4 Tips to Improve Construction Risk Management

July 18, 2014

Risk is an unavoidable aspect of any enterprise, especially those in the construction, manufacturing and healthcare industries. While the hazards on the job may be inherent, thankfully there are a number of steps that any company can take to reduce the dangers and prevent an abundance of workers compensation insurance claims.

Taking these steps is critical to the overall success and growth of a company. A lack of a risk management plan threatens the entire operation and places an undue burden on the staff members. While these types of measures are important for continued profitability of any organization, they are increasingly vital for the construction industry. Workers in this profession deal with a myriad of risks, and a lack of prevention could lead to injuries, illnesses or even death. 

To avoid these types of costly problems, here are four tips and tricks to improve enterprise risk management and make sure workers compensation insurance costs stay low:

1. Evaluate your company first
The most important step is the self-evaluation phase. Before any new measures can be taken, the company itself has to look closely at its operations and make sure that they understand every minute detail. Not performing this initial task might lead to the implementation of an improper risk management plan. The law firm Bergman, Dacey and Goldsmith noted that every company has to analyze the staff members who will be taking part in the construction process. The size of the project, the costs involved and the location could all play a part in the difficulty of the job. Performing due diligence can prevent any issues from appearing on short notice, and ensure that everyone is safe while working.

2. Coordinate all outside parties
Prior to the work beginning, the construction firm must take the time to coordinate all outside parties that will be involved in the process, Bergman, Dacey and Goldsmith explained. For example, legal counsel may be needed in certain cases, and bringing these professionals in early can help to make sure they are up to speed on all the important issues. The same goes for any subcontractors or other outside workers that will be performing tasks on this project. Each additional person might complicate a risk management plan without a proper understanding of the potential hazards beforehand.

3. Understand risk management is a continuous process
Once all the staff members and the company itself are analyzed, the organization can begin to move forward with the risk management plan itself. Above all else, it is important to remember that this process is continuous, and it isn't a quick, one-stop solution to costly problems. Business Improvement Architects wrote that a good place to begin is by picking the hazards that are most likely to appear. This decision can be made based off of past experiences, gut feelings, knowledge of worker behavior and historical data, for example. The beginning of the project is often the riskiest time, because there is often more happening at this moment. Therefore, risk management should begin as early as possible and continue through the life of the job.

4. Prepare for the consequences
According to Business Improvement Architects, organizations have to be prepared to handle the consequences of the risk. While a proper plan can account for a lot, there are some cases in which things slip through the cracks. If this occurs, someone may be hurt or the operation could fall behind schedule. The best way to be ready is to have a contingency plan in place. Employees must be trained on how to respond in an emergency, and priorities should be hashed out so only the most important duties continue. In addition, a workers compensation insurance policy can provide financial assistance in the event of an accident or illness.

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