The big skyscrapers in New York, the new bridges connecting interstates, and the restaurants we all love to frequent would not be what they are without the construction industry. And despite the industry being impacted by the economic slowdown of COVID-19, the industry is slowly on the upward rise of bouncing back from such havoc in the industry.
The construction industry is indeed on an upward trajectory post COVID-19, but despite the positive outlook, the industry is still experiencing the same hardships before the economy was flipped upside down. Everything from a rise in labor costs and materials to construction site safety, even the best innovations still can’t seem to rid the industry of these troublesome challenges.
As a worker in construction, whether in management or a laborer, knowing what the challenges are ahead of time will at least help you properly plan for the challenges so they don’t seemingly come out of the blue. Take a look at some of the biggest industry challenges in construction.
The safety of workers has and will continue to be an ongoing issue in construction… it just kind of comes with the territory. The construction industry has been the leader in work-related injuries and deaths, giving it the fourth-highest rate of any industry. Studies actually show that if falls were eliminated from construction, that would be 300 fewer lives lost annually.
So why is construction so notorious for danger? Well, there are lots of reasons and they vary from job site to job site but a few of the major reasons injuries and fatalities are so high in the construction industry is due to the following:
- The Fatal Four (fall, caught in/between, struck by an object, and electrocution.
- Lack of protective gear
- Laxing on safety protocols
- Improper maintenance of equipment
Shortage of Labor
Since the emergence of the pandemic, the construction industry has lost more than 2 million jobs and has been struggling to bounce back ever since. Fortunately, the industry is seeing great progress as the world begins to open back up… Projects that were put on hold are now continuing progress and residential and commercial demand is quickly starting to see an economic boom.
However, one issue that continues to be a problem with labor is the number of unlicensed workers. According to fosterglobal.com, more than half of the construction workers in Texas are not only working without a license but they’re also completely undocumented immigrants.
All too often people try to take the easy or “cheap” route for labor and hire unlicensed workers without having any real disregard to the consequences of what would happen if they were caught operating under those conditions, for both the client and construction company.
To save your company the hassle of litigation or public scrutiny, ensure every worker obtain the required licenses for the work they’re doing before entering a job site. Make it part of the hiring process to show proof of licensing or license renewal.
Introduction of New Technology
Construction is an industry notorious for working hard, and workers wear it as a badge of honor, but with all the advancements being made in construction technology today, a lot of the traditional processes have become extremely outdated and actually slow productivity.
Not only are some of the old processes inefficient but they’re also very dangerous. For example, there’s no longer a major need to build temporary structures to gauge the landscape of a construction site. With technology advancements, drones are now used to get aerial views, decreasing the risk of fall injuries on the job.
But, even as these innovations are good for the industry, they still cost money, and in many cases, it’s money that certain construction companies just don’t have, so they take the risk and make do without the technology.
The construction industry is on an upward trajectory to getting back to the standards of the “new normal” as the world opens back up. But despite its growth trajectory, there will always be these seemingly never-ending challenges hanging in the balance. While these issues are frustrating, it will be a long time before they’re completely eliminated.
In the meantime, making yourself and your team aware of the challenges will put you one step ahead in the prevention or at least reducing the severity or likelihood of them impacting your business. Get to know these construction challenges to take preventive measures moving forward with your construction company.