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Building a Path to a Brighter Future
OpEd – David Erczmann (General Manager, LinkSafe)
Often used as a psychological tool to motivate the masses, platitudes have become the means to an end to achieve a positive outcome. Yet ‘Building a Path to a Brighter Future’ articulates a marketing position of progression – and its effective!
It’s less about hype and more about truth- integral to how Australia’s commercial and residential construction sectors have played key roles in fostering the ongoing growth of Australia’s economy.
Australia’s construction and building sites prior to COVID once housed armies of builders and contractors, but all that has changed how sites operate.
COVID has manifested a different working environment.
Adapting to changing circumstances has meant the residential and commercial construction sectors have had to be nimble toward the management of contractors and induction of builders and tradesmen.
In the past, residential construction sites have seen companies’ sub-contract out work consistently, and not provide the necessary site and compliance tickets and information to company owners.
It has the potential to leave company owners exposed to all forms of litigation and fines, with the potential of criminal prosecution hanging over them like the Sword of Damocles.
As for commercial construction companies, their ability to weather storms of potential prosecution is far greater with the outcomes more devastating – making compliance even more critical.
Commercial construction companies can vary on site staff numbers, and contractors quickly – making site inductions, and recording of compliance harder to manage and administer, especially if personnel changes are consistently frequent.
Pre-qualifying may centre around a company’s key competencies, ensuring they understand the high-risk work requirements, that they have the right insurances in place, demonstrate an element of competency, and the principles associated with the need for the right governance.
Its essential contractors are pre-qualified, if commercial construction companies are to ensure they capture contractor data, ask the right questions on safety matters, and have a system that captures ABN validity, interrogates the ASIC database for ABN currency, and monitors expiry dates for key insurances.,
A company’s responsibility being a PCBU is detailed, and can be found by clicking onto the link https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/law-and-regulation/duties-under-whs-laws/duties-pcbu
Based on best practice principles, companies should have the ability to log in to their own portal and understand which of their staff are inducted prior to them being allocated work on construction sites – this means that time wasting is minimised.
It’s important to understand which contracting entities are pre-qualified, which of their staff are inducted and which of their staff have the appropriate licences/credentials to perform work.
Having a system that can monitor expiry dates, send out email reminders as items approach expiry, and a system that can check validity on-site will save time, money, effort and mitigate legal liability.
Site project managers can scan people entering, confirming the company they work for is compliant, their inductions are within date, credentials and licences up to date and a fully searchable site register that can identify who has signed in, when they signed out along with a system that can be used to broadcast SMS messages.
There are many construction companies ill-equipped to have full-time on-site staff, however, that doesn’t preclude them from using a system that can provide compliance data and statistics, imperative to having the right people, accounted for, on site.
Knowing when contractors are on site, how compliant they are, whether they are ticketed or not, means technology plays an even more critical role managing contractors.
Systems with API technology are imperative. They allow flexibility for solutions to speak to one another, for example, API’s bring data into finance; work order management solutions and work order dispatches can be dependent of a compliance status of a company.
Changing the parameters of how construction companies adapt and operate means ‘Building a Brighter and Better Future’ for Australia’s future economic prosperity will continue.
David Erczmann is General Manager at LinkSafe