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Construction Risk Advisor – January 2018 - January 2018

INDUSTRY TRENDS TO WATCH

With ongoing changes in the construction industry, companies need to stay on top of emerging trends if they want to remain competitive. Industry experts anticipate seeing the following trends in 2018:

  • Advancements in technology—Technology such as virtual reality, 3-D printing and drone usage are revolutionizing the industry.   
  • Improved safety procedures—According to recent research from Travelers, 45 percent of construction businesses have concerns about their employee safety procedures. New technology and mobile apps are making it easier than ever for construction companies to ensure safer work environments.
  • Rising material costs—The steady increase in the price of materials throughout 2017 shows no sign of reversal. Companies can think about cutting costs in other areas, such as using mobile apps that monitor employee performance and track materials.

More modular and prefabrication projects—With material costs on the rise, modular and prefabrication projects are becoming more popular.

PREPAREDNESS WHEN DISASTER STRIKES

The recent hurricanes and California wildfires have highlighted the need for contractors to examine their recovery plans and minimize their risks. In the absence of a recovery plan, contractors risk exposing their business to liability and damaging its reputation. What’s more, 1 in 4 businesses fail to reopen after being impacted by a natural disaster.

Although you can’t prevent natural disasters, you can prepare for them. The following are five important steps all construction firms should take before disaster strikes.

  1. Clearly define the terms used in your contracts. While hurricanes and wildfires will likely excuse you from fulfilling a contract, vague definitions—such as severe rain—may cause confusion. Define such events ahead of time to relieve uncertainty.
  2. Prepare an emergency plan that assigns actions to designated individuals.
  3. Provide disaster preparedness training to employees. Include evacuation processes and proper use of emergency equipment.
  4. Protect project records. Contracts, permits and other physical files can be easily destroyed in the event of a disaster. Cloud-based storage can protect valuable data and ensure you have access to it from any location.
  5. Review your insurance policies prior to beginning big projects. CMR Risk & Insurance Services, Inc. can work with you to find coverage that helps you recover damages from natural disasters and protect your reputation.