Planning/Meetings/Safety and Other Ramblings
We work in a fluid, changing work environment and must be prepared for it. Accurate information is needed- from before the bid to final paperwork. Communication between field personnel and project management needs to be real-time. These people need to get together frequently- out on the job site, not in the office.
Planning is perhaps the most overlooked, but an extremely important, part of a project. Getting key personnel together to brainstorm ideas: access, sequence, technical aspects, cost and revenue projections and schedule is an absolute necessity for a successful project. This is the decision process- it can change directions, but you need to have a road map to know where you are going.
Projects need to looked at from many different aspects- technical, financial, cost to contractor, cost to client, and schedule. Remember the contractor who apparently lowballed the San Francisco Bay Bridge repairs only to reap a major bonus for finishing well ahead to schedule? This was planned well at the bid stage and executed as planned. See previous paragraph- use your senior field staff with your estimates- I always did. I have never used a Means Book or bid using unit costs because every job is different.
I worked for many years for a moderate sized organization bent on having meetings mostly for the sake of planning the next meeting. Dilbert comes to mind. This is not only a gross waste of time and valuable resources, but emotionally and physically tiring as well. Meetings ARE necessary to exchange information and discuss important issues. Skip the rest- let’s get to work and make some money. I never met a construction company where money was earned in a conference room with one exception see Planning.
Training- I Mean Education:
I read an interesting book about consulting and came across this- ‘We train animals, we educate people’. Our field personnel need the best education available so they can perform their work efficiently and safely. Remember that the lowest paid laborer on your job is making money for you- respect him or her.
Working for the same organization mentioned above, we learned to respect and understand the need for safety. Our division worked for over three years, almost always at two shifts per day without a single OSHA Recordable. We were working with heavy equipment in nasty conditions- outdoors in all conditions. This still stands as a company record. Not until the division was reorganized and moved to another region did this change.
Safety works and saves money- one ‘damn it’ wipes out a whole lot of attaboys. The time spent documenting an OSHA Recordable or Lost Time Accident is time spent away from making money; let alone the disruption to the work site. A severe injury can shut a job site down for hours or even days. Reward your workers for staying and thinking safe and you will be rewarded with higher job profits and you’ll sleep better at night.
CGLLC has experience in fall safety, confined space entry and electrical system safety along with personal protective equipment.