Be Aware of Risks

ThinkstockPhotos 584210406By Construction Today staff editor

Travelers’ latest Risk Index identified three major risks in the construction industry: 1) the ability to attract and hire qualified workers, 2) employee safety and 3) the changing workforce. Other emerging risks include the potential for a cyber attack and distracted driving.

Rick Keegan, president of construction at Travelers, shares the following key points for construction leaders to keep in mind in 2018:

  • Skilled Labor Gap: Recruitment and training will be key business priorities in 2018: 47 percent of construction leaders said they worry about their ability to attract and hire qualified workers, and 46 percent named the changing workforce as a top concern. This issue has only been exacerbated by surges in demand from a series of natural disasters. As seasoned employees retire and new, less-experienced recruits come on board, the likelihood of workplace accidents can significantly increase. Travelers' data shows that 52 percent of all workplace injuries occur in the first year of employment. 
  • Employee Safety: The increase in demand for labor and the advent of new technologies will come with the need to provide improved safety training, but just 52 percent of construction leaders currently say they provide employee safety training to reduce risk. 
  • Distracted Driving: A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Travelers found that work-related pressures contribute to distracted driving: 43 percent of employed U.S. adults who drive admit to making work-related communications such as emails and calls while driving. Further, 57 percent of construction companies are concerned about liability relating to employees being in accidents while driving their personal vehicles for work. As technology continues to advance, it will be important for managers to review, communicate and enforce their distracted driving policies.
  • Cyber Threat: Just 36 percent of construction companies say they worry about cyber and data breaches, compared with 56 percent of businesses overall. As the industry increases its reliance on the cloud, the Internet of Things and other technologies, the risk is growing and will require more attention.

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