On-Site Magazine

What are the top risks facing the construction industry?

July 28, 2020   By Northbridge Financial

While infection control is currently a top priority on construction sites, it’s important to be mindful of many of the other risks that remain on-site.

Whether working in residential, commercial, institutional, or infrastructure construction, the risks vary in size and complexity, and they can evolve throughout a project. According to a recent whitepaper by Northbridge Insurance, internal claims data shows the top loss causes for property in 2019 were water, fire, and theft. The average severity of water damage was $129,000, while average fire damage was $169,000 and average theft was $23,000. But these are only averages; the highest claim for water damage in 2019, for example, was over $1.5 million.

Having a comprehensive risk management strategy in place, as well as the proper policies and procedures to support it, can help to avoid many of these costly hazards. When developing this program, consider these top risks you may be facing and how to help mitigate them.

Fire
Construction firm operations require heat, open flames, and combustible products. Everything from careless work by the builder to smoking can cause a fire. Steps to mitigate fire include having fire extinguishers and fire hoses on-site, using non-combustible materials for temporary buildings, and having fire breaks between buildings.

Water damage
Water issues can arise from various sources, such as weather-related events, drainage problems, or the improper installation of piping. Creating a water damage risk management plan and using water management devices can help protect a site.

Theft
Theft can lead to costly replacement fees and project delays, and contractors could be held liable if stolen equipment causes damage to people or property. To help prevent losses on-site, ensure workers are following basic security protocols, like locking doors each night, and consider investing in technology like motion-sensor lighting.

COVID-19
As the pandemic continues to present challenges on construction sites, it is critical that all workers are aware of the measures in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes clear signage around the site, updates on the latest developments, following guidelines from local health authorities, and access to self-identification screening tools.

To learn more about these and other construction risks and how to help prevent them download our free whitepaper.


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