Construction labor is always a significant topic. Businesses constantly look for ways to avoid construction-related claims. Labor productivity is a big part of navigating claims. It is a symbol of work that is completed during a specified period. Contractor projects are influenced by labor costs and productivity. A compensable loss relating to productivity happens when the contractor uses more hours to complete a unit of work than necessary.
Construction is an intense industry that relies on labor. A decline in productivity can impact the performance of an organization. The output of the construction sector takes up to over 10% of the Gross Domestic Product in most countries. A reduction in productivity can throw a project off schedule and cause significant delays. That’s why identifying the common variables that impact labor productivity is so important. Companies can save money by improving productivity because similar work can be completed using fewer people, reducing the overall labor costs.
Common Variables That Might Affect Labor Productivity in Construction Projects
- Bad Weather
Inclement weather is a serious detriment to productivity. Many construction projects have suffered significant delays and even been canceled because of inclement weather. The contract should outline where the contractor is entitled to extra time due to inclement weather and the type of proof that is necessary for filing a claim. The lost productivity may refer to periods of inclement weather. Lost productivity is also caused when the project schedule has to be adjusted because the weather impacts job performance.
- Poor Sequences
Contractors may seek extra compensation when the project is compromised due to a change in the specified method of performance or sequence of work. For example, if a contractor has to alter the work schedule due to delay or interference, lost productivity can occur due to having to work around the unexpected situation.
- Working Overtime
Labor productivity can be negatively impacted due to fatigue and frequent absences caused by scheduled overtime work. However, if the primary cause is compensable, the general impact of reduced productivity can be minimized.
- Stacking Trades
You may be impacted by multiple trade contractors operating in an area that they were not equipped to handle. The crowding can negatively impact labor productivity. There is a documented loss of efficiency experienced by mechanical subcontractors when the general contractor accelerates the work. This causes the construction project to become overcrowded. People have to work longer hours while dealing with a lack of materials.
- Blocked Sites
Since the contractor has the right to control all of the means and performance methods, restricting site access can cause significant damage to labor productivity. Actual access to the site is restricted, as well as the use of specific laydown areas.
- Lack of Manpower
The lack of a skilled labor force has a direct impact on scheduled projects. You may have to accelerate your work in order to work around the delays associated with having a consistent workforce. In addition, traditional contract language places the risk of labor on the contractor. For this reason, it is often difficult to receive extra compensation when there is a shortage in the labor force.
As a contractor, it’s important that you have the right project management team on hand. They should be able to identify potential problems that cause a loss of productivity before they arise. Document the variables for future reference. If you have any questions about the loss of productivity in your construction projects, contact the team here at Proforma Construction. We are available at your service even during a pandemic.