2016 turned out to be quite a busy year for contractors. To help you start this year strong, consider four key takeaways from 2016 and how they could impact your business in 2017.
1. U.S. Construction Activity Continued to Climb
2016 construction projects were on a steady rise throughout the year. Dodge Data & Analytics released its 2017 outlook, predicting new construction projects will rise 5 percent to $713 billion (up 4 percent from 2016), suggesting contractors should be busy at the start of 2017.
The yearly report specified areas of growth and decline:
Moving forward in 2017: With overall building expected to climb again across the U.S., contractors will be plenty busy at the outset of 2017. Make sure you’re ready for a fast start by taking advantage of your off-season.
OSHA recently announced a final ruling on its Walking-Working Surfaces standards, specifically fall hazards. Perhaps most notably, the update revised employer requirements for using personal fall-protection systems. The rule takes effect January 17, 2017, and is expected to affect 112 million workers at 7 million job sites across the U.S. OSHA predicts the new standard will prevent 29 deaths and 5,842 injuries annually.
Moving forward in 2017: Contractors can now choose fall-protection systems that work best for them. Important updates include:
OSHA rules vary by region. Check with your local supplier or municipality for laws and regulations specific to your area.
In 2016 the number of available skilled laborers struggled to keep up with the demand and consistent growth of construction projects, presenting a significant challenge for contractors.
Moving forward in 2017: With overall construction jobs booming, demand for additional skilled laborers is expected to remain high for another 12-18 months. To alleviate some pressure, contractors and project managers are using project management technologies and hardware innovations to streamline processes.
Technology played a key role in helping construction professionals tackle jobs more efficiently in 2016, helping contractors manage projects on the go and in the field.
Moving forward in 2017: Professional contractors will start to see wearable equipment that will further enhance jobsite efficiency and safety.
Along with tools like ABC Supply’s Pictureit, virtual visualization models are increasingly being used.
Keep reading the ABC Supply blog for more information and resources to grow your business in 2017.