In a recent interview with The New York Times, construction giant Archant asked the question “Will the construction industry disappear in 2024?”
In response, the company responded that it’s not only about the economics of the construction business but also about the safety of the workers.
“There is an ongoing, growing awareness that we’re putting ourselves at greater risk than ever before,” Archant CEO Brian L. Stahl said.
“This is a time when we need to make the right choices about the risk we take, because we’re a very risky business.
If we’re doing it in the wrong way, we’re going to do something terrible.”
“When I look at the numbers, there’s a huge number of workers in construction and I’m not talking about the thousands of jobs, but the millions of workers,” Stahl added.
“So I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that construction is probably the most hazardous business out there, in terms of the amount of work that’s going to be done, the amount that’s being done at home and the amount it’s going into other areas of our economy.”
The company has long struggled to maintain its safety record, with the company recently admitting that a “serious fire” that destroyed the company’s safety equipment and destroyed the site of its new headquarters in New York City caused the death of a worker.
Archant also has an ongoing legal battle over allegations of wrongful death in the deaths of two workers in a construction-related accident in 2014, a situation that led to the company losing nearly $2 billion in its 2014 financial results.
In its latest quarterly earnings report, Archant reported a profit of $9.7 million for the third quarter of the year, down from $10.1 million the previous year.
For Archant, the outlook for the construction sector is uncertain as the company continues to work on the acquisition of construction contractor J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. The two companies are currently in negotiations for the $1.9 billion acquisition of the Chicago-based construction firm.
However, the acquisition is still pending approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
While Archant’s outlook is bleak, it is also not entirely bad.
The construction industry is in a pretty strong position, and its not exactly the safest business.
With so many factors affecting the safety and health of construction workers, the fact that Archant is not only making an investment in its employees but also is taking on some of the risks involved in that work could be a positive development.
But what does Archant say to its employees who are questioning its safety plans?
“I just want you to know that we’ve got some great plans and some great people on our team.
We have some great, high-quality, safe buildings and I know you’ll be happy with our plans,” Sthl said.
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @patricklopez Sources: Vice News The New York Post