It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year are a time for good cheer, holiday greetings and happy meetings, bonuses, and well-deserved vacations. It’s also a time when productivity can be challenging.
It can be a struggle to juggle your construction team’s vacation needs and wants while managing your client’s expectations. In our experience, postponing the launch of a new project during prime time is an effective way to avoid our natural tendency to overpromise and underdeliver. Setting realistic goals can keep your workers engaged and promote a strong work output.
The key to productivity during the holiday season is to be both proactive and creative with scheduling, “explained James LaRosa, CEO, LaRosa Groups. “By creating the holiday work schedule well in advance and offering options, we are able to set realistic goals and manage our client expectations.”
The holiday season is also a time for an increase in construction site crime. While you and your employees enjoy a well-deserved break, empty sites can be subject to vandalism and theft.
According to the National Equipment Register (NER), “Thus far in 2022, reports to NER indicate steady patterns of equipment theft nationwide. We expect that thieves will be active again this holiday as they were in past years.”
Four Strategies to Prevent Construction Site Theft and Vandalism
At LaRosa Building Groups, our mindset is a proactive one. Our goal is to anticipate what could happen and prepare accordingly. Here are our best practices for construction industry professionals to secure construction projects during the holiday season:
Create a plan of action: A checklist of tasks with a timeline is an efficient and effective way to anticipate and plan. Our checklist also includes names of responsible parties for each task and promotes accountability. Our goal is to leave nothing for the last minute.
Plan for emergencies: Even the best-laid plans can go awry. Having a detailed emergency protocol and sharing it with all constituent parties is one way to avoid havoc when an unexpected crime or accident occurs.
Secure the property: Locking all doors, windows, and areas of access is generally a good proactive ritual. Adding fences around the site perimeter and a security guard can be an additional deterrent during the holiday season. In addition, limit site access to authorized personnel only.
Lock up the equipment: Leaving equipment outside subjects the equipment not only to the elements but to the possibility of vandalism. Items that are concealed from plain sight are less tempting and, therefore, less likely to be a target for thieves. If possible, lock all equipment, tools, and other portable items in a warehouse or storage unit.
Five Best Practices to Mitigate the Risks of Accidents and Incidents
Accidents and incidents are also on our radar during the holiday season. Here are some effective strategies to mitigate the risks of accidents or incidents:
Check and double-check: Having a checklist with assigned responsibilities is an effective way to ensure all bases are covered.
Use visuals as deterrents: Place warning signs in visible areas and install barriers around hazardous areas.
Lock them up: Secure hazardous materials, combustible materials, and chemicals to prevent fires.
Prepare for inclement weather: Wind, snow, and rain can damage your site. Working through the winter months can be tough. We recommend securing items such as scaffolding which could cause injuries and accidents if not secured.
Power it off: It’s a safe bet to turn off the power at the site. By turning off circuit breakers and power supply, you are minimizing the incidence of theft, accidents, or incidents.
Creating the initial checklist for your holiday site shutdown may sound cumbersome. But once you set up a template, the list can be easily adapted for other sites.
Construction site management during the holiday season and all year round is our area of expertise. Let us help you with your next project.
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