Tag: construction risk management

What is a Construction Risk Assessment Template

Using a construction risk assessment template helps project managers to complete their risk assessment protocols. This construction risk assessment template can be used as an information guide in order to complete a live document. It is important to note that risk assessments should be reviewed on an annual basis, or else if an accident or a near miss has occurred. Also, it should be reviewed when any significant change in personnel or to work practices happens.

A construction work site is inherently risky and dangerous, so accident prevention should work alongside risk minimization with the knowledge that neither is possible without a detailed assessment of what the risks are. These include all general construction activity, building tasks, demolition, refurbishing projects, refits, siteworks, etc. When construction projects are compared with other industries such as software or financial, construction is less technically complex. The main the risks on a construction site include:

  • Disputes over work practises leading to litigation

  • Poor safety and health records

  • Compromise on health and safety provision

  • The commercial pressure to save money and time

Construction Risk Management

The purpose of risk assessment and risk management in construction is to plan, monitor, and control measures needed to minimize or prevent risk exposure. To achieve this, it is critical to identify any hazards, assess the extent of possible risks and then provide the measures to control the risks including managing any remaining risks.

The Risk Management Process in Construction

The below is a sample of a construction risk assessment template procedure. It outlines the concept of residual risk management (unidentified risks or those risks remaining despite compliance with risk control measures):

Construction Risk Logs

Regardless of the industry type, risk logs are always used. The difference in construction is that risk logs may also assess the time and cost impact without any controls and can include actions identified on residual risks. Generic construction risks are usually identified, then risks specific to the project, and risks remaining despite controls being used (residual risks).

Construction Risk Assessments

All risk assessments are controlled and supported with set processes. There is normally a legal compliance for risk assessments around health and safety in most countries. A typical assessment would follow this process:

  1. Identify the hazards. Example – pipelaying in bad ground.

  2. Identifying who or what could be harmed. Example – the pipe layers in the trench.

  3. Evaluating the risks identified in the hazard. Example – risk of earth collapsing.

  4. Determining the control measures required. Example – use trench support box.

  5. Evaluating the risks from the hazard. Example – the risk of a worker being crushed, injury from digger bucket, and risk of cave-ins.

  6. Recording the findings of the risk assessment. Example – fill in the construction risk assessment template.

  7. Plotting contingency plans for the residual risks. Example – prepare safety method statement based on the risk assessment, foreman to lead task discussion, permits to work required, supervisor or overseer working with excavator operator.

  8. Reviewing and revising. Example – monitor the site operations and modify the construction risk assessment template where necessary

  9. Follow through by holding further task talk if method statement is changed.

Construction Risk Types

The Project Client

Risks from the project client usually revolve around cost, time, and quality. Risk management considerations usually involve feasibility, design, funding and commercial risks.

The Contractor

Probably the biggest risk for a contractor will be during the tender stage when price and timescale commitments are submitted. If estimates end up being inaccurate, profit margins are eroded with a knock-on effect around risks. The use of subcontractors also opens up project risks.

Project Health and Safety

Risk assessment and management in project health and safety risk management are legal requirements. All construction projects have a requirement to have a health and safety plan in place prior to commencing any work.

Fire Risk

Fire risk in a construction project and on the site, is an ever-present risk. Insurance, legal and government standards nearly always require contractors to take measures to prevent risks of fire injury. To ensure the provision and maintenance of firefighting equipment plus training a set of workers to use the equipment. No construction project should ever proceed to the building process without a fire safety plan developed by the project manager.

Differences between risk assessments and method statements.

A risk assessment is exactly what it says on the tin, a thorough assessment of any risk in a construction project. Using a construction risk assessment template, this will be completed prior to any work commencing that presents a risk of injury or ill health.

A method statement is a set of instruction for how the tasks and work will be carried out safely. A method statement will set out the work in logical steps and explain to all workers on site how the work should be done, providing additional details. The method statement will usually be accompanied by the risk assessment template, and will include the risks identified within the risk assessment and the control measures required. In fact, these two documents always support each other and will deliberately contain overlapping information. Also, another difference is that the method statement is not always required.

The point to remember is that all work should be covered by the risk assessment, whereas method statements are usually for the higher-risk, more complex and unfamiliar tasks. You can access a free risk assessment templates on RaptorPM.

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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.

Software that will improve Construction Safety

Source: Software that will improve Construction Safety

The construction industry is in a constantly changing. With new rules, regulations, risks and safety standards, it can be a tough task to keep up with the changes to comply with all the various regulations. Agile organizations that embrace change and use software for construction safety are finding they have a competitive edge.

If your business is still to lagging in using construction safety software, it is not too late to start. Improve construction safety with checklists and risk assessments. The reality is that software can help you manage quality and safety processes with more efficiency and accuracy, delivering a return on investment via lower costs and claims. Before you choose software, consider what features you need or your business.

 Integration with your current software

Everyone uses different software tools for project management. Look for software that integrates or replaces your current software. Construction safety should be an integral part of project management. Using software helps to provide transparency about how construction projects are progressing. It helps you identify and take action to avert potential problems before they occur. This saves money and time.

 Tracks workplace incidents

The construction industry has a high level of workplace injury. It can be a dangerous place to work. This means there is always an accident waiting to happen as workers go about their work on a job if everyone is not alert. It is vital you record health and safety incidents issues immediately. Record them within your construction safety software using a smartphone from the job. These records can be important for future risk planning or proof of legislative compliance.

