by Mike Laboski, Ontario Specialty Contracting, Inc.
Q: What is the number one responsibility of the client to help provide for a good demolition project?
General Health, Safety & Environmental Program and Policies (HSE), plus project-specific requirements and establishing a clear and consistent means with which to measure project performance. Frequent yet- effective meetings help assure that information remains ‘free-flowing’-even if client or contractor personnel changes. All contractors should be represented at these meetings.
A: Keep in mind that it’s not the contractor’s position to decide what is and what is not important, but to provide feedback regarding the client expectations. For example, there are times when client HSE
program and policy requirements and ensuing expectations are somewhat vague and fairly cumbersome to implement, which may not necessarily add value to overall project HSE performance. Again, the key is for all involved to discuss these issues so as to better understand what is required and to assure there are no gaps between expectation and performance. This can often occur with projects that have several different contractors onsite. . . all with different areas of expertise.
A: It used to be that as long as a company could demonstrate regulatory compliance, they would be considered an approved contractor. Yet both clients and contractors are challenged to reduce the cost of doing business, while hopefully improving overall operations (doing more with less). As a result, clients have to rely on the contractor to demonstrate the ability to work without substantial day-to-day direction. Toward that end, a client should be looking for a contractor that has moved from the traditional, static, compliance-based HSE Program application that typically relies on using lagging indicators (passive/reactive data such as site audits, incident rates, etc.) to measure performance to that of a more dynamic HSE Process ; the development and implementation of an HSE Management System (HSEMS) including regulatory compliance that is integrated with established quality practices (Quality Management System) and focuses on leading indicators and proactive prevention measures.
A: Traditional demolition is the process of tearing down and disposing of, en masse, structures, buildings, etc. The reasons for demolition could vary—from wanting to reduce tax base by turning a building into a parking lot, to needing to remove the structure to redevelop the area. A new trend in demolition is to incorporate the concept of ‘deconstruction’ into demolition. This ‘green’ approach minimizes materials to be land filled and is considered a more economical means to dispose of demolition waste materials, with some landfill diversion rates in excess of 75%. In the United States, demolition activities are regulated by OSHA. Remediation generally means providing a remedy of sorts and is carried out largely to protect human health or the environment. Environmental remediation is typically completed by removing contaminated or polluted media such as soil, groundwater, surface water, sediment, etc. and frequently takes place at a site earmarked for redevelopment such as a Brownfield site. In the United States, Environmental Remediation is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
A: The ‘applicant’ would get the ‘Notice of Violation’ regarding the 10-day application. As far as other non-compliance issues, it would depend on the client/contractor working relationship. We would first have to determine whether or not there is project coordination by the general contractor, prime contractor, or other such entity. If an employer fits one or more of four of the following categories: Exposing, Creating, Correcting, Controlling with respect to not following an OSHA standard, they would be responsible for compliance and would receive the citation. So, in short, everyone and anyone participating on a work-site could be cited for non-compliance to a standard.