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Addressing Construction Labor Shortage and Mitigating Workforce Risks

Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Combatting the Construction Labor Shortage and Protecting Your Company From Risks Associated With a Reduced Workforce

For years, qualified laborers in the construction industry have been hard to come by.

As of early 2022, “over 90% of organizations somewhat have difficulty attracting new employees,” and “81% of employers consider employee attraction and retention a top-five business challenge and expect the trend to continue.”1 There is a lack of individuals with adequate training, and worker shortages are abundant. This leaves construction companies exposed to on-the-job accidents that can cost them thousands of dollars in legal fees.  

What can construction companies do to protect themselves from the risk of on-the-job accidents while also reinforcing their workforce numbers? 

  1. Don’t just hire anyone for your construction projects. Hire skilled workers. Hire laborers that have previous job experience. These laborers will be familiar with proper safety procedures on the job while also providing you with quality work. 
  1. Can’t find skilled workers? Invest in training opportunities. Employees that are new in the workforce can receive valuable on-the-job training for special trades, start their careers by learning both your company culture and procedures, and go through virtual training that can help employees learn about health and safety regulations quickly and safely.2 This will allow you to control the safety of your environment and drastically reduce the need for accident claims. The Lanier Law Firm released an in-depth construction worker safety guide that provides helpful insights on workplace safety. With extra safety measures in place, accidents become far less common. With the right insurance broker, this can result in reduced insurance costs that can be reinvested back into your business. 
  1. Compensation is key. If you’re hiring workers new to the industry, there’s a common misconception that construction workers earn low wages. This is why recent high school graduates prefer a ‘temporary’ job at McDonald’s rather than entering a construction trade apprentice program. Despite a high hourly wage in construction–the perception is it’s a low annual earning profession.3 Make it well known that you’re providing workers with a highly competitive wage. If not a higher wage, then a benefits package will go a long way in using compensation as a key recruiting tool.4 
  1. Have the proper recruiting procedures in place to improve your construction workforce. Going to bump up compensation? Then you’ll also have to invest in the proper recruiting procedures so that more of the available workforce is enticed by your recruiting efforts. If laborers are aware of your stable job, the compensation it provides and the career path they can grow in, they’ll likely seek you ahead of other employers.  
  1. Protect your company from the risk. No matter how hard you train laborers on safety, on-the-job accidents are always a huge risk. Don’t leave your company open to the possibility of a lawsuit. Speak with a safety consultant to help check your blind spots for procedures that you can add to your daily routines and better prepare you for potential on-the-job accidents. Taking simple steps like prioritizing equipment safety, offering training on an ongoing basis, following OSHA standards, and providing employees with ample protection can protect both your workforce and the company.5 
  1. Don’t just have any insurance policies, have the right insurance policies. Speak with your insurance broker about what additional policies you can add to protect your company financially when an accident happens. The right policies in place can be the difference between your business sinking and you being back up and running without a hitch. 
  1. Zywave, 2022. Attracting and Retaining Construction Workers in Today’s Labor Shortage. [online] p.2. [Accessed 1 November 2022]. 
  1. Zywave, 2022. Attracting and Retaining Construction Workers in Today’s Labor Shortage. [online] p.3. [Accessed 1 November 2022]. 
  1. Simplar Foundation, 2022. Unstable Markets Skilled Labor Shortage [online] Available at: <… [Accessed 1 November 2022].  
  1. Zywave, 2022. Attracting and Retaining Construction Workers in Today’s Labor Shortage. [online] p.4. [Accessed 1 November 2022]. 
  1. Zywave, 2022. Construction Risk Advisor November 2022. [online] [Accessed 1 November 2022]. 

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.