What Can Other Industries Teach Construction About Worker Productivity

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1977, Vol. 47, Issue 1, Pg. 76-79

Document Type: Feature article


Sharply boosted productivity is being recorded at Rushton Mining Co., Occola Mills, Pa., and at Harman International Industries (mirror maker), Bolivar, Tenn. They do it by not trying to squeeze more work out of labor. Instead, labor and management sit down and talk about grievances. Then they look for steps they can take such that neither party is hurt and both gain. Product of the Rushton mine is coal; in not a few coal mines, worker safety is terrible. When the experiment was tried, safety improved dramatically. And productivity skyrocketed. At Harman, it was agreed that when workers got their day's quota of output completed, they could go home. Some now finish one to three hours early—but many stay at the plant, to take courses. These and other results, the approach taken to achieve them, and the philosophy behind these experiments in industrial democracy, are explained.

Subject Headings: Labor | Construction industry | Productivity | Industries | Coal mining | Occupational safety

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