Labor Productivity & Construction Waste

In general, labor productivity in the construction industry is lower than in other sectors; because of chronic delays, inferior working and safety conditions and insufficient quality. The following are points and statistics for labor productivity and construction waste in the construction industry.

LABOR PRODUCTIVITY (Construction Industry):

Construction companies are one of the least developed, due to its lack of effectiveness and productivity (Botero, et al. 2004).

Construction labor costs accounts for 30% to 50% of the overall project’s costs (Jarkasa, et al. 2012).

The working portion of activities generally accounts for 40% – 60% of labor hours and by the same token 40% – 60% of labor hours are unproductive (Forbes, et al. 2010).

Hard Hat with Drawings - labor productivity


Defective Products & Redoing work, increased field & change orders, added Installation: punch-list items.

Waiting: Workers & field crew waiting for materials and equipment, answers to outstanding RFI’s & shop drawing/submittal approvals.

Over fabrication: Fabricating or ordering materials too soon, before shop drawings or submittals are completed/approved.

Inventory: Materials stored onsite or at fabricator’s yard, unused materials & tools/equipment.

Transportation of Services: Multiple moving and staging areas for materials & tools/equipment.

Unnecessary Processing &  Relocation of Workforce: Redundant or unneeded reports, multiple signatures on forms (i.e paper forms), any non-essential/value steps, improper layout of construction job-sites &/or work areas.


Harmon has systems and processes in place to help with labor productivity and to reduce construction waste. We’d love to have that conversation with you. Call us at 913.965.5888, or contact us here.