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A crisis on a construction site can mean a lot of different things; a natural disaster, medical emergency, hazardous materials or accidents, and more. No matter what it is, a crisis will always have a huge impact on job sites and project funding. The best way to mitigate its effects is with a well-developed crisis management plan. But how do you plan for the unexpected?

The Importance of a Crisis Management Plan

A crisis in any job occupation is a mess and naturally the same applies to construction. It affects all subcontractors, trades, and shipments involved in the project. Plus the delay means a potential loss of money and credibility. A company or crew that can successfully navigate that kind of situation not only proves its leadership and adaptability but also leaves a positive impression.

A prompt and well-organized response will minimize the negative effects of a crisis on the project and your business.

Identify Potential Crises

In order to properly plan for something, you need to know what exactly you’re planning for. Obviously, this becomes tricky when you’re trying to plan for something unexpected. But one way to make it easier is to identify every potential crisis in a project before construction even begins. Even if it never actually happens it’s good to acknowledge every area of the project that could go wrong or that could be a potential danger to the crew. Once you thoroughly identify every potential crisis then you are able to take the next step of the planning process.

Develop a Response

With your list of potential crises, you can now begin crafting a practical strategy. The best crisis management plan is tailored to the construction project and takes location, type of construction, and external conflict into consideration. Understanding what and who is needed for each crisis early on will help you establish a well-planned and effective response. Using this information, create step-by-step templates for different emergency situations. This guide should include a list of risk factors, site hazards, and each person’s role before, during, and after the crisis.

Now, you can then begin to consider what resources such as equipment and materials are needed to address the situation. In addition, you should predetermine your evacuation routes and communication line beforehand and confirm that your crew knows as well.

Establish a Communication Line

An important part of your crisis management plan is establishing a line of communication with local off-site first-aid responders such as hospitals, police, and fire departments. Connecting first responders with construction engineers, project managers, or others who have a thorough understanding of the job site will speed the crisis response. In addition, develop an efficient method to communicate with employees and their families in emergency situations.

The coordination of a well-developed crisis management plan will help you not only handle the crisis as it happens but become pivotal in the investigation of the crisis afterward.

Train your Team

A good crisis management plan is only helpful if your team actually knows it. Training will help your team recognize their areas of weakness as well as any weaknesses in the plan itself. Include a safety checklist to determine how prepared your team and job site are for a real crisis.

Create a system or policy that confirms that training is updated regularly to ensure the best results. Conducting mock drills and training will not only reinforce the plan to your crew but also produce a prompt and well-trained response.

Consider the Aftereffects 

The crisis doesn’t just end when the emergency is over. As a business, it’s important that you have a public relations strategy prepared to avoid causing irreparable damage to the company. This plan of action should specify what you can and can’t say as well as who will be overseeing public announcements. It’s important to have a strategy in place beforehand when you have more time to think than make a mistake in the heat of the moment.

Working with U.S. Bridge

Our 80 years of construction experience is why we can handle construction projects of various caliber. We are confident that our engineering and manufacturing expertise is just what you’re looking for to complete your project! Contact us on our website to learn more about how we can turn your project into a success or fill out our exclusive BridgeScope tool for a quick quote.

Subcontractors play a key role in any construction project so it’s important that you hire a qualifying subcontractor that will ensure your project’s success. But how do you know what to ask or look for? Here’s a brief introduction to the role of a subcontractor and what should be included in the prequalification process.

What is a Bridge Subcontractor?

In every major bridge construction project, you’ll find a general contractor and subcontractors. The contractor is the manager of most bridge projects; they are essentially in charge of the overall coordination of the project. They’re hired by a municipality or other key stakeholders, and ensure that projects meet their approval.

Subcontractors on the other hand can range from a single person to a large company and are typically hired by the contractor. However, that doesn’t make them an employee of the general contractor as subcontractors are independent businesses. Contractors can hire subcontractors for different reasons such as performing construction tasks, supplying equipment or other materials, and more.

Why it’s so Important to Prequalify your Subcontractors

Prequalification is gathering information about interested subcontractors to assess their capability to complete the project. It’s an important part of the preconstruction phase. A well-thought-out prequalification process not only reduces liability and insurance claims but presents safer worksites and increases profit potential.

This process also ensures that you are selecting the best subcontractor for the needs of your project. Although a subcontractor may be a great choice for one project it does not guarantee that they’ll be the best choice for the next.

Even though this process may initially seem like a waste of time and resources, it actually saves your project from significant financial loss down the road.

What to Consider When Looking for a Qualifying Subcontractor?

