Tag: construction risk assessment

Free Risk Assessment Template for Construction

Source: Free Risk Assessment Template for Construction

Download our Free Construction Risk Assessment Template as we understand that managing risk is critical to every part of construction project. Assessing all the various risk categories can be a daunting prospect if a project manager does not have access to a library of templates and software to help them manage the process.

Every single construction project has risks that cannot be completely removed. Understanding and documenting historically identified risks can help to mitigate and prevent them from impacting on future projects. Creating a database of risks with templates can then be re-purposed for a new construction project.

 

Understanding your risks

Completing a free construction risk assessment template gives you a clear picture of the things that can cause project delays. A risk assessment template is a tool to help identify risks, the probability of occurrence and impact on the project.

By identifying risks early, you can be proactive in taking steps to avoid or prevent them. Record the following on the risk assessment template when you identify:

  1. where each risk occurs

  2. type of risk, and who or what it impacts

  3. the probability of it occurring and the impact intensity

  4. preventive measures to reduce or remove the impact intensity and probability of occurrence.

Risk assessment forms

To understand how to fill out a free construction risk assessment template (see Table 1), here is a guide to filling out the details in a risk assessment form:

  1. Problem Area or Task. During this phase, identify all the problem areas or tasks where there are possible risks.

  2. Identified Risk. This where you record each identified risk against each problem area or task.

  3. Description. Add a short description of the risk and the damage it will cause if realized.

  4. Probability of Occurring. Risk probability assessment examines the likelihood of each specific risk occurring. Rate risk probabilities and impacts according to predetermined definitions. Display them in a probability and impact matrix (see Table 2). What constitutes a high and low risk is usually an area determined by your organization:

    1. High. High means there is a 70 to 100 percent of the risk occurring.

    2. Moderate. Moderate means the risk has a 30 to 70 percent chance of occurring.

    3. Low. Use Low for risks that have less than a 30 percent of occurring.

  5. Impact Intensity. Risk impact assessment examines the potential impact that a risk can have on project objectives. For example, cost, schedule, performance or quality. It includes assessment of positive and negative risks (eg. opportunities and threats).

  6. Risk Priority Level. Assign a risk priority level based on the probability of occurrence using a scale of 1 to 5. Number 1 means high priority and 5 the lowest.

  7. Existing Measures. Consider what policies and procedures are already in place that prevent or reduce the impact of each risk.

  8. Mitigation Strategy. Once the analysis of all risks is complete, the team needs to decide on mitigation strategies to deal with each risk.

  9. Additional Measures. Only fill this out when a mitigation strategy has been determined to control each risk.

  10. Contingency Plan. Create a contingency plan for high impact risks with a high probability of occurring. This is a back-up plan if mitigation strategies fail. Mitigation strategies include:

    1. Deflection. Deflection is when a risk is transferred to a third party to manage.

    2. Control. To control a risk, devise a plan to prevent or minimise the risk.

    3. Avoidance. Use avoidance when there is little or no threat if the risk occurs. This is a strategy that ignores the risk and accepts the consequences if the risk is realised.

Using a free construction risk assessment template helps to identify and record risks. It helps your team to plan strategies to deal with risks in advance should the need arise.

Do you want free access to create risk assessment templates for construction projects to save you time and money? We’ve created one at Raptor PM and it’s free and secure. You can save, review and edit your completed risk assessment(s) at any time. Try out the Raptor PM free risk assessment template now.

Table 1 Free Construction Risk Assessment Template

 

Table 2 Probability an Impact Matrix

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How to Avoid Construction Risks

Source: How to Avoid Construction Risks

The complexity of construction projects means there are construction risks to everyone onsite. Under legislation, employers are duty bound to ensure the work site is safe for everyone. Legislation, codes and regulations provide a framework for employers to follow to avoid construction risks on the work site.

Regardless of how carefully you manage construction risks you cannot completely avoid them. There will always be unknown factors that impact the construction process at any time in the project. It is important to identify the different types of risks and categorize them before the project starts. This will minimize any losses and help keep everyone safe.

Construction risks fall broadly into the following five categories.

 

Design risks

Design risks are anything that can stop you from completing a building on schedule. These can include:

  • incomplete designs

  • incomplete surveys

  • designs that do not meet standards

  • an incomplete analysis of the work site for hazardous waste

  • inaccurate assumptions made about technical issues during planning.

Design construction risks can occur when there are changes in the project scope or requirements, or when there are errors or omissions in the design.

Environmental risks

Often people forget to factor in the environmental risks when working in unfamiliar geographical areas. It is essential to become familiar with the area’s weather patterns when working in different regions. By preparing for potential environmental risks you can better manage construction risks. It helps avoid possible losses and delays in the project. Environmental risks can include:

  • local weather (snow, severe storms)

  • natural disasters

  • flood plains and flood ways

  • causing unanticipated barriers to wildlife

  • noise impacts.

