Demolition management overview
The use of demolition contractors is increasing as many companies turn to outside resources to supplement their own staff and expertise.
Contractors are often used for information technology projects, maintenance, repairs, installations, construction, demolition and many other roles.
Organisations have increasingly used contractors over recent years rather than employ more full-time employees. This may be to supplement their staff particularly for specialist tasks, or to undertake non-routine activities.
There may also be other reasons for the increased use of contractors:
- Demand for products or services is uncertain.
- Contractors can be used when more flexibility is required
- Contractors usually supply their own tools and equipment associated with the contract.
- There are no permanent staff available to perform the work
- The financial overheads and legal employment obligations are lower
- Most of the costs associated with increasing and reducing employee numbers as product demand varies do not relate to contractors
- Permanent staff can concentrate on the core business of the organisation
The advantage of the flexibility of contractors in uncertain economic times is the main reason for the increased use of them over recent years. There are, however, some disadvantages in the use of independent contractors:
- Contractors/sub-contractors may cost more than the equivalent daily rate for employing a worker.
- By relying on contractors, the skills of permanent staff are not developed.
- There is less control over contractors than permanently employed staff. This can be a significant problem if the contractors sub-contractors some of the work
- The control of the contractor and the quality of the work is crucially dependent on the terms of the contract.
Demolition management contractor selection
The selection of the right management contractor for a particular project is probably the most important element in ensuring that the risk to health and safety of everybody involved in the activity and people in the vicinity are reduced as far as possible. Ideally, selection should be made from a list of approved contractors such as Total Demolition who have clearly demonstrated that they capable of meeting the clients requirements.
The selection of a management contractor has to be a balanced judgement with a number of factors being taken into account. Fortunately, a contractor who works well and meets the client’s requirements in terms of the quality and timeliness of the work is also likely to have a better than average health and safety performance.
Cost of course, will have to be part of the judgement but may not provide any indication of which contractor is likely to give the best performance in health and safety terms. In deciding which contractors should be chosen for a task, the following should be coincided:
- Do they have an adequate health and safety policy ?
- Can they demonstrate that the person responsible for the work in competent?
- Can they demonstrate that competent safety advice will be available ?
- Do they monitor the level of accidents at their work site ?
- Do they have a system to assess the hazards of a project and implement appropriate control measures ?
- Will they produce a demolition method statement which sets out how they will execute significant risks ?
- Do they have guidance on health and safety arrangements and procedures to be followed ?
- Do they have effective monitoring arrangements ?
- Do they use trained and skilled staff who are qualified where appropriate ?
Management and authorisation of contractors
The management of contractors is essential since accidents tend to happen more easily when the work of contractors is not properly supervised or the hazards of their job have not been identified and suitable controls introduced. It is important that contractors are made aware of :
- The health and safety procedures and rules of the company
- The hazards on your demolition site, particularly those associated with the project
- Any special equipment or personal protective equipment that must be worn
- The emergency procedures and the sound of the alarm
- The safe removal and disposal of waste
Good communication and supervision of a contractor is essential with a named point of contact from the organisation known to the contractors. Regular liaison is important so that the progress of the contract to a satisfactory completion may be monitored.
It is important that the activities of the contractor within the organisation of the client are effectively planned and coordinated so there is minimal interference with the normal activities of the company and the health and safety of its staff is not put at risk.