Construction jobsites tend to be busy environments. Contractors and subcontractors work together to ensure that the project is completed in a timely manner. At the same time, many of the subcontractors won’t know each other. A typical jobsite has subcontractors across various industries, carpenters, ironworkers, and others, working together.
In each of these cases, a subcontractor may be aware of what they and the others they are working with have to achieve. This means that a carpenter would know what other carpenters are doing and so on. But ensuring that there is effective communication between teams on a jobsite can be a challenging affair. Yet this is exactly what a successful general contractor will be able to pull off.
Who is a general contractor?
A general contractor operates on the same level as a project manager, as far as construction projects are concerned. They are expected to ensure that the work goes off without a hitch and that teams can effectively deliver their completed projects in time.
To that extent, a general contractor needs to implement techniques that improve efficiency at the job site. Even though individual teams of subcontractors working on different jobs may not know what the other team is doing, the general contractor does. It, therefore, becomes the responsibility of the general contractor to ensure that workplace safety standards are met. They should also ensure that work is completed in a timely and efficient manner by all the teams working on the jobsite.
Five tips to promote safety and efficiency
The general contractor has the all-important task of ensuring that all work is being completed in a timely manner and in a safe way. Here are five tips on how to make that happen.
1. Use technology to promote effective interactions
Even though many people think otherwise, most of the people who work in construction projects are college graduates. The reason behind this is that many of the tasks needed on the jobsite require knowledge, skill, and training in order to be successfully completed. This also means that should you decide to implement technology to boost communication within teams, people should be able to use that effectively.
Instead of walking around a construction site, looking for a particular employee for long periods of time, it’s more time-efficient to simply call the employee and ask them where they are. In this way, you save time and can be more efficient in managing different teams. You can also consider using cloud software to facilitate communication as well. In order to do this, you will need to use cloud software to disseminate information.
This information can then be accessed by whoever needs to look at it, as long as they have been granted access by you. That way, even if anyone forgets a certain task or piece of information, they can simply look it up in the cloud software. A third tip is to create a site directory that you should consider sharing with everybody. In lieu of a manual directory which everyone can’t access whenever required, an online site directory can prove to be more useful.
2. Create a job site hierarchy
When an employee first comes to work at the construction site, they should be immediately familiarised with what they need to do. Aside from this, they should also be told what the jobsite hierarchy is and who they can go to in case they have questions.
A jobsite communication plan ensures that everyone is in the know about what the communication channels are. In case of any confusion, every employee should feel free to approach whoever is in the hierarchy right above them. This way, you can promote workplace efficiency from the first day and ensure that everyone knows what they need to do at all times.
3. Regular group discussions
Holding regular group discussions can give employees at the jobsite the opportunity to get to know each other. It can promote a positive work environment as well, where employees interact with each other outside work. Many construction sites hold daily, biweekly, or even weekly meetings.
The idea is to ensure that the employees working on the project get to meet and interact with other employees they are working with. They’ll get to know about what kind of work is being done in different departments, outside their own. Aside from gaining more clarity on work, group discussions can also promote workplace harmony.
4. Emergency updates
There should be a streamlined system in place when it comes to providing emergency updates on site. All employees should know what channels are being used to provide emergency updates. This can prevent them from being confused about emergency updates and not evacuating in time.
To implement proper safety procedures, all employees should know how you’re likely to disseminate information in the event of an emergency. Aside from this, employees should also know how to react in the event of an emergency. Should an emergency be sounded at any point in time, all employees should know exactly what they have to do in order to respond to it.
An important tip is to ensure that employees are also aware of what they have to do, should they encounter an emergency or a problem themselves. If a situation arises where an employee finds that an emergency alarm needs to be sounded. Then they should know who they can go to, to alert others of that. This will ensure that employees know how to alert people in the event of an emergency.
5. Ask employees to check-in and check out
Asking employees to check-in when they arrive at work, and check out when they leave work, is a good way to keep employees safe. As a general contractor, you’ll be able to track their progress, and it can enable you to promote better coordination among your employees as well. It can be especially useful in case there has been an accident. Should an employee not check out as expected, you’ll know that they’re still on site and that you need to look for them.
It’s the role of a general contractor to maintain workplace safety. With the help of these tips, you’ll be able to ensure that your employees are safe while boosting workplace efficiency as well.
As a general contractor, you should also consider thinking about the career risks that you can encounter. From getting sued by a disgruntled client to facing business interruptions, there are lots of setbacks you can encounter in your career. Many of these career risks can also result in lawsuits, requiring you to pay out money. Having insurance for contractors can help you protect your finances and get coverage. Contractor liability insurance can help you protect yourself against common career risks, allowing you to focus on your career instead. If you would like to learn more about insurance for contractors, such as general liability insurance for contractors, then click here.