Human resource risks

The most common project management risk is the uncertain productivity levels of your workers. Before starting a new project, define the roles and responsibilities of the staff you need to ensure you have the right skills to complete the project. A lack of skilled workers can cause major losses and delays on any project. Human resource risks to consider include:

  • losing crucial workers at critical points in a project

  • contractors walking off the job

  • it takes longer to hire the right resources than expected

  • conflicts between workers on the work site, which can lead to mistakes and poor communication

  • being unable to source the people with the critical skills required

  • inexperienced workers

  • contractors who do not meet delivery timelines.

Project management risks

A project manager faces many variable risks on a construction site. By carrying out risk identification you can avoid or minimize these right from the start. Project management construction risks can include:

  • having little authority to influence resourcing and decision-making

  • the same resources required in different places at the same time

  • timelines driven by external factors rather than listening to estimations from the project team

  • changing priorities on the construction site

  • poorly defined milestones that do not accurately measure the successful completion of each phase.

 

Stakeholder risks

Stakeholders can slow down the construction process so it is important to identify the construction risks so you can avoid or manage them. These risks can include:

  • taking too long to review or make decisions

  • changes in the requirements

  • poor communication

  • insufficient funds

  • unrealistic expectations

  • making decisions that impact the schedule timeline.

Manage construction risks

Managing construction risks involves identifying, assessing and prioritising risks. By analysing, monitoring and controlling these you can minimise or remove them completely.

Identifying risks on a construction project is critical to its success. The earlier you identify construction risks, the sooner you can plan to mitigate the effects. Use construction management software to help manage construction risks.

Identifying risks is an iterative process and it is best to involve everyone right from the start. Comprehensive risk identification helps keep everyone safe on construction sites and assists in producing good results.

Generic risk assessment template for construction

Source: Generic risk assessment template for construction

Employers are responsible for workplace health and safety. All construction companies must have a workplace health and safety policy that outlines its commitment to workplace safety.

Construction businesses need to complete a risk assessment template to identify and manage workplace risks. There are inherent risks with all construction projects that threaten those who work in construction. These risks can also damage your reputation and profit margins. Having a construction risk assessment template helps keep construction risks under control. Here are some things you need to consider when compiling a risk assessment template.

Workplace health and safety policy

Organizations must show a commitment to working within the Health and Welfare rules to ensure: workers complete all workplace activities in accordance with policies and procedures, the relevant people update the Safety Statement regularly and communicate the results, the organization implements and maintains all protective and preventive measures identified , the organization prevents behaviour likely to endanger others, employees have safe plant and equipment and work systems in the workplace, emergency plans are in place, well communicated and updated as required. Where it is not possible to eliminate hazards, minimize them using safety procedures and personal protective equipment, ensuring there is always safe entry and exits to the workplace. Also to ensure employees store hazardous goods and chemicals correctly to prevent injury to those in the workplace.

 What is a risk assessment template?

  • A construction risk assessment template is where an organisation records its evaluation of workplace risks. It systematically evaluates all workplace risks by looking at:

  • what can cause harm to workers?

  • can you eliminate the risk?

  • if not – what can you do to minimize and control the risks?

Keep in mind that:

  • Hazards can be anything – materials, equipment, behavior in the workplace and work practices.

  • The risk is how likely is the hazard to harm someone.

Assessing risks

How to assess workplace risks can be broken into five basic steps:

  1. Identify hazards and who is at risk. Look for things that can cause harm in the workplace and who it has the potential to affect.

  2. Evaluate and prioritize risks. Estimate the severity and probability of each risk and prioritize them in order of importance.

  3. Decide on preventive action. Identify appropriate actions and procedures to eliminate or minimize each risk.

  4. Taking action. Take action by putting in place preventive and protective measures in a plan that prioritizes the risks. It is unlikely you can resolve everything immediately. Specify what actions are taken by who and by when.

  5. Monitor and review. Monitor and review the risk assessment template on a regular basis. In construction, risks can change a lot and often. You may need risk assessments as a record of your commitment to workplace health and safety if there are problems in the future.

Roles and responsibilities

The key role of a risk assessment is set out in the relevant legislation. Employers have a general duty of care towards the safety of all their workers. They must put policies and procedures in place to protect the health and safety of staff members. These obligations include:

  • preventing occupational risks

  • providing adequate ongoing training and information to all workers

  • ensuring adequate measures are put in place to mitigate workplace risks.

Health and safety in the workplace is everyone’s responsibility including employers, workers and contractors.

Employer’s responsibilities

Employer’s responsibilities include:

  • preventing behaviour that puts other workers at risk

  • managing work activities so there are no adverse health or safety effects on workers

  • providing a safe workplace

  • being proactive in preventing risks to employees

  • providing training, information, tools and supervision at the appropriate level for the skills of workers

  • providing appropriate personal protective clothing and training on when and how to use it

  • providing and maintaining welfare facilities such as a medical room equipped with a trained person.