When it comes to creating a thorough prequalifying process, it’s important to request information such as the subcontractor’s safety records, finances, litigation history, insurance coverage, relevant work history, and experience, etc.

Financial

Before hiring a subcontractor, you can request financial information such as current year revenues, total and current assets, net equity, current liabilities, average monthly billings, and if available their Dun & Bradstreet number. This will reveal any obvious red flags and help you avoid financial risks.

Litigation History

A company’s litigation history is important as it provides insight into their relationship with previous clients and how likely they are to breach a contract. Find out if they’ve ever had any labor law violations, if their license has ever been suspended or revoked, and if they’ve ever been terminated from a contract. Additionally, inquire if the company has had any judgments filed against them.

Safety Records

It is crucial that you carefully review the safety records of any potential subcontractor. Request information such as their OSHA 300 information, any citations issued, and their Experience Modification Rate for the past three years. Not only that but also implore about their training program and safety plans.

Ask for References

You’ll want to ask your potential subcontractors to provide a handful of references about– three to four. These references will demonstrate how well they collaborate with other contractors on projects as well as the quality and dependability of their work.

Qualifying subcontractors won’t have any issues providing contacts, and sometimes employees can also verify the company’s credibility.

Working with U.S. Bridge

When it comes to hiring contractors or subcontractors for your project, you want to make sure that you’re hiring the best. Our 80+ years working with various companies all across the world has provided us with the skills and experience needed for even the most challenging projects. At U.S. Bridge, we serve to meet the needs of our customers and the industry with high-quality bridges and materials.

Contact us on our website to learn more about how you can collaborate with us or fill out our exclusive BridgeScope tool for a quick quote.

Proper bridge construction management is necessary to keep a project organized and completed within the budget and schedule. However, managing such a large project such as a bridge’s construction may seem daunting, so we’ve listed some of the best practices for maximizing your chance of success.

Determine the Scope of the Project

Like in any other industry, proper management is essential to a construction project’s success. What’s the best way to pre-plan your project and effectively manage it? Well, a great solution is by working with key stakeholders to determine an accurate scope of the project.

Understanding the scope is one of the first steps in the successful management of bridge construction. This means taking the time to create a thorough breakdown of what’s required for the project such as:

  • Identifying what is within or out of scope.
  • Noting the work required, the team performing the work, and the schedule of its completion.
  • Include any important elements that may impact the outcome.
  • Determining the constraints that might limit or negatively impact the outcome of the project such as resources, procurement issues, timing, etc.

Once you work out the scope, you can now move on to planning project decisions such as deck construction, railing criteria, live loads, etc.

Start Creating Plans and Strategies Early

Your planning process is essentially how you will achieve the goals set out within the scope. The reality is that while a project of the highest quality scope, at the lowest price, done in the least amount of time is ideal, it is difficult to achieve. Hence, a strategy-based process is necessary to achieve your overall objective.

Understanding your project’s success metrics is key to streamlining the decision-making process. In other words, determine project components such as feasibility, procurement, construction, close-out, and more to effectively work towards accomplishing the goal. In addition, as the project progresses you should continually refer to your detailed scope to determine if there are any changes and how they will impact the project. Recognizing and implementing adjustments in a timely manner will help reduce delays and risks.

This means start planning long before the actual construction begins, and continue revising until the end of the project. The design, pre-construction, and procurement stages of a construction project all require meticulous planning — and may need to be revised as the project progresses.

A properly planned out and scheduled project is a well-managed and successful bridge project.

Ensure Quality Construction

The quality of the construction is a big part of its success and reflects your skills in bridge management. Thus, in your planning process, you want to consider options that will create lasting effects. Consider utilizing durability solutions such as special enhancement and treatments. Galvanized or weathered steel is a popular option to slow the process of deterioration.

Not only should you be deciding what materials and methods to use, but who the manufacturer should be. Supply chain management helps you stay organized and save money. This means careful management of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and designers.

Pay attention to the order and delivery of materials on-site, the selection of contractors, their involvement in design and planning, and methods used to reduce invoice and transaction costs. In addition, reinforce collaborative methods with those involved in the project to keep the system flowing. This will encourage proper accountability, support, and incentives from supply chain partners.

Starting a project with these practices in mind minimizes disputes and delays. Not to mention, it improves safety and business practices and develops better project relationships.

Trust us to Build your Bridge

Our 80+ years working with various companies all across the world has provided us with the skills and experience needed for even the most challenging projects. We are confident that our engineering and manufacturing expertise will fit the needs of your project. Contact us on our website to learn more about how you can collaborate with us or fill out our exclusive BridgeScope tool for a quick quote.