Hazmat Abatement Schedule Management

Contributor: Swinerton Blogger   |   July 01, 2015
Hazmat Abatement Schedule Management

Swinerton Management & Consulting has become very familiar with the “Summer Sprint” for the San Francisco Unified School District (Lowell High School, Monroe Elementary School, Sunnyside Elementary School, Miraloma Elementary School and SOTA/AAS High School).  As is the norm in the education sector of construction, a tremendous amount of work is scheduled during the short, 8-10 week summer recess in order to take advantage of the empty school sites.  With this in mind, projects need to be extremely well-scheduled and phased to properly balance the maximum volume of work that can be put in place in this short timeframe against the risk of overloading the General Contractor and falling short of the required completion dates.  To paraphrase SFUSD’s Chief of Facilities for the current bond program, “not finishing is not an option”.

As the first day that students return nears, naturally some project schedules are in better shape than others.  While the summer work at all of the projects will be complete and ready for occupancy by the contractual date, one common thread runs through those project sites that are typically under the most stress;  a poor start to the summer schedule due to lack of performance by the
hazmat abatement subcontractors. 

With the hazmat abatement typically occurring at the outset of a construction phase, and monopolizing all areas which are placed under containment, what can Construction Managers, their Clients and General Contractors do to avoid being placed at the mercy of this required, front-end trade?  Here are some “lessons learned” that should help in this regard:

~ Leave sufficient time between contract award and construction commencement for the contractor to not only get their hazmat         subcontractor under contract, but also for them to prepare the proper work plans, permits, etc. that will be required by
the Industrial Hygienist.

~ Schedule an onsite preconstruction meeting with the General Contractor, Abatement Contractor and the IH to clearly set expectations for the work.

~ Ensure that the GC and his Subcontractor clearly and comprehensively mark all areas scheduled for abatement, eliminating the need for “go back” work and, worse yet, reinstallation of containment areas.

Have the GC confirm that the Abatement Contractor’s proposed employees and equipment are fully certified and acceptable
to the IH.

Have the GC confirm his Subcontractor’s manpower plan for all phases of the abatement work and that the plan works within the schedule constraints.

Once abatement work commences, monitor the work on a daily basis and question the GC if work falls behind, even by a day.  Days are far more easily made up at the front end of the schedule than they are at the end.

Hopefully, by employing these measures, your project will be able to avoid abatement delays that occur at the outset of work, yet ripple through the entire schedule, threatening contractual completion dates.