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PROJECT FATALITY: NOW WHAT? (Part Four)

PART FOUR: Crisis Planning More Generally

This is the fourth and last of a multi-part series regarding project fatalities and related considerations for construction companies.

Authored by Attorney Neil S. Lowenstein, nlowenstein@vanblacklaw.com; 757-446-8672 

There is no “one shoe fits all” for your company’s crisis planning, but the aspects above are all important parts of your company’s evaluation process for effective crisis planning. Respecting the implementation of your company’s crisis plan after its development, the following sequential six phase process can be assistive to expedited, effective crisis response:

Phase 1

Situation development

Event identification and reporting

Phase2

Crisis assessment

Leadership evaluation of situation and desired end state

Phase 3

Course of action development

Collaborative consideration and development of realistic courses of action consistent with situation and desired end state

Phase 4

Course of action selection

Leadership review of realistic courses of action and selection of best overall course of action

Phase 5

Execution planning

Course of action refinement and implementer planning and direction to team members to implement selected course of action

Phase 6

Execution

Implementation of selected course of action and then transition back to pre-crisis mode

Again, company practice of that processed implementation of your plan is the most effective way to maximize your plan’s effectiveness. Regardless of your crisis plan’s content or approach, leadership involvement and guidance is critical throughout your crisis planning and implementation; but company leaders need to remain flexible during plan implementation since even well-developed plans can go awry during implementation.

The bottom-line remains now as it was historically: crises, including fatalities, are an unfortunate element of the inherently dangerous nature of construction. However, pre-planning, safety training, and proactive safety management can all help mitigate related risks; and allow companies to effectively deal with crisis incidents, and limit or perhaps even avoid significant negative incident impacts on the incident project, your workers, and your projects overall; and may be the difference needed for your company’s sustainability after fatality or other significant incident.  

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