The recent Dodge Data & Analytics SmartMarket Report Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2020, Emerging Safety Trends highlight “Worker Safety in a Changing World: Mitigating the Safety Risks From Extreme Weather.” The article on weather safety and weather risk management explains how intensifying climate trends are increasing risks for construction project predictability and work crew safety.

Dodge Data & Analytics SmartMarket Reports provide research on emerging trends transforming the construction industry, such as weather decision support. Some of the many topics address risk management and safety advancements. Past reports include Connecting Owners and Contractors – How Technology Drives Connected Construction and Using Technology to Manage Construction Risks.

First, the SmartMarket Report cites studies by the US Global Change Research Program predicting that regional weather trends already in progress will intensify, and rainfall rates associated with hurricanes will rise. Second, frequency and severity of floods and wildfires will increase. And third, “20-year” extreme heat days will occur every two to three years — increasing risks for outdoor workers and construction projects.

Further, recent studies indicate an increase in the number of heat-related incidents and fatalities in the construction industry. Heat-related illnesses such as heat stress, heat stroke and heat exhaustion can lead to long-term injuries. And, minor impacts associated with high temperature and high humidity events can impair good judgment and jeopardize motor skills, and subsequently increase the risk of associated injuries from other causes.

Rapid changes in weather also cause health, safety and environmental (HSE) hazards. For example, securing materials, weathervaning cranes, and seeking shelter in advance of high winds, wind gusts, dangerous thunderstorms and lightning strikes. The SmartMarket Report advocates a weather solution with automated reports and alerts to project teams and work crews to begin weather emergency plans and weather safety protocols.

SmartMarket Report Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2020, Emerging Safety Trends also affirm the need for comprehensive weather risk planning. Zurich Insurance construction risk engineers recommend first acknowledging the possibility of weather events and disasters, and then creating a site-specific plan that addresses a project’s risk exposures as a result of adverse and extreme weather.

More in the next blog post about weather decision support and weather risk management for the construction industry and built environment…

(Source: Jones, Stephen A., and Donna Laquidara-Carr, editors. “Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2020 SmartMarket Report.” Dodge Data & Analytics , Feb. 2020.)

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