5 Construction Risks and How to Mitigate Them

Written by Skylar Anderson, AMAST Content

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onstruction is a risky job. No matter how prepared a team might be to mitigate common risks, the chance that errors could occur is likely. From design processes taking longer than anticipated to simple scheduling errors, construction risks come in all shapes and sizes. But since projects are individually unique, the amount and type of these probable risks are specific to sole projects. AMAST is here to lay out these common construction risks, providing you and your team with the resources to avoid these cost- and time-consuming mistakes.

Design Risks

Risks can occur at any time during the process of a project, even right from the beginning. The design process is lengthy, and it takes careful consideration to avoid mistakes. Unfortunately, this is where many common errors are made. Some examples of design risks include miscalculations, omissions, tedious processes and in adverse situations — failure to accomplish contractually obligated tasks.

In order to reduce these risks as much as possible, documentation is essential. Technological advancements like BIM (building information modeling), can help industry professionals ease into the world of both digital documentation and three-dimensional modeling visualization. This reduces the risk of typical mistakes, thus making the project development seamless.

External Risks

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Not all risks are ones that come from strictly team workers themselves. Unavoidable outside forces can be a challenge as well. Since so few consider external risks, leading to undesirable and laborious consequences, it’s crucial to consider them for a faultless and smooth process. Examples of external risks include objections from the public, changes in laws and taxes and the altering of ideas with the introduction of new stakeholders.

Although difficult to avoid entirely, external risks can be reduced just through simple research and organization. Keeping track of the local laws and statutes can be beneficial for current and future projects, since it encourages the processes to stay on track. Organization is also critical in order to easily find important records and reports, prompting readiness for external hurdles.

Environmental Risks

One element that industry professionals simply cannot avoid is the power of Mother Nature. Risks that take place due to environmental factors are among the most common dangers on construction sites. These risks include unforeseen and unfavorable weather, natural disasters and in worse cases, pollution or harmful effects towards the place we call home.

To diminish the possibility of these risks, take the time to study the weather patterns near the project site if you are unfamiliar with the area. Just doing this alone could already cut out a great deal of potential problems. As for pollution risks, ensure that you are using non-toxic chemicals whenever possible, weighing down light materials that could blow away easily, putting low Sulphur diesel in equipment and constructing dust screens around sites.

Organizational Risks

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Organization is the key to a foolproof project. Many construction mistakes are avoidable through a straightforward organization process. The nature of that process is up to the site manager themself, making it versatile and adaptable to any preference or situation. Due to its flexibility, organizing is both easy and advantageous. Risks like labor shortage and inexperience, scheduling conflicts and lack of on-site safety protection can all be easily escapable when organization is carried out.

An organizational tip to reduce these types of risks is to implement software that keeps track of worker productivity, accurate work schedules, and relevant safety measures. This can be done through a type of project management software on a mobile phone or computer.

Financial Risks

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The way a project is funded is critical to its completion. Unfortunately, the business of money isn’t always so cut and dry. In fact, financial risks are commonly prevailing occurrences in the world of construction. Considerations include inflation, taxes, change order costs, excessive labor and pricey equipment. When these risks occur, the timeline and finalization of a project can be quickly compromised.

To reduce the occurrence of financial risks, determine the local and state taxes are wherever a project is breaking ground. That way, you can be prepared when fiscal changes take place or costs are heightened in certain areas. Also make sure to do prior research about equipment prices, providing you with the knowledge of typical rental costs and ensuring you don’t get swindled in the renting process.

Sources: Autodesk Construction Cloud, eSub and PlanRadar

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