SAN DIEGO – The construction sector faces a wide range of risk management and productivity challenges that must be overcome for the sector to flourish, a building manager said on Monday.
Covid-19 pandemic, social unrest, rapid technological development. changes, staff shortages and climate change have together pose serious threats to companies operating in the sector, says Jes Pedersen, President and CEO of San Francisco-based Webcor Construction LP.
To meet the challenges, construction companies must revolutionize their operating protocols, including data sharing and thinking about how buildings are built, he said during the inaugural session of the IRMI Construction Risk Conference in San Diego. Mr. Pedersen. "There's another risk we have to add to our list," he said.
In addition, the construction sector is facing a labor crisis when the average age of new participants in the field rises and the length of their service decreases, Mr. Pedersen said.
Companies must also be more "determined" in their hiring methods and change their cultural environments to make them more diverse and inclusive, he said.
"Whether it is craft or pay, people want to work for companies that strive for a higher calling ", said Pedersen." The companies that have always had a way of working and see it as a competitive advantage are most vulnerable. "
Lessons about teleworking during the pandemic can help alleviate the pressure on staff "But industry must also find ways to improve productivity, for example by using more prefabricated building materials," he said. 1
To meet the demand for green buildings, construction companies must become more innovative and take more risks, he said. For example, replacing asphalt roofs with more environmentally friendly materials makes construction companies open to the risk that the new materials will not withstand extreme weather conditions in the long term.
Technical changes are also crucial to improve the construction industry's safety routines, Mr. Pedersen said.
Construction companies are often reluctant to share data for competitive reasons, but sharing information about, for example, near-accidents can reduce the incidence of workplace accidents, he said.