With 80% of architects concerned about liability issues, experts say early collaboration is key to tackling risk, new study finds

Training, collaboration and collective responsibility are the top three ways the construction industry can tackle risk, according to a recent study by Etex.

Etex asked 250 construction industry decision makers, including contractors, project managers, procurement teams, asset managers, consultants and architects, for their perspective on risks, including risks specific to their roles. The findings were then submitted to a panel of experts for their opinion on the matter.

Overall, the majority of respondents (63%) think the construction industry is good at identifying risks, with three-quarters believing that the discussion of risks takes place at a late stage. sufficiently early in the life cycle of a project. Confidence in their profession’s ability to identify risks was highest among project managers (76%) and entrepreneurs (70%).

The research and group discussions provided three main recommendations for risk at all levels:

  1. Focusing on training and skills development is essential to mitigate risk and improve quality.
  2. Collaboration is essential from the start to identify risks quickly and throughout a project to avoid costly problems downstream.
  3. Risk is a collective responsibility, but policymakers could do more.

Commenting on this, Melanie Davies, Market Manager at Etex, said: “Risk is a huge challenge for the entire construction industry right now, with a perfect storm of different elements such as labor shortages. implementation and changes in health and safety regulations that contribute to it. There are ways for the industry to overcome some of these challenges, however, and it is promising to see a number of industry experts cite collaboration, training and skills development as key ways to reduce risk. . Now it’s a question of how the industry goes about improving in these areas, which really needs to be a collective effort of all sectors of the supply chain.

When asked about the main factors that create the most risk in the industry, a lack of quality control, unclear government guidelines, and a shortage of high-quality materials were all ranked top. A total of 73% of those surveyed said they were concerned about liability issues when specifying building materials, with contractors (84%) and architects (80%) saying they were their greatest concern.

Most respondents said they regularly worry about the decisions they make and the implications of the risks, with architects and asset management professionals both reporting it as a top concern (69%), followed by project managers (68%) and entrepreneurs (67%).

However, the majority of respondents agreed that the government should determine the stakeholder burden of risk, with 61% saying it was up to the government to provide clear guidelines to construction stakeholders to be able to reduce the risks.

Mathew Baxter, Founder of Echelon Consultancy, added: “Over the past few years the government has tried to be more cooperative. There has been a tendency to push back laws that change fairly basic roles. I think it is improving, but it takes even more government consultation to understand the thoughts of those on the ground before implementing new legislation. If there has ever been a perfect storm in the sector, it is now, so the government must have a practical and concrete approach when implementing new legislation.

For more information and to read the research results in full, please visit: https://etex-bp.co.uk/etexperts/

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