Choosing the right subcontractor is crucial to ensuring site-specific safety plans are followed and employees go home safely each night.
Joel Pickering, senior vice president of Lendlease (US) Construction LMB Inc., told Safety Leadership Conference attendees about the prequalification process and measures Lendlease has in place to select safety-conscious subcontractors.
“If you don’t manage [safety], it sometimes is not managed well by others,” he told attendees.
Lendlease looks at the following aspects when choosing subcontractors: experience, safety, processes, business management, litigation, reputation and accountability.
The main contractor should be managing safety on all levels, beginning with the subcontractor’s prequalification process and contract and continuing to a pre-start orientation and all meetings during the project.
The prequalification process is a proactive way to assure that who you consider is compliance minded, Pickering said.
Looking at a company’s leading and lagging indicators as well as its environmental health and safety management program, safety program and performance history will provide you with critical information that is verified for accuracy and could indicate overall performance.
In a de-scope meeting with potential subcontractors, Lendlease asks the following questions:
- Have you read the safety section of the contracts and associated documents?
- Do you understand the requirements?
- Do you have any questions?
- Have you read and reviewed the Site Specific Safety Plan and associated documents?
Once a subcontractor is chosen, the site-specific safety plan is reviewed with project managers, staff and field supervisors during a kick-off-meeting and orientation.
“Orientation is your first and only chance to make an impression and get started off on the right foot,” Pickering said.
Tasks and plans should be reviewed daily to account for any change in work conditions. In addition, daily huddles, weekly meetings, toolbox talks, stand downs and additional training should be considered to reinforce safety plans. Meetings should include safety representatives, forepersons and anyone involved with coordination and field teams.
The role of frontline leader is to set an example right off the bat and enforce safety measures consistently.
“Sometimes you just have to walk up to someone and say ‘we have to have a conversation’ or they’ll think it’s an acceptable form of behavior.”