The True Cost of Construction Delays

If you’re a project manager or construction company owner, you’ve likely seen your fair share of construction delays. They come in all shapes and sizes: injuries, labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, theft, and inclement weather. While the inconvenience of project delays is immediately transparent, the true impact of construction delays may not be.  

Why Construction Delays Count

The unfortunate truth is that 77% of project managers experience delays in their projects–and those projects are delayed by an average of 70 days. The result? Frustrated clients, disrupted project timelines, and increased costs. In fact, construction delays can cost companies millions of extra dollars depending on the size of the project and the length of the delay. Just a 10% project overrun can cost up to 5 million dollars in profitability depending on the size of the project.

Common Causes of Delays in Construction Projects

Some causes of delays, like weather and supply chain issues, are unavoidable due to their unpredictability. However, other causes, like theft and injury, are more easily preventable with the right preparation. 

Below we’ll discuss two of the most common and expensive sources of construction delays, theft and injury. We’ll share the true cost of these delays and preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk.

Construction Delays Due to Theft

Construction jobsites are an extremely common target for theft, experiencing more incidents of theft than convenience stores every year. Construction theft not only results in the loss of valuable equipment or materials, but it also can cause project delays ranging from a couple of days to a few weeks or even months. So, as you’d expect, the real cost of theft extends far beyond just the cost of the materials or equipment that is stolen. 

Construction delays from jobsite theft are also caused by having to contact the police to run a thorough investigation and waiting for new supplies to arrive. Even with insurance, theft incidents cost project managers an average of $30,000, not including costs from insurance, downtime, and delays. Across the industry, the full financial impact of theft ranges from $300 million to up to $1 billion every year.

Construction Delays Due to Injury

Construction site injuries result in direct and indirect costs as well as potentially significant project delays. In the short term, an injury requires pausing construction to provide first aid and work with emergency services to ensure your worker receives the necessary care. In the long term, project managers will need to file injury reports, navigate insurance claims, investigate the cause of injury, and potentially issue new training for staff, all of which can slow down progress on a project and disrupt timelines. 

In 2022, the total cost of work injuries was $167 billion according to the National Safety Council. Nearly one-third of those costs came from wage and productivity losses, while another third came from administrative expenses. Taking proactive measures to prevent injuries is essential for ensuring projects meet cost and timeline expectations–and it’s also imperative for protecting your workers.

How to Prevent Construction Delays

While investing in precautionary measures to prevent theft and injury can come with a hefty price tag, it often leads to long-term savings that far outweigh the initial costs. Here are some easy-to-implement ways to reduce risk.

Construction Site Cameras

Construction site cameras not only help prevent theft but also enable project managers to better monitor their jobsites to prevent injuries. PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras enable panoramic viewing which is useful for detailed site monitoring and comprehensive documentation. Fixed position cameras can be easily installed at entry and exit points to help secure the jobsite. 

Jobsite cameras enable real-time monitoring for project managers and can also come equipped with strobe lights and sirens to ward off thieves. With construction site cameras documenting the jobsite, project managers can check in when supplies are delivered and better monitor potential hazards as they arise throughout the project. Construction security and surveillance cameras also provide comprehensive documentation that can be used in the event of theft or injury to recount what happened and help file insurance claims.

Survey Site for Injury Risks

As a project progresses and new materials are delivered to the jobsite, workers will encounter new threats and injury risks. While it’s common to conduct site surveys at the outset of a project, it’s also a good idea to conduct occasional safety reviews throughout a project. Project managers who stay on top of new risks as they arise will be able to proactively schedule necessary trainings and inform their workforce of hazards that they need to monitor.

Live Monitoring

A combination of construction site cameras and professional 24/7 monitoring services can give project managers peace of mind to focus on keeping their projects on time and within budget. Project managers can look into purchasing construction site monitoring services so real humans can have eyes on their jobsite after hours or on weekends. 


Insurance is also an important defense against costs from construction project delays, theft, and injury. Builder’s risk insurance covers a variety of incidents that might occur on the jobsite throughout a project. However, before taking out a builder’s risk insurance policy, it’s important to understand the nuances and requirements of the plan you’re considering.

Final Word: The True Impact of Construction Delays

Construction delays are part of the process. Unfortunately, incidents such as injuries, theft, and weather can cause delays that cost project managers thousands of dollars annually. The true cost of construction delays often extends beyond the initial costs of the incident and can result in millions of dollars lost in profitability. While delays are inevitable, you can take measures such as purchasing a jobsite camera, getting a builder’s risk insurance policy, and securing monitoring services to reduce the likelihood that they’ll occur. 

Want to prevent the headache of dealing with construction delays? Take proactive measures to reduce the risk of injuries and theft by installing construction cameras. We offer a variety of cameras and drone services that will keep your jobsite safe and secure, so you can keep your projects on track and free of delays. 

Jim O'Brien, VP of Sales - West headhsot

Jim O'Brien, VP of Sales - West

Jim leads a team in designing, selling, and delivering solutions for construction jobsites. With extensive experience in sales, leadership, and operations, Jim is known for exceptional communication skills and business acumen. He also has a strong background in security, having worked for companies such as ADT, STANLEY, and Allied Universal. In his free time, he writes action fiction novels, drawing on his martial arts and electronic security expertise.

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