Constructor - November/December 2017 - 31

CONSTRUCTION CORNER

Risky Business
Bill Noonan
Bill is the head of Construction - Client Engagement at Willis Towers Watson, the sponsor
of the AGC of America Construction Safety Excellence Awards. Prior to this position, Bill
was the executive vice president and construction practice leader for the Willis Towers
Watson Atlantic and South Region. Bill provides strategic account oversight and serves as
a resource to many clients throughout North America.

Everyone in construction knows the
only constant in the industry is change.
And, with change comes the possibility of
risk. William (Bill) Noonan, head of North
America Construction - Client Engagement
for Willis Towers Watson, provides his
insight on how contractors can best prepare for the challenges ahead and protect
themselves against any risky business.
Q: WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST
CHALLENGES FACING THE
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IN THE
NEXT FIVE TO 10 YEARS?

The labor shortage continues to plague
the industry at an alarming level, and this
includes both management positions and
trade workers. I recently was at a project
and passed 10 welders working; all were
easily in their 50s.
The size of projects keeps growing and
what used to be considered a large project is
now average. This means that contract size
for subcontractors is now larger than ever.
These large projects put a great strain on the
available subcontractors in many markets.
Contractors and unions will have to continue to try and attract talent and find more
ways to showcase the benefits of a career
in construction.
Q: WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST RISK
ISSUES CURRENTLY FACING THE
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY?

The labor shortage is one of the greatest,
and the amount of skilled trade workers retiring over the course of the next 10 years will
only add to this risk. Employee recruitment,
intern and co-op programs will become even
more important over the next five years.
@Constr uctor Ma g

The larger the subcontractor contracts are
the greater the risk, should one of these contractors default. Many of these subcontractors have greater demand for available surety
capacity today, as the contractor default insurance carriers have become more selective in
allowing these large subcontractor packages
to be enrolled into these programs.
Q: AS TECHNOLOGY CONTINUES TO
TRANSFORM OTHER INDUSTRIES,
WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON
HOW TECHNOLOGY WILL SHAPE THE
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY? DOES THIS
TECHNOLOGY CHANGE THE WAY WE
LOOK AT RISK MANAGEMENT?

We are long past talking about using tablets for daily construction reports and safety
reports; these are accepted as standard in the
industry today.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) has
become an everyday tool in the industry.
Construction companies have entire departments devoted to BIM and virtual reality technology. It is typical now to put on a pair of
virtual reality goggles and walk through the
entire project from start to finish while standing
in the same location. Since BIM technology is
relatively new, we are waiting to see the results
of BIM-related claims and how professional
liability policies will respond to these claims.
Cyber risk is on the minds of all construction and engineering company owners. Many
of the subcontractors are digitally connected
to the construction managers; this creates a
digital gateway that must be protected. While
concerns remain regarding a breach of sensitive records or the destruction of records,
there is also the risk of third-party property
or personal injury claims. The thought of an

intrusion to a system that controls a crane or
the operations of a drawbridge are just two
examples of how important cyber risk is today
in the construction world. Today proper cyber
insurance coverage is a key component in
every contractor's insurance program.
Wearable technology is developing
quickly in the industry. This ranges from
the ability to know where workers are to
safety alerts to site-wide evacuation alerts.
This technology is being used today on many
construction projects.
Q: IS MODULAR BUILDING CHANGING
THE WAY WE BUILD IN NORTH
AMERICA? IF SO, HOW?

The rise of modular building remains a
constant in the North American construction industry. The ability to build something
off-site is usually less expensive. Also, to be
able to control quality in a controlled environment prevents possible future construction
defect claims.
Q: IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE PIECE
OF ADVICE TO A COMMERCIAL
CONTRACTOR, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

From a risk management perspective, it
would be to know who you are working for
and who is working for you, which means
not only pre-qualifying subcontractors but
also carefully selecting the projects you want
to bid on and build. You have to be careful
about taking on new types of business and
entering a geographic market in which you
haven't worked previously. A wise owner of
a respected construction company is fond of
saying that the best job he ever had is the
one he passed on - the one that was not
right for his company.
◆

NO V E MB E R / D E C E MB E R 2 0 1 7 | www.constructormagazine.com 31


http://www.constructormagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - November/December 2017

Editor’s Note
President’s Message
CEO’s Letter
Big Plans in the Big Easy
The Workforce Shortage Report
Simonson Says
Sundt Partnering With Central Arizona College to Address Skilled Worker Shortage in Arizona
Strategic Scaffolding
Inside AGC
Versatility: The Name of the Concrete Game
Construction Corner
Green Is the New Black
Technology Toolbox
A Diamond in the Rough
Harnessing Expensive Insurance Claims With Big Data
2017 Software Services Guide – a Special Advertising Section
Index to Advertisers
Constructor - November/December 2017 - intro
Constructor - November/December 2017 - cover1
Constructor - November/December 2017 - cover2
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 3
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 4
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 5
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 6
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Editor’s Note
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 8
Constructor - November/December 2017 - President’s Message
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 10
Constructor - November/December 2017 - CEO’s Letter
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 12
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Big Plans in the Big Easy
Constructor - November/December 2017 - The Workforce Shortage Report
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Simonson Says
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 16
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Sundt Partnering With Central Arizona College to Address Skilled Worker Shortage in Arizona
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Strategic Scaffolding
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 19
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 20
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 21
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 22
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 23
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 24
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Inside AGC
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Versatility: The Name of the Concrete Game
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 27
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 28
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 29
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 30
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Construction Corner
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Green Is the New Black
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 33
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 34
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 35
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 36
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 37
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 38
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Technology Toolbox
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 40
Constructor - November/December 2017 - A Diamond in the Rough
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 42
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 43
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 44
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Harnessing Expensive Insurance Claims With Big Data
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 46
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 47
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 48
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 2017 Software Services Guide – a Special Advertising Section
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 50
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 51
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 52
Constructor - November/December 2017 - 53
Constructor - November/December 2017 - Index to Advertisers
Constructor - November/December 2017 - cover3
Constructor - November/December 2017 - cover4
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