surveyed also believe that this trend will continue to grow if the current construction labor shortage is not addressed.

Addressing Increased Risks

While there is no immediate solution in place to address the labor shortage, there are steps you can take as a project manager, foreman or other site leader to mitigate risks on the job-site. Here are four easy steps you can take to reduce the risk of construction accidents on your job-site.

Establish clear safety practices

There are a lot of risks on a construction site. That doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for them. Establishing clear safety practices for your employees up-front is key in promoting a positive work safety culture. Fostering open channels of communication between you and your crew is important in establishing proper safety practices.

Offer job-site training

Make sure you are providing your workers with the proper know-how on the job. If your project requires specialized training or your workers are operating unfamiliar equipment or machinery, make sure you are providing access to proper training and informational resources for safe handling. Cutting corners on job-site training creates huge risks for injury or accidental death.

Provide the right tools/resources

You wouldn’t ask a surgeon to operate using a regular knife and fork, so why would you ask your construction crew to make-do without the proper equipment? Many forget just how highly specialized and technical the construction industry is. For workers to complete projects safely and accurately requires access to the right tools and resources. Make sure you are providing them with the proper materials.

Lead by positive example

The best way to ensure site safety practices are being followed on a project is to lead by example. Show your crew that you are invested in safety measures. It’s not enough to just post a notice of safety expectations or to discuss it once. You need to incorporate site safety practices into your everyday routine.

Additional Resources

If you want to find out more about Florida’s construction labor shortage or read more tips on construction safety, check out our blog!