As the holidays approach project managers and the rest of the team start focusing on their own holidays. This includes arrangements for their vacations including booking accommodation and flights and preparing for the festivities.
But is your construction project site ready for the holidays?
Usually preparing the construction project for the holidays should start several weeks before the start of the holidays. These preparations could comprise ensuring:
- that critical tasks are completed in accordance with the project schedule or program (these may include for instance; closing up buildings to make them weather tight, pouring concrete to allow curing time over the holidays so that the forms can be removed immediately when work resumes, or completing sections of roads so they can be opened in time for the holidays meaning that detours and deviations don’t have to be maintained over the holiday period – delays on some activities may mean they are done only after the holiday period which could result in significant delays and extra costs)
- invoices for completed work or monthly valuations have been submitted – this may include making prior arrangements with the client for an earlier submission so that payments can be made, and ensuring that payments can be received in your absence
- subcontractors’ and suppliers’ invoices are paid – remember they have bills to pay over the holidays (ensure they submit their invoices timeously before the holidays so that payments can be prepared before the holidays)
- arrangements have been made to pay your staff and workers
- utility bills have been paid – you don’t want to return to the project only to find that the power or water services have been terminated
- if required, security services are in place for the project site over the holiday period
- loose materials are secured in case of severe weather over the holidays
- equipment is parked in secure areas – including being removed from areas that may be flooded
- storm-water drains are clear so that unexpected storms don’t flood the site
- workers and staff are aware of when the project will close and when work will resume
- for remote projects, transport is arranged to take workers home at the start of the holidays and return them to the project site – including ensuring workers are aware of these arrangements and times
- the client is aware of when the construction site will be closed
- suppliers are informed when the project is closed so that deliveries don’t happen over the holidays
- arrangements are in place to keep essential operations running during this time – such as maintaining pumps removing water from the works or teams maintaining traffic signage and barricades
- the construction site is barricaded and secure so that unauthorised people can’t enter, possibly injuring themselves, or vandalising and stealing property
- project personnel are contactable and available in case of an emergency during this time
- check that suppliers will be open when you return to work after the holidays – some suppliers may return some days after your project reopens so you may have to arrange for deliveries to happen before you close so you have sufficient materials in stock until normal deliveries can resume
- where deliveries are required in the first few days after the holidays thesedeliveries should be arranged now for your return so they are already booked in
- communicate with subcontractors ensuring they understand when the project site will shut and reopen and that they know the critical tasks that need to be completed before the holidays
- Have a check list of everything that needs to be done by the project close and ensure everyone knows what has to be done – when the end of shift comes on that last day you may be left alone to shut the project down as everyone rushes to get ahead of the holiday traffic
Adequate preparation should mean you can return to the project after the holidays without having to face a crisis immediately on your return.
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