We are pleased to launch the fifth edition of our Building Sight magazine, which provides news, opinions and advice on risk and insurance topics affecting construction companies. In our latest edition we explore the ways in which construction industry attitudes are adapting to a raft of supply chain risks, both established and emerging. As technologies evolve and industry practice takes on ever greater degrees of complexity, construction companies are increasingly required to reassess the ways in which they approach their supply chain exposures.
In This Edition
As in many construction markets, health and safety remains an ongoing concern for the US construction industry. According to the US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), of 5,147 fatal workplace injuries reported for 2017, 971 of these (18.9 per cent) were in construction – a marginal reduction on the 19.1 per cent registered in 2016.
New York Labor Law section 240 and 241 provides contractors and owners with no margin for error. Labor Law sections 240 and 241 – often referred to as the ‘Scaffold Law’ – places full responsibility for all gravity-related injuries on the contractor and owner in New York State. Although workers’ compensation regulations mean site employees cannot make a claim against their employer, they are able to make claims against a main contractor or building owner. Consequently, the labor laws remain a significant concern for these principal project stakeholders.
New York building damage underlines how a health and safety incident can impact the entire construction supply chain. The events that unfolded at 130 Liberty Street (originally One Bankers Trust Plaza) in August 2007 were to fundamentally change how contractors – and everyone down the supply chain – operate in New York.
From digital construction to an increase in offsite technologies, industry stakeholders must learn to evolve the ways in which they operate and communicate across the construction supply chain. We highlight some of the unexpected consequences that can arise from a failure to react to the changing nature of the construction supply chain and how the industry is responding to these new challenges.
Challenging climatic conditions, political risk and the sheer scale of Canada’s geography weigh most heavily on the minds of Canadian developers when considering the integrity of their supply chains. That being said, supply chain risk remains an area to which contractors and project owners often fail to devote sufficient attention towards.
The main cyber security issue facing the construction supply chain is the increased reliance on technology and, in particular, the wider use of building information modelling (BIM) – a collaborative way of working, underpinned by digital technologies that enable more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining built assets.
The effects of the Carillion collapse are still being felt in the UK’s construction supply chains. Clients and main contractors, take note. On 15 January 2019, it will be a year since UK contracting giant Carillion went into compulsory liquidation. Blaming problems with three large public-private partnership (PPP) projects in its home market, and unpaid bills in the Middle East and Canada, its borrowing stood at £1.3 billion at that point.
Supply chain mapping is increasingly adopted as standard practice across a number of industries as stakeholders seek to limit their exposure to risks emanating from events beyond their control, further down the supply chain. Could construction be about to benefit from supply chain mapping techniques as a result of the increasing use of offsite manufacturing?
Blockchain is revolutionising interaction in construction’s supply chains. In the midst of the 2008 economic crash, blockchain made its public debut. Created by Satoshi Nakamoto – whose true identity, despite much speculation, is still unknown – blockchain is a database that is shared across a network of computers. It works by bundling records together into ‘blocks’, which are all linked using cryptography. This enables the information to be shared securely and accurately without the need for third-party involvement.
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