Safety report points to a data-driven future

August 30, 2023 | 4 minute read
Tim Gattie
Senior Director of Customer Strategy, CIC
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A significant report from 2021 showed that the capabilities of Oracle Construction and Engineering’s AI-powered safety platform are very much in line with the direction construction safety trends are moving.

Dodge Data and Analytics is known for its yearly reports on key areas of construction technology and risk. From their annual report on BIM to regional construction outlooks and green building trends, they have firmly established themselves as a respected independent analyst firm, gathering data to understand current best practices and where the industry is headed.

One Dodge Data & Analytics report from 2021 focuses on safety and is an in-depth study of AEC safety trends. They surveyed 282 contractors—half of which were general contractors—and found that the construction industry remains as deeply engaged in safety as it was in previous studies.

As Dodge wrote in its press release announcing the report, the study “points to the likelihood for wider adoption of a data-driven approach to safety. Contractors identified several technologies as most likely to improve safety in the future, including predictive analytics and visual monitoring with artificial intelligence (AI).”

The future of safety is data-driven

And a significant proportion of contractors, especially those with more than 100 employees, see data-driven approaches as the future of safety. The category receiving the most support of large contractors (32%) said that identifying the projects most at risk of an incident in the next week would strengthen their safety programs, and 28% said the same about making better use of the project and safety data that they already collect. When asked to name the top technologies that they thought would positively affect worker health and safety, predictive analytics and visual monitoring both showed up in the top five.

In fact, within three years, the survey data indicates that the share of contractors using these technologies will triple, and that’s not surprising given the benefits that they experience from strong safety management. Many of their responses are those one would expect, such as reducing recordable injury rates (73%) and workers who are more willing to report unsafe conditions (75%).

But they also clearly see business benefits as well. An overwhelming majority of contractors said that investments in safety enable them to negotiate better insurance terms (78%), improve their ability to bring in new work (66%), see improved performance from trade partners (66%), and increase worker retention (61%).

Dodge Data graphs

In our experience, the power of predictive analytics amplifies these benefits. Oracle Construction and Engineering customers have been able to reduce their recordable incident rates by as much as 50% or more, and major insurers have expressed strong interest in our systems. In fact, The Hartford is paying for pilot projects for some of its customers.

Predictive analytics success at Boldt

The report describes in depth how three different contractors are managing and improving their safety processes, and one of them—Wisconsin-based general contractor The Boldt Company—is using Oracle Construction and Engineering’s safety observations and analytics platform to reduce safety risk.

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“There’s a mind shift in the company that we’ve helped to encourage with data and reporting tools,” Trevor Hietpas, manager, insights and analytics with Boldt, said in the report. “In the past people looked at safety as a series of unique events, but there are variables that influence it and they are common from incident to incident. Our recent and future investments in software are about broadening the search for those variables.”

According to the Dodge Data report, Boldt has seen a reduction in high-risk, high-impact incidents, which has helped reduce workers’ compensation costs by 75% and cut their total recordable incident rate by 10%.

It’s exciting to see the Dodge study confirm what we’re seeing in the market, which is that leading companies are increasingly using multiple sources of data—from observations to manpower to photo analytics—to better measure and predict safety risk. The results are more efficient use of safety resources, reduced incident rates, and better treatment from insurers.

Learn how developing a predictive-based safety program with Oracle Construction and Engineering has the power to substantially reduce your organization’s risk.

The Oracle Smart Construction Platform combines our industry-trusted applications with a common data environment and an ecosystem of partners to help owners and delivery teams work together and continuously improve performance. The platform connects teams and data, synchronizes work, and empowers individuals to make informed, proactive decisions. Power performance with proven Oracle Construction and Engineering solutions for scheduling, portfolio management, construction project management, project controls, construction payment management, and more.

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Tim Gattie

Senior Director of Customer Strategy, CIC

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