COVID-19 Impact Construction

Nearly every industry is feeling the COVID-19 impact from the shutdown which occurred earlier this year. It’s been no different for the construction industry. Here are some ways COVID-19 has impacted the construction industry and the expected lingering effects going forward.

The COVID-19 Impact on Construction

Studies show that COVID-19 is affecting construction companies differently depending on their location, the level of the project, and state responses. But here are four ways construction has been impacted directly.

  1. Creating new safety measures.
  2. Continuation of remote work and work from home.
  3. Reshaping budgets — public and private.
  4. Permanent changes in suppliers.

Below, we’ll dive into each of these topics to discuss the COVID-19 impact on construction.

Creating New Safety Measures and Adjusting Old Ones

With new policies such as fewer crewmembers and new security measures in place, essential construction projects are getting the green light to return to work. As a result, timeline extension, limited workforce, and staggered shifts are affecting construction project budgets.

Similarly, as more information is released regarding the virus, plans for both company office and worksites are continuously updated to comply with OSHA regulations. Part of this guidance includes an increase in the documentation internally.

The pandemic placed an emphasis on thorough detail and copious amounts of record-keeping. Thus, allowing companies to review the actions taken to mitigate the risk to crewmembers and a timeline to reference at later dates.

The Continuation of Remote Work

Many construction companies believe recovery lies in the strategic investment in marketing and networking from a distance. Businesses are focusing on bringing in new clients and securing their relationship with current patrons.

Telecommuting platforms are continuously upgrading to adapt to the increase in users. As a result, some companies are recognizing the benefits that telecommunication and remote work can have on a long-term basis.

Furthermore, some construction companies are seeing a positive effect on their budget due to telecommuting. A study revealed that a high percentage of companies intend to transition a percentage of workers to permanent remote work.

COVID-19 Impact on Construction Budgets

In addition to the impact that telecommunicating and schedule changes have on construction, the demands of the industry are changing as well. In April, close to one million construction workers had lost their jobs. Now, many of those who lost their jobs have returned to projects that were already under construction — not new work.

Industry prioritization is shifting to accommodate new demands and companies are adjusting budgets due to additional costs. Construction categories such as health care and public safety are receiving a resurgence while once popular categories like commercial construction are declining.

Moreover, government-funded construction projects are encountering a level of protection in comparison to privately-funded projects. Additionally, COVID-19 has driven costs of construction up in some places. It is not yet clear whether this change is a permanent one.

Permanent Changes in Suppliers

Supply chain constraints emerged at the beginning of the year due to China’s shutdown. Construction suppliers struggled to keep up with the high demand and prices increased. Currently, many construction companies have established additional alternative suppliers to avoid the risk of relying heavily on a sole supplier.

It is important to stress that any economic improvement in the construction industry will not be consistent. How the subcontractor middle-market proceeds during this crisis will influence how the construction industry can succeed in the long term.

Stay Safe with Sigalarm

With all the uncertainty moving forward, it’s important to find a product and service you can rely on. Here at Sigalarm, safety is our top priority. We’ve been providing safety solutions for decades, and we’re proud of our reputation and track record.  Contact us today to learn about how to stay safe on the job site.

ConExpo 2020: Sigalarm Unveils New Products, Mobile App

Despite concerns surrounding the novel coronavirus pandemic, ConExpo 2020 was the construction industry’s most successful show ever. Throughout the week, Siglalarm connected with leaders in the industry, closed new deals, and unveiled our newest innovations.

ConExpo 2020 became the highest attended event yet, with over 130,000 registered for attendance. With so many attending, Sigalarm continued our commitment to saving lives. We introduced and demoed our world-leading power line warning technology to countless new potential partners.

“When I leave ConExpo, I’m always amazed at the amount of people and equipment it takes to run our everyday lives,” said Ashley Pertler, Sigalarm’s Operations Manager. “There is a global workforce building your future, and they are all represented at this show.”

With great success at ConExpo 2020, we’re already making plans to attend the conference again in 2023.

Connecting with distributors

Despite some skepticism around attendance, Sigalarm’s booth in New Festival Hall had steady traffic throughout the week. We made connections with several new companies which could use Sigalarm’s technology.

Sigalarm closed a new partnership with Scale and Control Inc., a product solutions company. In addition, we began negotiations with several potential partners.

