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Risk Factors in Road Construction Projects

The picture of a perfect road construction site is the one that utilizes conventional vertical road signs and a flagman to optimize the traffic flow with minimum hazel to the public. Former research has been carried out by Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and Ministry of Works to further enhance smoothness in traffic operations and particularly in safety issues within work zones.

Neutralizing the traffic flow is indirectly position the flagman's life into the fatal zone. Unrealisingly contractors have put the flagman's life in high risk where incidents shows most fatal cases are among them. The ultimate aim of this article is to indicate technological approach which will overwrite the conventional flagman practice. Revolution and modernization have introduced new technologies in assisting and ease human life in various ways. In order to reduce fatalities and injuries from crashes in work zone and to enhance smoothness in traffic operation as well as to ensure safety within work zones, an intelligent traffic light is essential.

This article highlights on hazardous zones in a certain road construction or road maintenance site. Most cases show that the flagman falls into high risk of fatal accidents within work zone. Various measures have been taken by both the authorities and contractors to overcome such miseries, yet it's impossible to eliminate the usage of a flagman since it is considered the best practice. With the implementation of new technologies in automating the traffic flow in road construction site, it is possible to eliminate the usage of a flagman. The intelligent traffic light system is designed to solve problems which contribute hazardous at road construction site and to be inline with the road safety regulation which is taken into granted

Despite improvements in the project risk management practices across the industry, many contractors appear to be short of a 'holistic' approach where risk is fully integrated into every aspect of the construction life cycle. This is evident from the fact that we still notice construction projects suffering from ill defined scope, design and constructability issues and mismanaged vendors. As a consequence there are clear time-cost- quality gaps, add to that a considerable tying up of valuable resources when you shift to fire fighting mode.

With the ever changing risks, especially in the current economic scenario, the need for a more formalized enterprise wide risk management can not be over emphasized. There is a need for the involvement of the highest level in an organization in the strategic risk management at the portfolio and the project level. The companies need to reconsider the effectiveness of their checks and balances at the project level. These could include special task groups for monitoring critical projects, environmental management systems, improved quality assurance and customer satisfaction monitoring. The bidding process could be enhanced through a stronger approval framework that offers greater commercial oversight on the attractiveness of opportunities. Construction companies require an independent and objective risk management team that conducts risk reviews periodically and can put in place a mitigation plan that is actionable with defined timelines.

Increased pressure on timelines accentuates the need to bring about a seamless co-ordination between various functional areas in a project. Project integration management comprises the activities that integrate, coordinate and bring together the various functions. With multiple stakeholders from the investor to the builder, consultants to the contractors, vendors to the customers; and each with their own vested interests, the project often ends up as no-one's baby. Industry sentiment reflects that functional integration is a key concern which has not been addressed effectively.

Organization's project development processes (initial scoping study, pre-feasibility, feasibility, execution and hand-over phases) need to be well defined. It should clearly spell out the objective, activities and respective outcomes for every process. Currently although feasibility studies are undertaken, post feasibility study - review is not done to assess if study has achieved its objective. Finance department should also be actively involved in the development of project execution plan(s). Although execution plans do exist in some instances, but its relevance is limited as project schedules are subject to frequent changes and timely updates to the schedule with communication to the stakeholders is lacking.

Rail Projects

Railway Tunnel Works characterizes the concealment, including long construction period, complications on geology, hydrology, and technique and so on, which brings so many unforeseen risk factors through all stages of a project. Project investment risk exists throughout the entire process of project construction. As a result, it makes the investment risk great. What with this and what with that, the local risk management work is at the first step. So that it has already become an urgent able problem to carry out an investment risk management of the Tunnel Works. To qualitatively analysis the influence factors of the investment risk by establishing a checklist of the risk factors, Furthermore, to make a fixed valuation to the investment risk by means of the MC (Monte Carlo).

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