 Provides team mobility

Good construction safety software will supply access to iPhone and Android apps for your team to use on the go. This allows team access to the system no matter where you are. Make sure the software you choose is versatile enough no matter what operating system you all use.

 Customization of Project software

No two organizations are alike or have the same needs. This means construction project software must  allow for customization to meet individual organizational needs. There is no point investing in software you cannot adapt to your specific needs. This includes reporting and processes as well as tracking and recording all construction projects.

 Easy access to forms

The construction industry has many forms to fill out. From budget and project updates to safety protocols and contracts, it is often vital to access them on the spot. Make sure the software has easy access to these from wherever you are.

 Access to mobile signatures

While on the topic of easy access, make sure your software gives you the ability to sign documents from wherever you are. This will speed up the efficiency of your business. It will also make the workplace safer as decisions are made on the go based on real-time data.

 Ability to record voice to text

It is important for construction safety software to have the ability to convert voice to text. This gives you the ability to record things like safety issues or incidents in real-time using a smartphone. This allows you to continue working hands free.

 Records staff training and certifications

If you have more than a few employees, it can be difficult keeping up with their training and certifications. This is a vital to your business. You must comply with local, state and federal health and safety legislation. Software that can store staff training and certification records will send out notifications so everyone meets their deadlines. It will also have the ability to view these as reports to see how each staff member is progressing along their learning path.

These are just some of the features to consider when buying software to help you keep construction safety at work. Talk to the specialists for expert advice on the best software to meet your needs.

Construction Risk Assessment

Source: Construction Risk Assessment

Construction projects can be dangerous places so understanding risk assessments and safety management is vital.  Everyone from the project manager to the site foreman need to be aware of any and all risks at every stage in the construction process. So, controlling risks takes good risk management to prevent or minimize the realization of any risks.

A construction risk assessment should be first addressed at the design stage to address any potential risks before the project ever begins. Next up, the project managers should complete a project risk assessment before any worker sets foot on the site and also have a method to monitor any risks at each stage of construction, a tool that can consider all the risks and possible risks. The tool or system should also be able to help the project manager mitigate any perceived risks and the financial cost associated with each risk. Also, it is important to be able to consider the cost to the whole project if they were to occur.

This brings us to the question; how do you stay on top of managing project risk assessments? The answer is you need good processes, procedures and construction management software. Here are some steps to help keep construction risks under control.

Know the source of potential risks

To manage construction risks, complete a construction risk assessment. Be thorough and consider the following areas:

  • Contractual risks. Missing milestone deadlines can cost time, money and a business its reputation.

  • Occupational risks. The nature of a construction site means there are many risks that can cause injury and possible death. Worker behaviour, technology, working methods, weather or a third party can cause accidents.

  • Project risks. The lack of good project management, workplace procedures, or workplace policies and procedures that are ignored and poor time management are just few project risks.

  • Natural risks. Natural risks (storms, earthquakes) are beyond your control but can shut a construction site down.

  • Financial risks. Financial risks include rising interest rates, a surge in material prices and a lack of sales.

  • Stakeholder risks. Use project management software to bridge communication problems, miscommunication over changes and deliverables.

  • Competition. Competitors can make life tough. They can drop prices to undercut prices and build times. This can put you under pressure to meet the same terms and put the project’s profit at risk.

Assess risks for their order of importance

Assess the risks into order of importance from most likely to occur to the least likely. Also, rate each risk for the level of damage it can do if it does occur and the potential cost to your business.

Dealing with identified risks

Construction sites are busy, dangerous places. Although the risks are varied, there are four basic management techniques to manage risks:

  • Avoid. You may choose to only take on a project in the summer of an area that has winter snow to avoid the risk of time delays.

  • Transfer. Ensure there are good contracts in place with suppliers and subcontractors so they take responsibility for missing deadline agreements with the company. Make sure the project has the appropriate insurances to cover any accidents.

  • Mitigate. Some risks you cannot completely remove. You can reduce the dangers of safety hazards, for example, but you cannot completely remove them.

  • Accept. Seasonal weather can be difficult to avoid. But, with planning and long-range forecasts you can work to reduce the impact on the project.

 

Use the right software

Once you decide how to deal with the risks arising from a project risk assessment, use technology to help optimize risk management methods. Good construction project management software helps manage all facets of a construction project. From costs to risk management, good software can make all facets of construction management more manageable and save time by:

  • simplifying the project risk assessment process

  • helping businesses comply with legislation

  • assessing and recording all tasks and risks on a risk assessment matrix

  • opening up transparent communication between managers, workers and stakeholders

  • adding everyone involved in the project along with their contact details into a central database

  • producing project-specific risk assessment and method statements

  • customizing the software to meet the needs of individual projects

  • providing a safe repository for project related documents that is available 24/7.

Get everyone involved in risk management

Construction risk assessment and management is everyone’s problem. Good project managers get everyone on the construction site involved in risk assessments and managing the risks.

Consult workers when completing project risk assessments. They are the ones at risk on construction sites. It is good to get their perspective and input on construction risks in their area. This gives workers ownership of the risks and more likely to comply with workplace procedures. Always communicate any changes and updates to keep everyone working with the same understanding.