With the labour shortages and the increased amount of reported work-related absences in the construction industry; it is important that key decision-makers explore new and inventive ways to maximise staff retention. According the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of insolvencies in the construction industry have increased by 3.7 percent in the period of a year as a result of labour shortages. With each person who leaves the industry, it is reported that this equates to £11,000 per person in staff turnover. If construction leaders understood the costs of staff turnover upon their businesses, this could reduce industry insolvencies.
It is important for key decision-leaders in the construction industry to provide their employees with a safe environment, that enables space for growth and development in efficiency, confidence and a tactical approach to addressing the skills gap within employees. Making positive physical changes to the warehouse work environment will boost staff retention, reduce reported absences and improve upon productivity. Additionally, investing in optimising the warehouse environment will also demonstrate that employers care for their workforce, making employees feel valued less reluctant to joining company competitors. ConstructConnect says, "commitment to safety can improve a construction company’s reputation and attract top talent by showing an interest in the well-being of its employees."
"The greatest asset of a company is its people."
- Jorge Paulo Lemann (Co-founder, Banco Garantia)
The Right Changes to Prioritise: Employee Welfare
Improving Labour-Intensive Practices
In the construction industry, there were reported 79,000 work-related illnesses in 2019. 62 percent of these work-related illnesses were musculoskeletal disorders due to the labour-intensive nature of the construction industry, (Health and Safety Executive 2019 Report) .
Investing in equipment that supports the reduction of labour-intensive practices in order to effectively reduce work-related illnesses and injuries is a smart solution to building loyalty your workforce. It demonstrates that you care for your employees, making them less reluctant to leave the company. Not only will this improve efficiency in the construction process but it will also demonstrate to the public that you are an ethical company that cares about its work force.
Update your Work Environment to Boost Worker Welfare
This may involve investing in equipment that reduces repetitive movements, postural strain from heavy-lifting and jerking movements, including:
- Portable Load Moving Skates
An ISO Skate is a fantastic resource to have to reduce the action of heavy lifting. It also reduces repetitive actions in the moving process because the weight capacity on ISO Skates enable many pieces of equipment/materials to be moved in one swift action. ISO skates are designed to move heavy-weight intermodular containers, making rearranging the warehouse so much easier, saving time and reducing labour-intensive activity.
- Indoor Shipping Container Storage
Often, being able to organise resources and materials into categorised easily accessible storage areas, maximises efficiency and reduces potentially damaging physical exertion amongst your workforce. The organisational aspect means that less time is spent locating a specific resource, providing your employees with a comfortable familiarity within their working environment. This is therefore an effective method for boosting proficiency and independence within your employees. Shipping containers are also portable with the use of ISO skates. If you are working on an expansive project, the components that you store within the container will be easier to access, without adding unnecessary strenuous physical activity.
- Investing in Lighter Tools
Ensuring that lighter modern tools are replacing the inconvenient heavy-weight tools will benefit, not only the speed of the construction process, but will also reduce jerking movements and muscular strain for workers. This will therefore minimise work-related injuries and improve proficiency amongst worker, providing them with a sense of professional achievement. The use of heavy-weight tools is reported to contribute to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CPS) in construction workers, therefore investing in lighter tools should be a priority in employee welfare.
- Investing in Power Tools
Similarly to investing in light-weight tools, opting for power tools will also speed up the construction process and decrease the rate of potentially damaging physical and repetitive exertion amongst the workforce.
As esteemed industrial engineer, Allen F. Morgenstern said;
"Work Smarter, Not Harder"
- Providing a Space of Comfort for your Workers
Work in the cold has been linked with respiratory disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular diseases and skin disorders, according to BC Legal
Those working in the construction industry are at risk. Under the Health and Safety Work At of 1974, employers are required to provide workers with a comfortable heated working environment to maintains ethical standards. This may include offer Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) through clothing or a break space to accumulate warmth. Many key-decision makers are opting to invest in portable modular spaces within the warehouse with funtional heating systems, spacious interiors to work, or in some cases, may act as a canteen social space.
Clarkes Solutions offer heated, well-lit shipping container spaces and storage that enables workers a comfortable environment within the warehouse. Clarkes Solutions also offers bespoke conversions that can be used as portable fully functional toilet facilities, canteens, social spaces, workshops and storage units. For more information, check out our video and get in contact with us here!