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Prevent problems in construction before they happen

John Watras September 14, 2013

How predictive analytics are helping create safer job sites.

Head of Construction

Scott Rasor is the Head of Construction for Zurich North America Commercial Insurance. He is a... About this expert

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This post was contributed by John Watras, vice president of Zurich’s North America’s construction industry segment.

Sending construction workers home safely every day should be the goal of any building project. But in an industry plagued by dangerous work, that isn’t always easy.

As such, general contractors are increasingly turning to predictive analytics to more easily implement a zero-injury safety culture at their worksites. Predictive analytics works like this: first, data is collected, then problems are identified, then an algorithm is created for solutions.

Traditionally, the construction industry always viewed and measured safety on a basis of failures like regulatory citations, litigation, and loss ratios. The problem with these traditional metrics is that they’re lagging – it’s too late to prevent an incident.

By using software to mine for data on previous worksite incidents or injuries, general contractors can be better equipped to predict workplace injuries and proactively minimize hazards. 

Prevent Problems in Construction Before They Happen

If we are able to identify leading indicators – like unsafe behaviors, conditions, and near-miss incidents – we can potentially catch the roots of these problems and create effective solutions (hopefully) before issues arise, which can be a big advantage predictive analytics.

In fact, relying on these analytics can be a real game-changer for organizations. One of our customers reduced its workplace injury rate by nearly 50 percent after using these tools to address problems.

More than 80 percent of our customer’s projects experienced no recordable incidents, and more than 90 percent experienced no lost- time incidents. More importantly, an increasing number of projects have achieved zero injuries.

Predictive analytics have the potential to be a win, win. They can serve everyone better – the owner, the investors, the general contractor, the subs, the insurance providers, and most importantly, the workers themselves.

What do you think?

For more information, read this article about predictive analytics from the American Subcontractor’s Association.

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