“It was a treat to hear how potential customers were discussing strategies to incorporate our products into their culture,” Pertler said. “We feel like those who were in attendance were serious about making business connections making this one of our most successful trade shows yet.”

We also connected with some of our current distributors who attended ConExpo 2020 to discuss future plans and products. These included Hydraulic Sales in Miami, Brandt Companies, and Bay Shore Systems in Idaho, amongst others.

Sigalarm Products at ConExpo 2020

Sigalarm introduced several of our new innovations at ConExpo, including our safety monitoring mobile app. At our booth in New Festival Hall, we showcased our Gen 5 Sigalarm system and its new features. Of course, our new wireless proximity alarm and monitoring application will continue to keep safety at the forefront.

“We received a lot of good feedback from customers who were excited about new Deutsch connectors and weather resistant features of the Gen 5,” Pertler said.

Sigalarm App

Sigalarm Mobile Monitoring app

Our monitoring app, which puts safety at the fingertips of its users, was introduced to customers as well. The app helps team members monitor and manage alarm notifications from job sites. Users can track warnings and keep records of alarm notifications in the app. Lastly, it will allow supervisors and team leaders to access their Sigalarm training course and earn their certification. The app can be downloaded on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Sigalarm Training Course

Along with our app, we also introduced our Sigalarm training course at ConExpo. Our wireless proximity alarm training course teaches team members how to use Sigalarms to ensure team safety. Furthermore, the course will walk through how to operate, adjust setpoints and parameters, and troubleshoot Sigalarm monitoring systems.

In addition to the desktop version of the course, it can be completed by team members in the mobile app as well. Once the course is complete, users will receive a certificate to authorize them to operate Sigalarms.

Besides our booth, several other companies were featuring Sigalarm’s line of products. Scale and Control Inc. displayed Gen 4 at its booth. Brandt Companies showed the Gen 4 installed on a pipe layer. In addition, Bay Shore Systems showcased the Legacy installed on their customers’ drill rigs.  Finally, our Sigalarms were displayed by Midwest Drilled Foundations & Engineering, Inc., and Scott Powerline & Utility Equipment.

Video Recap from ConExpo 2020

Photos from ConExpo

A Safer Future in Construction

Sigalarm was one of many innovators in construction safety at the event. With so many new revolutionary technologies on display, we were proud to be one of the presenters from around the globe. Moreover, ConExpo showed us just how many companies are prioritizing saving lives at their construction sites. Countless AEM (Association of Equipment Manufacturers) members proudly displayed, “I Make America” logos throughout the show.

“It makes me proud to be a part of the vital supply chain that keeps this country working, safely!” Pertler said.

At Sigalarm, we’re proud to supply a wide array of power line warning products to keep construction safe, including our new monitoring app. These include three warning devices and Hirtzer insulated links. To learn more about how we can help keep your employees safe on the job, call today or contact our team online.

Sigalarm will Attend ConExpo-Con 2020 amid Coronavirus Concerns

UPDATE: 12:20 p.m. EST, March 9, 2020

Exhibits that were previously canceled by Volvo will now be on display at ConExpo-Con despite the company announcing it would withdraw from the convention last week.

The company has decided it would not be possible to remove the equipment and dismantle the booth in Las Vegas before the show begins. One of the largest exhibitors at the convention will fill 60,000-square-feet of show floor space despite previously withdrawing.

“At this point in preparations it would not be possible for Volvo CE to remove the equipment and dismantle the booth before the show begins,” Volvo CE said in a statement. “Instead, a small number of locally hired independent staff will remain on the site for the duration of the show.”

Sigalarm has been following concerns about COVID-19 coronavirus and the upcoming ConExpo-CON/AGG 2020 in Las Vegas closely. We want to assure attendees that despite international concerns, Sigalarm will be attending the convention on March 10-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Sigalarm is focused on keeping our team members and customers safe at all times. We are taking strict precautions to protect against coronavirus. As an American-based company, we do not feel that our participation in the event presents any danger to our team.

Several ConExpo exhibitors and attendees withdrew due to travel restrictions due to the spread of the virus in China, Italy, and South Korea. These decisions to withdraw cannot be easy for any company. We understand the weight of withdrawing from such a major convention. However, over 90% of the convention exhibitors remain intact. We expect the convention to be the largest in its history.

