In any construction project, no matter the size, it’s crucial that quality and safety are among the top objectives.
Taking into consideration how many parts need to be combined and handled within a construction project, the materials needed, the equipment, the man power necessary to conduct the work, it can get out of control quickly.
Especially when site conditions can change in a matter of minutes and cause many problems. Defects and failures can happen, rework may be required and as a result delays are caused, costs of a project increased and potential damage or defect claim can happen that inflate the overall costs even more.
According to American society of safety engineers The U.S. insurance industry pays more than $5 billion annually to settle construction defect claims. This is approximately 0.5 percent of the value of the U.S. construction market, which was estimated to be slightly less than $1 trillion in 2010.
Everyone dislikes additional rework and to avoid it is crucial for project managers to confirm documentation of existing conditions so that damage claims and injuries can be avoided, and confirm that the conditions and result meet the plans and requirements.
Rework isn’t the only concern.
If necessary safety precautions aren’t taken into consideration injuries can also happen.Nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction sites and it is estimated that there are 24,882 injuries per year simply due to falls from stairways and ladders used in construction.
According to a study by The National Safety Council, the true cost of work related injuries is much greater than the cost of workers compensation insurance alone. The total cost of work-related injuries in 2011 was $188.9 billion. The largest component was not medical costs — it was wage and productivity losses ($86.8 billion). Followed by Medical costs at $52.3 billion and administrative expenses of $34.2 billion.
Quality and Safety Go Hand-in-Hand
Given the costs associated with insurance claims and injuries, having control over a project site is a must across the industry. Safety and quality control represent an increasingly important construction aspect and go hand-in-hand. Safety cannot be achieved without having a quality control plan and having complete control over it in all aspects of a construction site process.
In order to ensure quality and safety are a priority, standards need to be set from the beginning of the construction project and should be monitored throughout the duration of the project.
In order to ensure project quality and safety construction project managers need to:
Use quality materials and equipment
Observe installation processes and all aspects of construction
Ensure quality documentation of existing conditions and project plans and requirements
Select qualified and knowledgeable subcontractors and workers
Perform regular site inspections
Ensure OSHA conducts safety inspections and supervises the work
In the end, it is the manager’s job to take responsibility and be accountable for monitoring, maintaining and improving all elements of a project, from responsibilities regarding personnel, work itself, cost, time and other management issues. In doing so, they will create a safe construction site and accomplish a quality construction project!