Employee’s responsibilities

An employee’s responsibilities include:

  • complying with workplace policies and procedures and reporting unsafe practices, procedures and equipment

  • taking responsibility for their own safety and for the safety of others

  • cooperating with workplace policies and procedures

  • reporting any hazards, injuries, near misses, accidents or incidents in the appropriate manner

  • using the personal protective equipment provided in the appropriate manner and situations

  • attend the training required

  • behaving in a professional manner and in a way that will not put yourself or others at risk in the workplace

  • not coming to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

 
Contractor’s responsibilities

Construction sites have contractors working on site. Their responsibilities include:

  • providing all employees with site-specific health and safety instructions and induction

  • identifying hazards, eliminating them and reducing the risks on a constructions site

  • monitoring employee compliance and take relevant action where required

  • working in a safe manner to protect themselves and others from harm.

Risk assessment templates are complex and these are just a few things to take into account. There is no room for complacency on a construction site. Get good quality software to help keep track of your risk management plan.

Improving construction safety

Source: Improving construction safety

Safety on construction sites is a constant challenge. Improving construction safety is of paramount importance for all construction companies. There is no denying, construction sites are hazardous places. Workers face daily challenges including preventing falls, and chemical and trip hazards. Construction health and safety is on everyone’s mind. What do you do to reduce the chance of accidents on work sites?

 

Set up safety steering committees

Often organisations use the top down approach to construction safety. Dictating compliance rather than involving workers so they have input into the process. Increase worker participation in safety activities that mean something to them. Give workers ownership of safety in the workplace.

Set up a safety steering committee made up of respected employees. Let them meet at regular intervals to review the safety audit, discuss issues and make recommendations. No management or supervisory personnel should attend. It is a place for open communication. For workers to express their concerns, leave management out. The purpose is to allow all workers to discuss construction safety and offer solutions from personal experience. This is the opposite of managing by directive.

Involving workers in construction safety, gives workers a sense of inclusiveness. After all, an organisation’s workers know how to better manage the risks in their workplace. Giving workers ownership of construction health and safety increases productivity. Highlight safety as a personal value the organisation stands behind.

Cutting safety budgets can be a disaster

Often the first thing to suffer budget cuts can be safety training programs. This can be a false saving over the long-term. New and inexperienced employees are more prone to accidents without the safety training they need. They also become a risk to themselves and to the rest of the work site. Accidents cost and if you lose a worker through an accident at work, then you will pay a high price. Invest in safety training to empower workers instead.

Keep safety training updated

Keeping safety training updated empowers workers. It keeps construction safety fresh in their minds. It also promotes better communication between workers and management. Safety hazards on construction sites can go unreported because of ineffective communication. More awareness results in less accidents. Less accidents means there is more time to focus on getting the job done. Good safety protocols boost productivity.

Updated training means old, outdated safety methods get replaced quickly. Implementing safety into every day operations reduces your risks and liabilities.

 

Innovative thinking

The accident rate would be higher on work sites without the innovative thinking of construction companies. They are devoting extra resources to keeping workers safe. Developing new practices and adopting technology can improve construction safety up to 100%. Keeping up with changing legislation can challenge improving safety protocols. Encourage an open exchange of ideas to find new ways to build on construction safety.

Software and technology

Technology improves managing construction projects. Software can link into your current processes and procedures, and existing safety programs. This allows everyone including workers to interact online using software tools.

Trying to track everything the old-fashioned way no longer works with pen and paper. It is time-consuming. Use software to track changes to construction safety priorities on an organisational level. Software platforms are a guaranteed approach to optimizing construction safety. You can configure software packages to meet individual organisational needs.

Advocate continuous improvement

Knowledge is a powerful tool. When workers know how to work with an organisation’s support, it creates stability. Stability leads to better ways to do the same work faster and safer. This gives the work site a culture of continuous improvement, which results in greater efficiency and productivity.

Document your safety procedures and plan using software to revitalize your business processes.

Proper equipment

Working on a construction site is dangerous enough without cutting corners with the use of incorrect equipment. All equipment should be suited to the job, and all machinery and equipment well-maintained. Most construction workers are subcontractors, what they do affects your reputation. And subcontractors, hire subcontractors to help them with the work. Make sure that you hire those with a good reputation and the right equipment to do the job. Check licences are in place for difficult jobs (for example, heavy crane work). Look at their own safety records from their work on past jobs. Check they are prepared to live up to your construction safety standards. And, make your stand on construction safety clear as part of the contract.

Conclusion

Regardless of whatever else you do, without the right management tools your organisation can be at further risk, you can even use some FREE RISK ASSESSMENT TEMPLATES. Technology has the ability to bring change and progress today. It has never been easier to integrate safety management software into you companies project safety alongside your processes and procedures. It is vital you keep up-to-date and accurate construction health and safety records.

Whatever your goals for improving construction safety, your organisation can have it all cost-effectively. Combine education, inclusiveness, innovation and commitment along with smart software to improve safety on your construction site.