Construction management can a difficult and hazardous business. Every contractor and subcontractor wants their own slice of the project costs, but their safety usually rests formally on the shoulders of the project manager. The materials, tools, and environments that these construction workers often have to work with can be dangerous and can cause life threatening injuries if actions are proven to be irresponsible.
It there before makes it all the more important that the building project management team, plan and implement a solid site management plan. The application of doing efficient site planning needs to correspond with the level of risk to which the workers are exposed to. In doing so, the contractor management should in theory not be a project variable that hinders the progress of the project, but a standard protocol of responsibilities that keep site workers safe and their efforts focused on achieving the desired results.
So how does one implement effective site planning? Construction projects are becoming increasingly complex in nature and as a project manager, how do you control the behavior of such a diverse group of workers?
1. Start by creating a well-understood Safety Management Plan. If you are the senior project manager on site – this is your baby! Each contractor needs to submit a hazard compliance document, and supporting correspondence on how they plan on mitigating these hazards. That way, you do not only have a good looking document to pass onto the worksafe inspector, but the onus is then on the contractor to enforce that list. That is not all. You need to make sure that the building construction site complies to the health and safety briefings – is clearly fenced off, personal protective clothing is worn at all times and workers are not using jackhammers when its beating down with thunder and lightning (joke, but you catch my drift).
2. Update your Risk Register. That is seriously important. Best project management practice is not about stumbling onto project risks, but planning for them and creating mitigation strategies to minimize their unwanted effects. I know it could be much to take in, but the safety management plan will indeed be part of this register. The rest of the risk management plan will consist of the variables that are most likely to change the project scope (time, cost, resources and specification).
3. Do not neglect your communications plan. The common fact is – Most project fail due to poor communication. Everyone needs to understand the protocol with matters of scope and safety. And when I mean scope, I mean the project manager communicating EXACTLY what is expected of the main contractor and consistently reviewing their performance.
Each and every project is different, but these are some important lessons that you need to enforce if you want to conduct effective site planning as part of a building construction management team.