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Florida Construction Law Blog

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As a busy Florida contractor, you have a lot of balls to juggle to keep your business up and running smoothly. You are a strong leader and responsible owner and it could be justly said that you tend to take on more than your fair share of job duties.

In short, you tend to wear a lot of hats to make sure that everything gets done correctly, on time and under budget whenever possible. That is certainly to be commended. However, there is one area into which you should not wander or risk creating further hassles for yourself and your construction company.

Could you be at risk of a trench collapse on a job site?

One of the deadliest accidents that can occur on a construction site is a trench collapse. These disasters can be quickly fatal for the hapless laborers who are trapped underneath thousands of pounds of unstable soil.

These type of accidents can also spell disaster for the contractor and their company, as the victims or their survivors can allege negligence and file litigation against the company.

Seek advice early rather than later over construction disputes

When a client first approaches you with a complaint about a residential or commercial construction project, your first reaction is likely to be appeasement. You want them to be satisfied, so you attempt to fix the problem to their satisfaction.

In the majority of cases, that will be a sufficient response. You have the driveway regraded, realign the cabinet with the door that won't stay closed or a second coating of paint to the walls. You want to please your clients, so they will return in the future and spread your good name and results to family and friends.

Make sure scaffolds are constructed safely

As the owner of a construction company, you have a vested interest in keeping your crew members safe on the job site. One way to do that is to review your scaffolding safety protocols and procedures.

Below are some tips for keeping workers safer when using scaffolding on renovations and new builds.

After a disaster on a job site, don't do this

A recent story out of New Orleans presents a textbook example of how not to manage a construction disaster. Back in October 2019, the 18-story Hard Rock Hotel that was under construction in the Crescent City collapsed, killing three workers and injuring dozens.

Due to the precarious nature of the remaining building structure, the unretrieved remains of two of the deceased workers are still on-site in the collapsed debris. A tarp had been erected to block passers-by from viewing the remains of one of the trapped workers.

Construction dispute? Call us today to resolve

Construction disputes can be quite costly to resolve. Your time, money and resources all can diminish while you try to hash out a workable solution to appease a disgruntled client.

Meanwhile, your reputation as a solid business owner and contractor can take a big hit if the unhappy client takes to social media to air their grievances. Incalculable damage can be incurred once your good name gets dragged through the mud.

Understand the impact of social media on your company

Whether you use social media platforms to promote your contracting business or not, you need to be aware of the many different ways that these sites can affect your business. For good or for ill, social media is a powerful force to manage.

In the aftermath of a construction debacle like the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans or the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University, images captured in the moment of or seconds after the disaster can flood the internet and go viral.

Could you face any of these construction lawsuits?

Florida contractors can wind up embroiled in all sorts of lawsuits that can be deleterious to their companies and their reputation in the industry. Ideally, you want to proactively protect yourself from these vulnerabilities, but some may be inevitable.

Here's what you should know about limiting your liability to litigation and how to protect yourself when you're being sued.

Changing project scope leads to disputes

Perhaps to few contractors' surprise, a recent study revealed that the primary reason for most construction disputes was the changing scope of the project. We have dealt with the problem of scope creep before in our posts. It's easy to see why this foments so many issues between clients and contractors.

An international consult group determined that across the industry, when changes are made to the scope of a project, it became the most frequent source of disagreements.

Keep hiring practices above board to avoid trouble

As a South Florida contractor, you undoubtedly run into your share of undocumented immigrants looking for work. You may have even hired some to flesh out a skeleton crew during busy times.

But you should be aware that hiring undocumented workers could open you up to legal problems. While it's true that the focus of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents is primarily the arrest, detention and deportation of the undocumented workers, the companies and individuals that hire them could also face negative scrutiny.

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