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Essential Benefits of Pre-Project Hazardous Materials Inspection Survey

When is the best time to identify hazardous materials?

  • If specs have been written, identification should be done during bidding process.
  • If no specs apply, hazardous material should be identified as suspect during walk-through bid process.

Performing this preliminary procedure for suspect hazardous material and doing it early may save your job from cost overruns and delays. How early should it be performed?  The thing to realize is that existing conditions reflect potential hazards.

Hazard word cloud concept on grey background

Do The Fundamentals First

Avoid facing bad news deliveries of unexpected project changes by doing the basics first. Surveying pre-project hazardous materials supported with pre-planning will save or significantly reduce project cost overruns and return to service delays.

Project delays can be monumental project stoppers. Did you know that the average hard dollar increase for cost overruns is thirty percent?  This is not including the financial impact of the overall project delay, which could end up being a much bigger cost. The return to service operations postponement factor can be more costly than hard dollar overruns.

The Key to Proactive Pre-project Inspection

Safety, Health, and Environment

As a contractor, your obligation is to abide by best practices according to many aspects: project/industry regulations, the client, the owner, and the workers. This means acting in accordance with OSHA standards as well as upholding the highest industry expectations. Making sure that employees understand and practice environmental procedures and are held accountable for this should be a part of your company’s documented protocol.

Smiling engineer shaking hands at construction site with happy architect. Handshake between cheerful african construction manager with businessman at bulding site. Team of workers with architects and contractor conclude an agreement with safety uniform.

More Qualified Bidders

You will save a lot of money by hiring only contractors who are qualified with certifications, capability, and past performances. Choosing a contractor is choosing a partner in the project, so choose wisely! Ask for their certifications and standard safety practices; these are preferably written into specification by a contractor who holds certifications specific for the project.

Written specifications (a part of pre-project procedures) are crafted to require criteria for bidding eligibility so that the contractors will understand the full scope of work and know whether and/or how they could complete the project.

Qualified Team & Compliance

Trained and qualified workers who safely execute work with the presence of hazardous materials are a requirement. Everyone must have training and refreshers courses in order to make sure they continue to comply with the continually updated industry practices, standards, and regulations. At DECO Coatings, we maintain scheduled sessions for safety practices and new industry standard methods and technology. It’s what we preach at my company, “Keep learning.”

Standard Practice Compliance

There are two main points here:

1. Utilize certified professionals for all pre-planning activities

2. Have written work plans and keep regulatory requirements in front of the project.

Since we are a part of important infrastructure, it is especially important to have the most skilled experts making the plans and decisions for large-scale project planning. There are certifications and licenses that are needed to complete certain jobs. This is security for the future physical success of the infrastructure.

“The price of failure is high, and protecting public health and environment is critical.”

Janet South – President Deco Coatings

Legal Protection – Risk Management

Improve risk management with the right people (experts & certified professionals). I can’t stress this point enough. You have to look at it from many professionals’ perspectives, which means you need an experienced, certified team. This is not simply about job quality and outcome, but about safety, along with proper and orderly procedures. If something goes wrong, you need to make sure that you are legally protected and covered for any and all accidents.

Proactive Execution

You must ask yourself, “Did I do all I could do in advance of this project?” Be honest with yourself and look at it in retrospect, considering any other options you could have considered or ones that you ignored. I always recommend having a few other eyes look over your plan and specs, to take extra precaution to avoid any possible pitfalls. Just as they do in newspapers by looking things over three times to catch any mistakes, so should you do the same with you plans and specs. Sometimes another professional may have certain experiences that signal a warning or different perspective on the way you have planned things. So, ask someone else on your team (or in your inner circle) to check over the plans and see if there are any parts that need a different approach or if there are any aspects that should be reconsidered.

Have questions about your industrial coating needs? Need to consult with an expert about a coatings issue? Please reach out to me and I am happy to help! Connect with me on LinkedIn or send me an email.