Predictable emergency preparation (PEP) is more often referred to as “proactive” rather than “reactive.” Many people call these predictable emergencies “Murphy’s Law.” We never know when these costly and frustrating roadblocks will happen, but our past experiences prove they do happen and cause much time and money to be wasted.
I hope you always hold an effective kick-off meeting before you begin each project to transfer all of the critical information from your estimating or sales department to your purchasing, expediting and project management teams.
In addition to jobsite strategies (value engineering), you should openly discuss proactive detours or resolutions for those predictable emergencies:
1. Our foreman is late or doesn’t show up at all.
2. Our foreman may have to leave the job early for personal reasons.
3. We are on a critical task that must be finished today and one of our key employees doesn’t show up.
4. We are in a deep ditch with water and our pump won’t start.
5. We are using a generator for our electric tools and it won’t start.
6. We are short of critical material or tools, but have no one extra to send to the supply house.
7. One of our employees appears to be drunk and we can smell booze on his breath.
8. Someone stole material from our site.
9. An employee fell and cannot get up.
10. An employee got angry when disciplined and threatened to cause bodily harm.
11.The general contractor is not maintaining safety rails at the elevator shaft.
12. The steel erectors are working above our crew and dropping welding sparks.
These are only a dozen of the common roadblocks that your jobsite foremen encounter. In your PEP talks, they will add their own past experiences. You need to consider how many company dollars are wasted, in addition to the frustration and delays these roadblocks cause.
Tips To Eliminate DelaysHere are some of the strategies you should consider to eliminate most of those costly delays and help resolve any that may occur:
Some contractors call this person an assistant foreman, a foreman-in-training, a second string foreman or even a right-hand man. Naturally, this person needs a key to your trailer and access to the blueprints and project daily schedule.
Even without any emergency, having a constant foreman-in-training is very beneficial to your company. You easily can understand how much that is appreciated by your other employees.
When any of your foremen have reason to leave the jobsite early, they should first call your office and then instruct their assistants on how to carry on and close out each project.
When that task is very critical, you might consider renting a spare or locate a nearby source to obtain one in an emergency.
- 1. Be late or absent;
2. Make mistakes;
3. Take risks;
4. Get involved in an accident; and
5. File a worker’s comp claim.
Clues to look for in a suspicious worker’s performance and behavior are: poor quality, unexplained disappearances from the job, carelessness and errors in judgment.
Behavior clues include: ongoing financial problems, high turnover of friends, over-reacting to criticism, poor personal appearance and excessively blaming others.
If your foreman suspects any employee of substance abuse on the jobsite, he should call your office immediately before taking any action. Above all, do not send the employee home in an impaired condition!
Most of you will be pleasantly surprised at the positive input your foremen will add to your PEP talks. They are fully aware of what you expect them to accomplish and need your guidance and assistance with these potential emergencies.