Safety Precautions at ConExpo

ConExpo has released an update addressing the coronavirus and its effect on the conference. The coronavirus is spread primarily through infected respiratory droplets and touching surfaces with the virus on it. ConExpo is taking precautions to keep its convention clean.

ConExpo Show Management is encouraging a “no handshake” policy at the site of the convention. They will also be providing buttons and stickers to attendees. The management team is working with the Las Vegas Convention Center to provide hand sanitizers throughout the convention. This includes shows, festival grounds, meeting spaces, registration areas, media rooms, and information stands.

The management team will also have staff cleaning common areas with strong disinfectant, especially tables, door handles, and hands-on technology.

Everyone attending ConExpo is asked to make responsible decisions and stay home if they are sick and cannot safely travel, or if they are traveling from high-risk areas. Several exhibitors have not permitted staff from high-risk areas to attend the event. Visitors to the conference will be monitored by the South Nevada Health District and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The ConExpo staff is closely monitoring additional news. They will follow any protocols from the CDC and the World Health Organization. The expo is still expecting well over 100,000 attendees at this year’s event.

Volvo Group and Others Pulling out of ConExpo 2020

On Thursday, Volvo Construction announced that all business areas within the Volvo Group have withdrawn their participation in next week’s ConExpo-CON/AGG. Volvo Construction Equipment had one of the largest booths in the Festival Grounds, totaling at more than 60,000 sq. ft.

This decision came after a state of emergency was declared in Washington, Florida, and California on Wednesday. Cases of the virus continues to spread across America.

“We are great supporters of ConExpo, and despite being in advanced preparations for this year’s event, we believe it is the right thing to do to withdraw at this late stage. Our first concern is the wellbeing of employees, customers, and the wider public,” said Melker Jernberg, Executive VP and President of Volvo CE. “It’s very disappointing not to be attending, but our first priority is the health and safety of our employees and others.”

These decisions come with significant financial costs and the ripple effect on its employees packed into the decision to withdraw from the conference. But it’s a decision several companies have made in an effort to prioritize the safety of their staff. These companies include Michelin, Platform Basket, Parker Hannifin, Eaton, Danfoss, and Sun Hydraulics.

Stay Up to Date on Our ConExpo Plans

Sigalarm will continue to closely monitor the spread of the coronavirus until and during the convention. We are also generating a contingency plan should things worsen. Contact us to stay up to date on the coronavirus concerns. And to see us live from the convention, follow us on our social media channels below. We’re excited to see you at ConExpo-CON/AGG.

OSHA to Change Workplace Penalties Standards in 2020

In the past years, many businesses have failed to meet the safety requirements provided by The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). This inconvenience creates safety hazards and has led to increased injuries and deaths. With reason, OSHA implements standards to ensure both worker and workplace safety, a standard some workers have failed to meet. In order to further impose all regulations, OSHA has raised its civil workplace penalties by approximately 1.8% in January of 2020.

Workplace Penalties

Something must be done in order for regulations to be met without fail. According to OSHA, the primary goal is to correct workplace safety and ensure compliance within businesses. So, OSHA has determined the degree of each penalty depending on the type of employee misconduct. Ranging from more serious to less, violation of OSHA standards is a serious matter. The workplace penalties target the following violations:

  • Willful: from $132,598 to now $134,937 per violation
  • Serious Hazard: from $13,260 to now $13,494 per violation
  • Posting Requirement: from $13,260 to now $13,494 per violation
  • Failure to Abate: from $13,260 to now $13,494 per day beyond the abatement date

OSHA Inspections

In addition to executing violation penalties, OSHA has the right to conduct on-site inspections of businesses. Inspections must be conducted by an OSHA Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO). If during the inspection an officer discovers a hazard or standard violation, the inspector may issue citations and penalties. Generally, inspections begin with a presentation of agency credentials and an opening conference that includes a worksite walk-around and closing conference. It is important for all workers to understand and respect all safety regulations.

Abatement Process

If an agency issues any citations or penalties, an employer is able to request an informal conference with the OSHA Area Director. There, they will have the opportunity to discuss citations, penalties, abatement dates, and other information relating to the inspection. This allows the agency and employer to work out a settlement agreement and address hazards found during the inspection. However, new analyses show that companies are taking advantage of the abatement process in order to lessen their penalty charges. For example, one company charged with penalties received a 93% offset in penalties after their abatement process.

