When you think of risk analysis, what do you picture? Professionally dressed people in glass offices poring over data on banks of computer monitors? Lawyers and executives discussing endless possibilities in front of colorful charts?
While risk management like this occurs long before anyone breaks ground on most projects, risk analysis is also happening on-site on a daily basis.
It might involve a seasoned inspector walking a job site and identifying possible hazards. It might look like a foreman reviewing the schedule and making a judgment about whether the project will be done on time. It might be a worker walking an I-beam and spotting a storm brewing in the distance.
These practices are vital, but they don’t paint a complete picture of on-site construction project risk. Inspectors can only cover so much ground, foremen can only make educated guesses, and workers can’t be relied upon to look out for the entire project.
Thankfully, there is a middle ground between high-rise corporate risk management and on-site, hands-on construction risk management. Technologies like construction management software, comprehensive visual documentation, and 3D reality capture enable construction teams to assess, analyze, and manage risk like never before.
Construction work is one of the deadliest professions in America. In 2015, construction workers represented 21.4% of all private industry on-the-job deaths, with 937 total fatalities.
These numbers are tragic, but the tragedy is only part of the story. For developers and contractors, a construction worker getting injured or killed on a job site can have devastating consequences that extend far beyond the initial emotional toll. These consequences include:
When you consider all of the possible costs associated with worker injury, it becomes clear that it is a risk which must be avoided. Managing this risk means taking a fresh look at construction worker safety, and implementing programs, procedures, and policies that keep workers safe in dangerous situations.
Increased training is the most obvious way to reduce injury risk, but it’s not the only solution. Technology such as drones, webcams, and visual documentation services can help reduce instances of construction worker injury in surprising ways.
We’ve put together a whitepaper that details the importance of construction worker safety and strategies for reducing risk.
In an ideal world, finished plans and a finished building would be identical. Realistically, however, building projects often end up being significantly different than how they were initially envisioned.
Throughout the lifecycle of a construction project, a building becomes more like a living thing than a mathematical formula. Many factors cause a building to evolve from its original plans, including:
Every time a change occurs in a construction project, you risk unknown consequences. Contractor disputes and litigation can cause financial problems and interrupt business. Mistakes that go unnoticed can compound and cause other issues. Workers leave and take the knowledge of certain building areas or systems with them, leaving future workers in the dark.
How can owners and developers shield themselves from these issues? With comprehensive visual documentation. As-built photographs of every part of a construction project can ease dispute resolution, help inspectors catch mistakes early, and preserve knowledge throughout a building’s lifecycle.
When assessing ongoing risks on a
Working with known quantities is vital to managing risk on a construction project. Unfortunately, sometimes there is an atmosphere of distrust between general contractors and subcontractors, created by the use of unfair contracts, short-term thinking, and a “pass-the-buck” attitude.
This atmosphere reduces the likelihood that general contractors and subcontractors will work together again, which means every new building project comes with a new set of unknown variables to worry about.
Many of the problems associated with subcontractor management can be avoided by putting people above profits. We’ve detailed some reliable strategies to cut through the atmosphere of distrust and foster long-term, productive relationships with subcontractors.
With a trusted subcontractor network, those blurry spots will suddenly become a whole lot clearer, and you’ll be in a much better place to make decisions about your project.