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How effective construction safety programs add to your bottom line

January 4, 2022

Project safety and bottom line growth

Construction contractors are developing a new way of thinking when it comes to their safety programs. Construction safety inspections and field inspection management are no longer “a necessary evil” but are an integral part of doing good business. They have an effect on the bottom line that extends beyond simply improving insurance premiums.

Work-related accidents in construction remain an unfortunate but common occurrence in the field. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), injuries cost the economy over $170 billion in 2019. From maintaining industry standing to worker retention, strong construction safety programs have a positive impact.

The days are gone where construction safety and safety management are understood as a contributor to overhead costs with no apparent return. As the 2021 Dodge report on Safety Management in the Construction Industry stated, “strong safety management is again demonstrated to be a good business investment.” The report highlighted the following benefits of safety management reported by contractors, including:

  • Better insurance terms (78%)
  • Improvement in their standing in the industry (73%)
  • Being better able to bring in new work (66%)
  • Improved worker retention (61%)
  • Heightened ability to attract new workers, particularly in larger companies (63%)

The positive impact of safety programs at project and business levels is undisputed. But how do those in the field maximize the potential of construction safety management, especially given the increasing complexity of projects and technology?

Many industry experts point to the growing importance of data-driven management in the construction safety process. By using the increasingly available amount of construction safety related data, safety decisions and protocols can be improved and fine-tuned.

As consulting firm Deloitte has reported, an ongoing problem remains how to leverage all available safety data which is dispersed among a range of digital and non-digital sources from hard drives to pieces of paper. This includes enterprise resource planning (ERP) and case management systems and various other secondary sources such as employee rostering schedules. These “safety analytics” must be assembled together, analyzed, and processed.

Portrait of a young woman using a digital tablet as part of construction safety programs

As the amount of available data increases, so does its utility in serving a predictive function. This kind of predictive modeling involves the use of statistical and mathematical techniques to better understand future outcomes and take into account any problems that may occur. With data, users gain knowledge and insight into the human and financial risks of the construction environment.

Based on a recent study, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Common Data Environments (CDE) are emerging as new trends and standards in the construction industry. BIM allows for the clear presentation of complex and challenging construction information to a wide range of users. CDE ensures that information between devices and users can communicate to one another and “speak” the same language.

Most importantly, this study emphasizes that new technologies and standards allow users to identify hazards early, reduce risk, and share health and safety information. While we’re making progress, there’s still work ahead to reach our goals.

Small- and medium-sized contractors have encountered challenges in enhancing project safety and achieving business impact with construction safety data. Now, they recognize the opportunity to utilize diverse data sources and analytical tools for strategic safety decisions and improved profitability.

Enabling contractors with Fulcrum technology

As data-driven safety management gains prominence, Fulcrum empowers contractors to optimize safety and protect assets.

Larger construction companies are already reaping the benefits of utilizing safety data from various sources. It’s time for smaller counterparts to access similar tools and capabilities.

Fulcrum’s mobile data collection and workflow automation platform modernizes your field workforce. It facilitates data-driven decisions, benefiting organizations of all sizes.

The platform offers an accessible and cost-effective way for construction companies to digitize and access crucial safety assessment and inspection data. It seamlessly integrates with other sources, providing users with safety analytics to drive positive business impact and ensure success and resilience.

Explore how Fulcrum enhances business performance and improves construction safety outcomes.

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Modernizing mobile construction inspections – Digitize construction quality and safety inspections to maximize field team performance and agility