Qualitative Analysis of Lost Labor Productivity in Electrical Construction from the Perspective of Field Personnel
Offiah, Godwin Ashley Dilibe
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Executive Summary The stagnant production practices, the decline in experienced workers, and the steep economical labor cost has challenged the construction industry to improve labor production practices. This research study investigates the impact and the influence of labor performance through the perception of electrical construction workers. Electrical construction workers are present throughout the construction phases and acquire substantial understanding, insight, and intuition on factors that impact labor productivity. These electrical construction workers are typically the first on-site: pulling conduit, installing circuit breakers, operating heavy equipment, and ultimately executing the project design. Nonetheless, their expertise and intelligence is unfortunately seldom discussed among academics and industry personnel, thus by considering it this research will convey a more precise understanding of the impact of labor productivity on the construction industry. This research study is influenced by a previous research study conducted by the Construction Industry Institute (CII), which examined the influence of factors that impede worker labor production of numerous trades. However, this research looks to study the factors that influence labor productivity exclusively for electrical workers. There are various factors that adversely influence electrical workers’ performances. One being the Electrical construction trade is exceptionally labor-intensive and accounts for nearly 70% of construction project costs. To improve project cost and efficiency, the electrical construction industry continues to aspire for innovative and new methods that impact the industry while developing a more productive workforce. Technological innovations such as AutoCAD, Building Information Modeling (BIM), Solids Works, and Primavera have significantly influenced the electrical construction industry through advancements in construction methods, designs, planning, and implementation of project scope. However, the industry still faces several challenging factors that impede production including inadequate engineering design, work scheduling, and resource management. These challenges obstruct electrical workers’ labor performance. The wealth of knowledge that electrical workers possess enables this research study to examine which factors have the most significant impact to workers’ performance. The data that is collected can assist owners and contractors in enhancing their knowledge regarding factors that impact worker performance. To further enhance the research study, electrical workers were surveyed to acquire their perception of factors that impede their labor production. From the 182 workers responded out of the 3000 electrical workers that were emailed in the United States and Canada. This accounted for a response rate of 6.07%. These electrical workers varied in experience, job position, perception of factors that influence labor productivity. The compiled data was examined to determine trends and correlations. Furthermore, the findings from the analyzed data enabled an improved awareness of labor production of electrical construction workers. Considering the perception of electrical workers allowed this research study to gain significant knowledge on factors that hinder the appropriate labor production of workers. Knowing the factors that impact construction labor production, owners and contractors can better manage their construction workers. Consequently, this reduces rework, design-plan errors, and omissions, and essentially enables a more productive project work schedule. Additional efforts are recommended to improve company culture, working conditions, and adequate communication amongst project team members. Continuous improvements of labor production practices are essential in the systematic growth of the electrical construction industry.