Why Safety is Success for Construction, Engineering, & Architecture Firms
In the construction and A&E (architecture and engineering) segments, there’s always been a decisive emphasis on safety. Today’s managers and owners are finding out that safety is not just a mandatory policy. It’s a pathway to success. A generation ago, the majority of entrepreneurs viewed laws about safe practices as an annoyance. And they ignored safety and success rates. Something that cost them money and time and delivered not much in the way of profits. Times have changed considerably. In the 2020s, business founders and entrepreneurs know how to turn safety into success.
In this case, success means following a set of specific, safe procedures and receiving multiple benefits in return. What are the benefits? In addition to fewer lawsuits, they include things like higher productivity, an enhanced public image, employee loyalty, low insurance premiums, and the ability for builders to win additional bids. Here are the pertinent facts to keep in mind the next time your team reviews official company policies.
Fewer Lawsuits: Safety is Successs
No company owner wants to end up in a courtroom or legal dispute of any kind. Those who run an accident-free workplace, with a constant emphasis on avoiding unsafe conditions and situations, rarely need to fend off lawsuits from injured workers, customers, or consumers. Even for companies that have full-scale insurance coverage for work-related accidents and similar events, even a single incident can cause premiums to rise and end up costing the company a huge amount.
Fleet Managers and GPS
Fleet managers in the building and construction sector are experts at leveraging the power of a relatively simple technological concept for maximum effect. When it comes to GPS technology, vehicle fleet supervisors for large contractors can gain significant cost efficiencies and all-around safety-related improvements at a very low price. That’s primarily due to the flexibility and endless usefulness of GPS solutions in the face of modern operational challenges and complex problems of all kinds.
Higher Project Productivity Means Safety is Success
No matter the size of the job site or type of structure, a lower accident frequency means that the project manager can more easily meet intermediate deadlines and have a greater chance to earn early completion bonuses. There are even apps to help increase productivity that can provide even more assistance in this department. Another benefit of fewer accidents is that overall productivity has the potential to reach maximum levels. When that happens on job after job, a construction firm acquires an industry reputation for being efficient, safe, and productive.
Enhanced Public Image
While consumers don’t pay close attention to a construction company’s accident rate, they do read news and make mental notes about workplace injuries and other adverse events connected to the building industry. For a better public image, consider taking an active approach in advertising by highlighting the number of accident-free days your crews have worked. The entire effort is aimed at creating a brand image . And it is associated with efficiency and high-quality craftsmanship, and not danger and injuries.
It’s the Right Thing to Do
There’s one factor that is not directly related to profitability, reputation, or productivity for safety and success. When builders, architects, and engineering firms strive to minimize on-the-job dangers, they’re acting as responsible members of the business community. That kind of attitude and overarching goal penetrates the entire company culture. And it tends to make for a more satisfying place to work. Organizations in the commercial building trade. Starting from sub-contractors on up, can feel authentically proud of keeping workers free from serious accidents and creating an environment where everyone focuses on safe practices in whatever they do.
So many businesses make enormous efforts to build a positive brand image in the industry and among potential clients that they overlook their own employees. Top corporations in every commercial sector, from banking to medical services and more, run more smoothly and profitably when they achieve high degrees of worker loyalty. When people feel secure in their jobs, particularly in the building trades, they tend to stay put and not engage in job hopping. Likewise, keeping employees for more than five years reduces the need to train large numbers of new hires. Training is one of a business’s largest expense items. When there’s a high turnover rate, management must repeatedly pay to bring in new faces, year after year. That negligence to improve employee retention and that sort of churning has a direct and negative impact on the bottom line as well as on employee morale.
Lower Insurance Premiums Mean Safety is Success
There’s probably no better reason to avoid accidents on the job than to keep insurance premiums as low as possible. Even a single, serious incident can adversely affect annual premiums. And the ability to acquire a policy on future jobs. Many large carriers offer reduced premiums for accident-free days based on a sliding scale. Additionally, every construction project completed without incident can lead to a lower overall cost of insurance coverage. Fortunately, the leading insurers offer several ways for covered firms to earn discounts and more advantageous features in their policies.
Ability to Win More Bids
If your firm has an industry reputation as a safe builder, you’ll not only gain financial benefits. As noted above but could win more bids on future jobs. Requests-for-proposals (RFPs) typically include questions about reported incidents on prior projects your company has worked on, even as a sub-contractor for safety and success. The ability to honestly answer “No” to questions like, “Was anyone injured on one of your job sites in the past ten years,” is a huge plus. This factor is of particular relevance in highly competitive bids in which leading proposers aren’t very different. Winning bids is what the business is all about. Anything you can do to up your firm’s chances of getting a contract is a major step in the right direction.
Victor Z Young is a Civil Engineer with 35 years of experience working alongside the executive team of various construction companies. Victor specializes in construction insurance, delay analysis, performance analysis and engineering. He holds a Doctor of Project Management from Northwestern University.