Over the past 20 years, my experience of the definition and value of site safety and risk management has been varied. However, the message of safety and risk management has gotten through to the masses, we want our contractors to go home safe to their families everyday.
So my loaded question for this week is “Where can we continue to improve our risk management for major remedial and defect facilitation?” For this, we are going to examine project management and super intendants. Why? Largely because this is when the funding stops and corners are cut.
It is not fair to tar everyone with the same brush, and usually when an engineer is the acting super intendant, site safety consideration is managed appropriately. All too often non engineering facilitators are in control, and this is when the risk management cracks appear.
Safe Work Australia – none of us like when they show up to a project, it’s the equivalent of being pulled over by the cops, but the system works. Site supervisors and defect facilitators can’t avoid our responsibilities. I have experienced that sometimes it takes a grilling by Safe Work Australia for the message of their responsibilities to sink in. It is either step up or step off.
Leadership succession challenges is another area where site safety breaks down. Any gaps in responsibilities across leadership succession presents an increased opportunity for risk. This is largely where things go wrong, however this should not be an excuse for sloppy risk management.
With all of this being said, these only indicate the usual effects of poor risk management, not the cause. Under qualified project management or facilitation management without adequate training to manage major risks is usually the cause.
Money, money, money and penny-pinching by a client has many unforeseen side effects. Risk management is usually the first.
In 2022, prioritise risk management and risk assessment processes, and make distinguishing between cause and effect part of our every day risk management processes.
Author – Chris Gray.