When undertaking construction projects, your job site is home to several vital and expensive assets. These assets range from costly equipment to intellectual property, and, if your team is not careful, you may risk financial losses. With all of the types of losses that may occur, it is important to be aware of what can occur and the best methods of prevention.
In this brief article, one of the Naples construction attorneys with Cotney Construction Law shares the more common issues that cause various types of loss at construction sites and tips on how to prevent those losses.
Risk 1: Financial Loss Due to Poor Planning
One of the major risks for financial losses come simply from poor planning. This seems the most simple, yet preventable, issue with any construction project. Poor planning can include failing to plan for common delays (such as weather delays and employee absences) to failing to survey the land properly.
The saying “plan for the worst but hope for the best” is never more true than when planning for a construction project. If you are hoping to minimize financial losses, especially losses due to poor planning, one of our Naples construction lawyers can discuss the best ways to prepare your job site.
Risk 2: Lost, Poorly Maintained, or Damaged Equipment
Equipment is a huge investment in the construction industry. Arguably, next to the cost of paying employees, equipment is the next highest investment. It’s important to keep all equipment maintained to prevent OSHA safety violations, which can result in costly fines. However, maintenance can become costly, which leads some to delay repairs altogether.
For this reason, many construction professionals choose to rent equipment. Rental equipment is already reliable and well maintained and is often not a cause of major financial loss due to maintenance. When you own the equipment, you have to factor in the cost of maintaining that equipment for its entire life cycle, whereas, when you rent, you only have to maintain it temporarily. Financial issues at a construction site may also come from equipment that is lost or damaged. When equipment is damaged and not repaired, or when it is lost or stolen, this can present a major challenge to your business and project as a whole.
Risk 3: Major Injuries
Injuries are a major risk in the construction industry. In fact, according to a recent study, one in ten construction workers are injured on the job every year. To put that into perspective, a whopping 10 percent or 10 out of 100 workers are hurt every year, with non-fatal construction injuries ranking 71 percent higher than any other industry. The number of fatalities follows a similar trend, with construction workers accounting for 47 percent of all workplace fatalities.
These injury statistics are harrowing, but they also represent a risk for a major loss, not only of valuable personnel but financial loss as well. Although Workman’s Compensation insurance will help, there may be additional costs when there are workplace injuries, including OSHA citations and fines and project delays. If anyone on your team has been injured, contact one of our Naples contractor lawyers as soon as possible.
Risk 4: Vandalism and Trespassing
When discussing potential losses, one would be remiss to leave out the costs of vandalism and trespassing. If someone trespasses or becomes injured or vandalizes your property — be it equipment or the project itself — there may be major costs to undo this damage. Construction sites are often dark, isolated places that are inviting to criminals for a variety of activities. This might be teens looking for easy trouble to get into or more serious criminals and crimes.
It can seem impossible to prevent vandals and trespassers; however, there are a few precautions you can take. Secure all equipment and vehicles at the end of the day and utilize alarms where possible. It’s also recommended to keep security cameras on at all times, as well as motion-activated lights. Another protective measure is to complete background checks on anyone who will have access to the construction site. This can prevent the wrong people from having access to your company’s assets after hours for criminal activity.
Risk 5: Intellectual Property Loss
One of the less common types of loss comes in the form of financial property. This type of loss does not necessarily occur at the construction site but can impair the overall project and is therefore worth mentioning. Intellectual property holds tremendous value in the construction industry. There are many forms of intellectual property, all of which can be protected under various laws.
Whether it’s a trademark, patent, copyright, or something else that qualifies as intellectual property, you need to ensure that your ideas are protected from being utilized for another party’s financial gain. Protecting your intellectual property requires an intimate knowledge of U.S. Copyright Law and other pertinent laws. Intellectual property might not always be tangible, but its importance can be felt across every industry in the United States. Contractors must be proactive about protecting their intellectual property by working with an attorney if they believe their rights are being infringed on by another party. If you feel that your intellectual property has been stolen, one of our Naples contractor attorneys can help you understand your rights.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.