So you finally made up your mind about getting started on your construction or renovation project. You hired a contractor, have a great project manager, and everything’s running smoothly… until there’s an accident or some sort of emergency right on your work site. Do you have a contingency plan to deal with it?
From natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods (which are pretty common in our beautiful Florida), to immature behavior like violence in the workplace (let’s be careful in hiring the right workers, please), an emergency can throw your project off course. Regardless, no matter how careful you may be, unforeseen issues may come up, so you might as well have a contingency plan to deal with them.
So what can you do to make things run as smoothly as possible (and diminish your legal liability while at it)?
- Have adequate insurance: Contractor liability, general liability insurance, bid bonds, Worker’s Compensation, flood insurance… The list is long, and it’s crucial for you to understand what each of them is for, so that in the event that someone gets hurt while on premises, or a hurricane destroys what you’ve already built, you are adequately covered. Study each policy carefully; and if some of the terms go over your head, ask for clarifications from your broker and/or attorneys, and get everything in writing.
- Designate an A Team: Who’s in charge of contacting emergency personnel and all of those insurance companies mentioned above? When disaster happens, there’s no time for everyone to scramble, trying to figure out who’s in charge of what. Designate who’s getting each task done beforehand, and have all of those contact phone numbers and email addresses handy (everyone should have them saved in their number, or at the very least, easily retrievable from their email inbox). And don’t just tell them what they need to do. Train them properly.
- Have a plan: Everyone on your team needs to know where your alarms, fire extinguishers and first aid kids are. Everyone needs to know what are the evacuation routes. Everyone needs to know who to contact if there’s a natural disaster that prevents them to report for duty or to ask about when it’s safe to come back to work after a site has been damaged.
- Make sure everyone’s accounted for: Always have a log of who’s working where, and designate someone who will do a head count after an evacuation. If someone’s missing, refer to that log and either go back for the missing person if it’s safe to do so, or let first responders know.
At Eclipse Building Corp., we make sure that your project is done on time, on budget, and minimize your liability by prioritizing our workers’ and contractors’ safety. If you’re planning on renovating or building from scratch, contact us. We’ll do things by the book for you.