Every now and then, we hear about incidents that occur on construction sites. The construction industry has many challenges and risks, which is why workers need to take precautions to stay safe. You may think that there are plenty of money-making opportunities in this industry which is also true to some extent. But it is also important to address the issues and risks involved in construction work. Owners of construction companies are responsible for ensuring the safety of the workers. Any incident can raise the question mark on the credibility of the company. Therefore, owners need to take measures beforehand.
Usually, risks are involved in construction sites where inexperienced contractors are in charge. Accidents happen due to a lack of understanding of the common risks of construction projects. Without identifying the red flags of the construction work, it is hard to mitigate the risk and ensure the successful completion of the projects. It requires careful planning and good decision-making to ensure safety for everyone on the construction sites. By managing risks properly, owners can attain profitable results and build a strong relationship with clients that helps in business growth. Without further ado, let’s find out some risk factors to look out for during construction.
- Health and Safety Hazards
Healthy and safety hazards are common risk factors in the construction industry. Employers need to address different types of safety concerns to keep their workers safe. For example, asbestos is a harmful mineral that is found in construction materials. It can cause mesothelioma, which is lung cancer, and that makes it one of the biggest risk factors in the construction sector. Owners of construction companies need to take measures to ensure that materials are free from asbestos. They also need to provide protective gear to the workers that can keep them safe.
Employers need to prioritize the safety of workers on construction sites as unexpected risks can crop up at any time. Major accidents in construction projects can result in serious injuries. Construction project managers need to implement proper practices to ensure that all workers reach their homes safely without a scratch. It also allows companies to gain the loyalty of their workers.
On the other hand, if management fails to prevent an accident at a construction site, it can cause the work to be delayed. It affects the productivity of the project and the overall morale of the workers, which can put a company at financial risk. Because eventually, the company has to bear the expenses related to accidents. Therefore, it is better to invest in the training of workers and engineering controls to avoid accidents. You also have to make contractors understand how your company values the safety of workers.
Also, you should call a meeting before starting a project with your subcontractors and employees. Explain the risks and hazards that can occur at different stages of the construction project. You have to ensure that everyone clearly understands the safety plan that you have created for the project.
Topics that you have to cover in the meeting should include work practices about safety, first aid practices, and the use of protective equipment. You should encourage scenario-based training that will provide hands-on experience to the workers to prevent accidents.
- Poor Project Management
Another major risk that is associated with the construction is the poor management that affects the progress of the project. Without having sufficient experience, it is hard for managers to keep track of construction projects. Poor project management can lead to miscommunication, disputes, and misunderstanding. If a project manager or a contractor is unclear about keeping track of time and materials, then a project is most likely to fail.
Bad project management has a ripple effect on other projects too. It can disrupt the entire schedule as subcontractors will be waiting for other subcontractors to finish the work.
- Shortage of Labor
The labor shortage is a huge risk associated with construction projects. It can be a daunting task to find reliable workers, and there is always a risk of a shortage of manpower. Some smaller subcontractors do not hire the staff full-time just to save some money. When a new contractor takes a project, it becomes difficult for them to complete a project within the timeline as they do not have enough manpower. As a result, it affects the profitability of the project. Also, the shortage can occur where there is the involvement of unions.
- Missing Documentation
Another risk factor that you need to consider for construction projects is missing paperwork. It may not sound like the biggest threat to construction sites, but missing important paperwork can cause a serious risk.
Contractors usually do not pay attention to paperwork and use the dashboard of their truck as a file cabinet. Sometimes one missing receipt can cost a huge amount of money. Lien waivers, pay apps, preliminary notices, and stop-work orders are some of the important documents of construction projects. It can be a hassle to manage documents if different subcontractors are working on two to three projects simultaneously.
Also, companies can face legal issues without the right contractor license insurance of the documentation. It can cause heavy fines that can make construction companies lose a good amount of money and credibility. The best solution is to keep your documents organized to avoid such situations. Keeping all documents together in a safe place is the right thing to do.
- Fluctuating Prices of Materials
When contractors have to deal with the fluctuating prices of the materials, it can be one of the major risks to the profitability of a business. If measures are not taken in advance to deal with this risk, then it can turn the entire construction project upside down.
There are different causes of the fluctuating prices of materials, including natural disasters, global pandemics, business closures, and spikes in demand. These causes can turn reasonable prices into premium ones. If the contractor fails to absorb the rapid price increase, then every material purchase can be very costly. Employers must consider this factor while drafting contracts because it can have a huge impact on profitability by the end of the project.
Different challenges and risks are associated with the construction sector. A huge responsibility lies on the shoulders of construction company owners to address the risks and challenges of the industry. From health hazards to fluctuating prices of materials to labor shortages, they have to keep in mind everything. Every risk factor can hurt the progress of a business and put the company’s credibility at stake. Therefore, construction employers need to stay updated about the latest industry practices to manage their projects accordingly. Also, they need to take care of their workers by implementing solid safety measures for them. After all, workers are the most valuable asset of construction companies.