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Size Matters: What You Should Know About Megaprojects featured image

Size Matters: What You Should Know About Megaprojects

Megaprojects are large-scale construction projects that cost more than a billion dollars. These unique ventures are the product of ambitious and complex projects involving multiple public and private stakeholders. These projects aim to have a transformational impact on the lives of millions of people. Interestingly, the goal of these projects isn’t to cater to the current needs of society. Instead, these projects aim to change the structure of society by offering a truly unique and original experience.

Megaprojects command more from construction experts because they don’t always follow an established model. In many cases, nothing similar has been built in the past, so megaprojects represent an avant-garde voyage into the unknown. An ambitious endeavor of this magnitude requires specialized safety guidelines to keep all workers safe. OSHA lawyers are well-equipped to help you navigate the unique regulatory standards that govern megaprojects.

Overview of Megaprojects

Megaprojects cost billions of dollars and take years to complete. They require precise and technical planning to fully realize from concept to completion. The aim of a megaproject is to benefit millions of lives by creating utility through construction. Megaprojects like the Gotthard Base Tunnel (Switzerland), Channel Tunnel (United Kingdom/France), Three Gorges Dam (China), and Skytree (Japan) were designed with people in mind. These projects help society in unique ways that validate their existence.

Safety Challenges

Although the general approach to megaprojects is vastly different than a traditional construction project, many of the safety challenges facing megaprojects are the same. Megaprojects still face falling hazards, the presence of dangerous substances, heavy equipment, and uneven terrain. However, they face these challenges on a larger scale with a higher probability for frequent exposure to unsafe working conditions. It is important to closely oversee megaprojects and delegate supervisory roles so that large teams can be easily managed and monitored. It’s also important to routinely survey your expansive construction site for hazardous conditions.


Megaprojects draw criticism from their top-down planning processes and adverse effects on local communities. Megaprojects tend to be advantageous for the group that can utilize their services, while negatively affecting those that cannot. For instance, bridges benefit those who can drive over them, but can potentially displace homeless people who can’t utilize a bridge intended for motor vehicles. Similarly, the Three Gorges Dam in China is the largest hydroelectric project in the world, but required the displacement of over one million farmers to complete.

Megaprojects are remarkable achievements. Taking on a megaproject requires a specialized team with a keen sense of safety and a legal team with experience handling “big picture” projects.

If you would like to speak with an OSHA lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.