New study reveals influence of pandemic, new technologies and company size on construction safety management


HAMILTON, New Jersey – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – COVID-19 and new technologies are creating significant changes in the way entrepreneurs handle security, according to new study from Dodge Data & Analytics. There is wide variation in the way businesses of different sizes react, with smaller employers lagging behind their larger peers.

SmartMarket 2021 Report on Safety Management in the Construction Industry, the fifth in this series, shows how contractors and workers are adapting well-established safety management principles to respond to the pandemic and are beginning to benefit from increased access to real-time data. The report was published with the support of the Center for Research and Training in Construction (CPWR) and Newmetrix.

Safety Management in the Construction Industry 2021 documents how COVID-19 accelerated existing changes in entrepreneurs’ approaches. More than one in three (35%) entrepreneurs have increased online training in the past 12 months, and almost two-thirds (63%) of entrepreneurs are now using it. More than 75% of entrepreneurs who reported using more online training attributed this growth in part or all to COVID-19. However, while 96% of large employers with 100 or more employees developed a written plan to protect workers on construction sites from the spread of COVID-19, only 57% of employers with fewer than 20 employees had written plans.

An even bigger trend resulting from COVID-19 is the increased use of health and wellness measures. While these measures have long been a part of construction safety, the study found that many new measures were adopted during the pandemic. Almost two-thirds (61%) of contractors plan to keep some of these measures after the pandemic is over, although respondents varied considerably in their views on which practices will continue.

The study compares the current use of health and wellness programs for workers on the construction site and in company offices. Between 40% and 50% of entrepreneurs offer mental health services to their workers, including alcohol and drug abuse programs, but only about 25% offer stress management or smoking cessation programs. Again, large entrepreneurs were much more likely to take this step than small entrepreneurs. These statistics suggest both a broad recognition of the value of these programs and the opportunities for much wider adoption.

“COVID-19 has highlighted that the safety and health of workers are crucial for a successful construction,” said Chris Trahan Cain, executive director of CPWR. “This report shows that entrepreneurs of all sizes must continue to address persistent concerns like falls and ergonomics while responding to COVID-19 through planning, training and technological advancements. ”

The report also shows that the construction industry continues to evolve towards a data-driven approach to managing safety.

  • One in five entrepreneurs (19%) see making better use of the security data they currently collect as one of the main ways to improve their security program.

  • A slightly higher proportion believe that the use of observational data from worksite images (26%) and predictive analytics (21%) is essential to a world-class safety program.

The study also highlights the likelihood of wider adoption of a data-driven approach. Entrepreneurs have identified several technologies as the most likely to improve security in the future, including wearable sensors, predictive analytics, and visual surveillance with artificial intelligence (AI). Currently, only around 10% of entrepreneurs use wearable sensors or predictive analytics, and only 5% use visual surveillance with AI. Forty-one percent of small employers don’t currently use data for their security programs, but 96% of large businesses do. Overall, the proportion of those who plan to implement these technologies in the next three years is more than double those who do so now.

The study highlights that contractors are continuing their existing security practices. The practices and benefits of their use – including the ability to negotiate better insurance terms, a better reputation in the industry, and a better ability to bring in new work – remain remarkably consistent with previous SmartMarket reports.

“Despite the new demands and challenges in the fight against COVID-19, the study results demonstrate the commitment of entrepreneurs to their best security practices,” said Steve Jones, senior director of information on the COVID-19. industry at Dodge Data & Analytics. “They always see that making these investments has positive implications not only for their workers, but for their projects and their businesses.”

Along with the report, Dodge Data & Analytics and Newmetrix will host a seminar on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 1:15 p.m. ET at the Orlando World Center Marriott. The seminar, “Improving Security Through Technology: A Tactical Guide to the Best Investments,” will be led by Steve Jones of Dodge Data & Analytics and Timothy Gattie of Newmetrix. It will cover business perspectives on promising industry technologies and the latest processes that best prepare teams to adopt enhanced security measures.

The full report is available for free download at

About Dodge Data and Analytics: Dodge Data & Analytics is North America’s leading provider of commercial construction project data, market forecasting and analytical services and workflow integration solutions for the construction industry. Building product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors and service providers use Dodge to identify and research unprecedented growth opportunities that help them grow their businesses. Locally, regionally or nationally, Dodge empowers customers to better understand their markets, uncover key relationships, seize growth opportunities and successfully pursue specific sales opportunities. The information on the company’s construction projects is the most comprehensive and verified in the industry.

On April 15, Dodge Data & Analytics and The Blue Book, the largest and most active network in the commercial construction industry in the United States, merged their businesses. The Blue Book Network offers three unprecedented databases of companies, projects and people. Dodge and The Blue Book offer over 10 billion data items and over 14 million project and document searches. Together they provide a unified approach to new business generation, business planning, research, and marketing services that users can leverage to find the best partners to complete projects and engage with customers and prospects. to promote projects, products and services. To learn more, visit: and

About CPWR: CPWR – The Construction Research and Training Center is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization created by the North American Building Trades Unions (NABTU). Its mission is to improve safety and health conditions in the American construction industry. CPWR is ideally located to serve construction workers, contractors and the scientific community in the United States, in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as part of the Safety and Health Research Initiative health in building NIOSH for three decades.

About Newmetrix: Newmetrix reduces project risks in the areas of safety, productivity and quality with its easy-to-use, industry-friendly artificial intelligence (AI) platform, Vinnie. With Newmetrix, construction customers were able to halve their recordable incident rates and use platform data to demonstrate lower risk to ensure lower insurance premiums. For more information on Newmetrix, please visit

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