Like many industries, external factors can impact the smooth-running of the construction industry. Brexit, the pandemic and more recently, the war between Russia and Ukraine have taken their toll in different ways. But with this comes day-to-day struggles that can create a challenging environment for construction workers.
What are these challenges?
There are several challenges that arise in the construction industry – here are some of the most frequent examples.
Unpredictable working environments and the possibility of injury
Working environments can have varying challenges in the world of construction. From climbing up scaffolding to manoeuvring heavy objects and working amongst heavy machinery, there’s a greater risk of injury compared to many other typical workplaces. While health and safety measures are required by law, much of the work in construction goes unmonitored, meaning some workers may not always follow these regulations as closely.
According to Statista, the weather in Q1 of 2022 posed significantly more disruption than in Q2. Poor weather conditions can significantly increase the number of accidents that happen onsite, which could lead to workers having to claim for a personal injury, if the proper precautions aren’t taken
Aging workforce and skills shortages
The construction industry attracts significantly less workers compared to a few decades ago. The industry is now faced with more competition against other industries, meaning that construction’s pool of talent is shrinking. As the older generation begin to retire, taking their wealth of knowledge with them, it’s left down to the younger, less experienced generation to take on more responsibility.
In addition to this, the pandemic has created a backlog of projects that can’t be completed at the rate required. Increasing pressures on workforces in this sector can take their toll. There have even been reports of a so-called ‘hidden epidemic’ of suicides in the construction industry, implying that there are industrywide issues that need addressing in order to attract new recruits.
According to reports, out-of-date software has created its own challenges in the construction industry. Old, lagging laptops, for example can delay the admin side of things, while out of date software causes its own issues. The lack of sufficient, integrated technology in comparison to other sectors can take its toll on the planning, processes and communications side of things. On top of this, investing in new technology can be a costly decision.
Even if new software is available, surveys have shown that a lack of overall understanding or training to support this has a great impact on the smooth-running of projects. A lack of awareness of the implications of not updating software regularly can also play a role. While other industries, particularly corporate, office-based workplaces, have the time and resources to spend on software training, this isn’t always a luxury afforded to construction workers.