As the Canadian construction industry becomes more complex, companies are forced to take more risks, which leads to a growing need for surety bonds, an insurance brokerage executive says. Bonding and insurance help to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget, the executive says.
Underinvestment in infrastructure is one of the top risks to businesses and communities around the world, according to the Global Risks Report 2019. Public-private collaboration and a renewed emphasis on project bankability can help close the infrastructure investment gap, John Drzik writes.
Artificial intelligence, augmented reality and other advanced technologies can revolutionize the construction industry while helping pick up the slack amid challenges such as labor shortages and difficult weather conditions. While AI and AR can help improve project designs, robots can be used to assemble materials and drones can monitor projects in real time.
Contractors are split on the high-tech safety applications of technology such as wearables and drones, with some saying they may be a good fit for larger work sites but not a necessity for smaller projects. Regardless of technology, though, it's important to get workers to buy into safety procedures from the start, says Rodney Spencley, DPR Construction's corporate director of safety, quality and labor relations.
Managers must engage with employees on safety topics to show their commitment to safety and encourage a more robust safety culture. Use verbal, visual, written and informal communications to get workers to summarize job steps, anticipate trouble spots, foresee worst-case scenarios and evaluate controls, David Lynn suggests.
Project managers play a crucial role in the success of construction projects by managing the construction manager and general contractor with an eye toward the successful completion of the project, Laura Colca writes. Construction managers oversee day-to-day activities to keep projects on schedule, while general contractors ensure that work is completed with an emphasis on quality while monitoring for minor issues before they get out of control.
Construction businesses must have succession plans in place to ensure business continuity, an attorney writes. The plan should include a buy-sell agreement that addresses how the owner's share of the business will be redeemed in the event of retirement, death or incapacity, the attorney writes.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is promoting its fall-safety videos and fall-prevention training guide amid continuing instances of injuries and deaths caused by falls at workplaces. OSHA's National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction is May 6 through 10.
The Ontario Ministry of Labor has recovered $1.13 million in workers' wages through the discovery of construction job-site pay violations between May 1 and Aug. 31. During 1,266 site inspections, the ministry found that nearly 55% of employers had violated employment rights through underpayment, nonpayment of holiday pay and other actions.
For integrated project delivery to work the way it is intended, stakeholders must "put their money where their mouths are by placing some of their profit margin at risk based on achieving predetermined cost targets," John Caulfield writes. Not to be confused with value engineering, IPD often works best when it's tied to complex projects that require problem solving and buy-in from the entire team.
Rising costs and unexpected issues at Kansas City International Airport's new terminal project and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's new international arrivals facility are indicative of the challenges associated with airport construction projects, OAG analyst John Grant says. The setbacks at the stalled KCI project are "consistent with every other airport project" he's seen.