The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, reports that the construction industry contributed 4.2 percent of GDP in 2016, the highest amount since 2008. The first quarter 2017 construction outlook published by management consulting and investment banking firm, FMI, forecasts an increase of 6 percent overall for the construction industry in 2017 with the lodging sector leading growth at 9 percent.
But even with a more bullish outlook, there are concerns. Regardless of the construction sub-sector polled, industry professionals indicate that there is a shortage of qualified construction workers to meet the demand for new projects. To fill the supply gap more workers will need to be quickly trained in specialty trades as well as the best practices to keep themselves and coworkers safe. Across industries, OSHA reports that, after workplace fall protection, improper hazard communications (HazCom) produced the most violations in 2015. In the next few years, it will be important for construction firms to invest in safe practices and effective HazCom programs at work sites.