by | Construction, Loss Control |

Unlike football, in construction it is the lowest number that wins the bid. Keeping down costs is always the key to not only winning the bid but making a profit! A contractor once said to me that the secret to making money is getting rid of inefficiencies and the greatest inefficiency is accidents.

I could go on and on about how valuable safety is but why don’t we start this way: 66% of all construction injuries arise from moving materials.

When I first came to work in insurance from the construction industry, I thought that figure was not a shock. As a project manager, I knew that about the same percentage of time and money came from moving material. It therefore seemed logical that if you reduced the amount of moves needed to install something you would reduce costs and ultimately help reduce accidents. The challenge of course is how to improve efficiencies in this area. Here are some items for consideration:

  • Pre-plan storage areas
    • Can machines move the materials?
    • Can rollers be used?
    • Can materials be stored to reduce lifting below the knees or above the chest?
    • Is there ample space to move the materials around?
    • Are they close to the installation area?
  • Plan the installation
    • How heavy are the materials (most humans will become injured if they must lift, push or pull more than 35lbs routinely)?
    • Remember the knees and chest rule: the greatest amounts of weight should be handled between these two areas of the body.
    • Remember, the likelihood of injury increases with weight, position, and length of time exposed
      • Example: a sheet of dry wall weighs approximately 50lbs. Typically, 2 workers would probably be used to put it up on a ceiling and would hold it in place until it was fastened. Instead, consider using a T-brace or panel lift and the job can be sped up by approximately 50% and the potential for injury reduced.

There are many other examples but the most important thing is to give the project some thought before starting. This can help save money and help reduce the potential for injury, which can help you save money in the long run. Contact your local Acadia Insurance Loss Control representative today for more information on safety that can help save you money in the long term.


Acadia Insurance is pleased to share this material with its customers.  Please note, however, that nothing in this document should be construed as legal advice or the provision of professional consulting services.  This material is for general informational purposes only, and while reasonable care has been utilized in compiling this information, no warranty or representation is made as to accuracy or completeness.  Distribution of this information does not constitute an assumption by us of your obligations to provide a safe workplace. Maintaining a safe workplace in accordance with all laws is your responsibility. We make no representation or warranty that our activities or recommendations will place you in compliance with law, relieve you of potential liability or ensure your premises or operations are safe. We exercise no control over your premises or operations and have no responsibility or authority to implement loss prevention practices or procedures.

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