The winter is traditionally one of the toughest times during the year for the construction industry, as severe weather and cold temperatures limit the number of available jobs and hamper business growth. However, that appears to be changing, as a survey of industry experts found increased confidence in the direction of the market.
As opportunities rise for construction firms, so too does the importance of risk management and employee safety. A lack of protective strategies could result in a higher number of injuries and an uptick in workers compensation insurance claims. As a result, companies should create an effective risk management plan and find new ways to mitigate potential problems.
Market enters growth mode
The construction industry has turned a corner and is on the way up, according to a recent survey conducted by Engineering News-Record. While levels haven't climbed to where most people want to see them, they are increasing and recovery is expected to continue throughout 2014.
The ENR Construction Industry Confidence Index survey noted that a clear majority the 414 polled executives said that the market is stable and growing. The CICI Index hit 72 out of 100, further supporting this sentiment. This is a record, and is also higher than the 69 rating reported in the fourth quarter of 2013. The survey respondents included contractors, subcontractors and design firms in the construction industry. More than 6,000 U.S. firms were contacted for the survey.
Growth highlights importance of risk management
More construction jobs mean more chances for possible danger, and firms across the country have to institute an effective risk management plan in order to keep workers comp insurance costs and other expenses down.
According to the Risk and Insurance Management Society, there are several key ways to do this. For starters, firms should place a greater importance on the role the contract plays in this crucial aspect. These documents are where vital facts are hashed out, such as insurance and other clauses. Without these definitions, the wrong party could be on the hook in the event of an accident or illness.
In addition, it is up to the construction firm to understand the ins and outs of insurance policies and other risk management strategies. Many companies aren't up to speed with these details, and that could lead to gaps in protection or other issues. To prevent that, it is best to perform research before taking on a new client.