New Year, New Rules

Overall, the final rule put in place by OSHA implements annual inflation adjustments of enforced penalties. It also includes other agencies within the Department of Labor. The main goal is to centralize safety within all industries. This aligns with Sigalarm’s mission to save lives. More specifically, we use our proximity alarms to warn workers in close proximity to power lines. Our job is effective knowing that we can save just one life. Learn more about us on our website, and contact us today!

Keystone XL Pipeline

In 2017, President Trump approved the Keystone XL Pipeline. The construction was projected to take one to two years, creating more than 3,900 jobs. Fast forward to two years later and the Keystone XL pipeline project is still not in the works. However, the president backs the order. Experts say that the Keystone pipeline project and other oil and gas projects, provide greater access to natural gas to benefit families and the environment. Also, more jobs that will require workers to be protected on the job site.

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Cleaning Solar Panels

Sigalarm is no stranger to the importance of solar power. In fact, we rely on solar panels to charge our power line warning sensors, keeping workers and pedestrians safe during construction projects. Recognizing that solar energy plays an essential role in the lives of many, we wanted to offer up our tips for keeping these panels clean and functioning properly.

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Sigalarm Featured in Design 2 Part Magazine

After decades in business, Sigalarm is still the leader in power line warning systems. This record has made Sigalarm the preferred manufacturer of power line warning systems in the United States and globally. Also, their long career has yielded them some meaningful partnerships with other companies. This record does not come without recognition. Design 2 Part magazine featured Sigalarm in their October issue. The article reflects on the company’s relationship with its local electronics contract manufacturers and their benefits.

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Sigalarm Nova Award Nomination in 2011

Sigalarm is a well-respected company in the world of power line alarms. Used by everyone from construction companies to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Sigalarm has a long history of protecting both workers and equipment. And the industry has noticed. In 2011, for example, Sigalarm received a Nova Award Nomination for achievements in innovative construction. Being nominated for this honor was a thrilling experience and one that Sigalarm is proud of to this day.

Sigalarm Nova Award Nomination in 2011

How a Nova Award Nomination Works

The Nova Awards are the brainchild of the Construction Innovation Forum (CIF), an international nonprofit that has been around since the 1980s. Today, the CIF includes more than 100 member companies. It’s also host to an assortment of contractors, owners, architects, engineers, labor organizations, and associations.

Created with the goal of encouraging quality and affordability in construction, the Nova Awards are the Nobel Prizes of the building world. They are the only awards to consider all aspects of the construction industry. Simply receiving a Nova Award nomination was a testament to Sigalarm’s innovation and expertise. Additionally, it showed the company’s strong commitment to serving the public.

Why Power Line Alarm Systems Matter

A majority of fatal electrocutions occur as a result of equipment coming in contact with high voltage power lines. That’s why Sigalarm designed its warning systems to help operators who become distracted. The company estimates that organizations could prevent at least 20 percent of fatal incidents if they incorporated alarms into their operations. With more than 41 years of experience on the job, Sigalarm protects employees and equipment in various industries around the world.

Contact Sigalarm for Your Power Line Safety 0Needs

We know there’s nothing more important than the safety of your employees. To that end, we offer a full range of power line warning systems, including Hirtzer insulated links and line contact alarms. Our proximity alarms systems are designed to keep you and your team safe on the job while protecting pedestrians and passers-by. To learn more about how we can help your company or organization, call today or contact our experts online.

Sigalarm's New Contract Manufacturing Company, QMS

At Sigalarm, we are always looking for ways to grow our business. That’s one reason we highly value partnering with other manufacturers in our industry. Strategic partnerships help us provide the best products and services to all of our customers. Now, due to unprecedented growth, Sigalarm is excited to announce a new partnership with QMS Manufacturing. Sigalarm’s track record of success combined with QMS’ manufacturing capabilities is sure to create a winning formula for both companies. As a result of this partnership, customers will benefit from a more streamlined process. Read more

New Standard For Proximity Alarm Manufacturing

Working through ASTM International, a global standards development organization, Sigalarm has helped create a brand-new industry standard for the manufacturing of proximity alarms. Our staff acted as the chair of task group, with members from other proximity alarm manufacturers. The two groups were able to set ASTM new standards to define how proximity alarms should be manufactured. Sigalarm is proud of the work that’s been done and the time and attention ASTM gave to this issue. Read more