In the modern construction industry, protecting your company for the duration of a project is one of the single most important duties a project manager has. Poorly written contracts, lax safety standards, and confusion between subcontractors all contribute heavily to unplanned extra costs on your company and can mean the difference between a profit or a loss. In this article, we will cover five ways that you can ensure your contracting company is protected from liability as you progress through a new project.
Conform to Safety Standards
The most common ways that liability damages occur on the job site stem from not following proper safety procedures. Ensure that your company knows its responsibility to the job site, and make sure that your contracting company knows the safety equipment it is responsible for providing.
Join a Professional Association
Joining an association of fellow professionals can be beneficial to any contractor. Organizations like these exist for almost any trade and offer benefits to their members. You may also find that following nationally accepted standards of operation can help insulate you against unforeseen damages. It will also open you up to resources to improve your company and your work.
Draft Proper Contract Documents
Drafting proper contracts for each job that your company takes on is an excellent way of ensuring that you avoid unnecessary liability. Creating documents that clearly outline responsibilities, timelines, and costs are essential for your company. Any changes that are made to the contract documents must be negotiated and agreed upon. When creating these documents, it is a good idea to consult a lawyer who understands construction law. They can help you protect your workers and your company.
Ensure Contract Documents are Followed
Always ensure that your workers have done their job correctly. Look for compliance with design documents from an engineer or architect. If your work does not match the contract documents, bring the problem forward and present it to the design team. The last thing any contractor wants to is to redo work. If the problem is substantial enough, you may be sued for damages depending upon how long the project was held up.
Follow Document Control Procedure
It is important to have an advanced understanding of the contract drawings, as well as the changes that are made to them. Document the date and scope of changes with each new iteration of drawings, and be sure to note the date that these drawings were sent to you. If the project has changed substantially, resulting in new work for your company, be sure to pass these new expenses on to the general contractor. Insist that you not be penalized for changes outside of your control.
There are many ways to protect your company from unforeseen damages. The examples mentioned above are excellent ways to ensure that you do not accrue any avoidable damages from a project.