Construction Project Safety: Identifying & Mitigating Risk

When it comes to the construction industry, safety is the number one priority. Mitigating risk is often the most difficult, yet an important element of construction. However, no matter how much safety preparation an organization implements, construction projects pose a level of risk to all parties involved.

Being able to effectively identify and manage risks is a key attribute of successful construction teams. In this blog, we will discuss common risks of construction projects and how to effectively mitigate them. 

Risk Management on a Construction Site

Construction projects are complex, fast-moving, and consequently high risk. With the amount of equipment, workers, and logistics involved, identifying the inherent risks can be difficult. This makes risk management one of the most important elements of a construction project. In most cases, risk on construction sites falls into one of these categories:

  • Health & Safety: slips, falls, handling material, accidents involving vehicles, etc. 
  • Security: site access, theft of equipment, documentation of materials
  • Contractor’s Responsibility: hiring process, proper training/credentials, communication
  • Acts of Nature: natural disasters, bad weather, etc. 

After identifying different categories of risks on a construction site, it’s essential to establish project risk planning. This includes how to identify and prevent risk, but also what to do in case an accident does occur. 

4 Preventable Construction Project Risks

Safety Hazards

Site conditions change quickly, and unexpected safety hazards can crop up at any moment. Major accidents on a construction site can result in injuries or fatalities to employees. Every construction team’s top priority should be to keep the site accident-free and ensure there are no apparent safety hazards. Accidents can also stop or delay work on a site which puts all parties involved at financial risk. 

To identify and prevent safety hazards, employers should invest in training, engineering controls, and PPE. It’s useful to hold a safety meeting with all team members to cover the risks and potential hazards they might encounter throughout the construction process. Educating workers before they even start a project is the best way to mitigate risk and prevent safety hazards from popping up. 

Change Orders

Change orders are an inevitable part of construction projects, but can become a major risk when not managed properly. A change order is simply an addendum to the original scope of work of a construction contract. They can be initiated by the owner or general contractor. 

A poorly handled change order can lead to interruptions of workflow and delays on contract milestones. To manage a change order there needs to be strong, established communication between the parties involved.  Without proper communication, a contractor can complete work that the client disapproved of. This leads to payment disputes and project delays. 

The best way to manage change orders is by keeping track of all proper documentation and staying on page with the client’s desires on a daily/weekly basis. 

Inadequate Budget

Budget is one of the most discussed topics in a construction project. Miscalculation of costs and waste of materials can lead to serious problems down the road, so working with an experienced team who can adequately budget your project is vital. Avoid doing business with partners who can’t clearly define a project budget ahead of time. Transparency and honesty are of the utmost importance when it comes to the cost of your project. 

Labor Shortage

Finding qualified labor is always a struggle in the construction industry. Most contractors hire people back and forth depending on the complexity and scope of work of a project. Hiring just anyone isn’t a solution as unqualified workers put a project at extreme risk. When contractors land on a project, but don’t have enough workforce to handle it, it leads to a slow and unreliable construction process. 

It’s important to avoid labor shortages by working with a construction company that has developed a community partnership and takes care of its employees. When workers feel taken care of by their organization, it leads to a highly productive team that cares about their work.

Avoid The Risk With Poli Construction

Although construction projects can be risky, working with the right people helps mitigate risk and ensures that the construction process goes smoothly. At Poli Construction, we pride ourselves on our hard work, communication, and transparency. Our team will involve you through every step of the construction process to help provide innovative solutions to your needs and ensure your vision is fulfilled. For more information on why we’re the right construction partner for you, please visit our website and contact us today.

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