Presentation on theme: "Character Based Crisis Management A Contractor’s Perspective"— Presentation transcript:
1 Character Based Crisis Management A Contractor’s Perspective Presented by: Rick Denham – Corporate Safety ManagerR.H. White Construction Co., Inc.
2 Corporate Safety Manager Rick DenhamCorporate Safety ManagerExperience:• 38 Years of Safety Knowledge• Construction• General Industry• Firefighting• Environmental
3 R.H. White Construction Company, Inc. Founded 1923Five locations throughout New England550 EmployeesMajor MarketsEnergy Distribution and StorageWater & Wastewater TreatmentIndustrial, Corporate, Institutional Buildings
5 When the light went on!!I realized we were not prepared to deal with a crisis.
6 Selling Why we needed a Plan Selling it to Senior Management
7 Pre Planning - Early Step 1: Assemble your Planning Team Step 2: Conduct an Organizational AssessmentStep 3: Select Crisis Management TeamStep 4: Create THE Plan
8 Phases of Developing a Crisis Management Plan NFPA 1600
9 Things to ConsiderStaff experience. Does anyone on staff have experience?IT complexity. Do you need a trusted partner to assist?Management commitment. Will management support the timerequired for a long-term project?Budget. Is budget or funding available for the project?Project scope. Start with a single plant, then expand to other sites.Learn the topic. Attend seminars/read articles to understand thebasic concepts.Talk to others. Ask around. Maybe someone was in your shoes ayear ago.Regulatory issues. What specific regulatory or contract issues mustbe considered?Resources. What resources are available and what will be required?
10 Development of the Plan – The Process SECTION 1: GENERALSECTION 2: PREPARING FOR A CRISISSECTION 3: EVENT RESPONSE PLANS3a - Bomb Threats3b - Building Collapse / Failure3c - Environmental Crisis3d - Fatalities/Serious Injuries3e - Fire3f - Severe Weather/Natural Disasters3g - Terrorist Threats3h - Workplace ViolenceSECTION 4: MEDIA MANAGEMENTSECTION 5: EMERGENCY PHONE LISTSSECTION 6: SUBCONTRACTOR COMMUNICATIONSECTION 7: CALL TREESECTION 8: CMT MASTER CHECKLISTSign-OffSECTION 9: MEMBERS CHECKLISTTeam LeaderSafetySenior On-site PersonPublic Information Officer/Media SpokespersonHuman ResourcesLegal CounselForemanReceptionistSECTION 10: RECEPTIONIST LOGSECTION 11: IT Disaster Recovery
11 Practice makes perfect or “at least better than before”
12 Practice, Practice, Practice Utility Hit while developing plan, we learned we hadn’t even scratched the surface.- Development of Checklist- Development of Call Tree- Training for Spokesperson- PR Firm interviews- Crisis Mgt. abilities of Broker & Carriers- Annual Review of Plan and drill
13 Character Based Crisis Management: Fact # 1 A Construction Crisis does not necessarily buildCharacter – it reveals it.
14 Character Based Crisis Management: Fact #2 A Construction Crisis does not necessarily build Character– it reveals it.Contractors will be remembered long after the event for what they did or did not do.
15 Character Based Crisis Management: Fact #3 A Construction Crisis does not necessarily buildCharacter – it reveals it.Contractors will be remembered long after the event for what they did or did not do.Contractor’s way of life will return to normal more quickly then the victim’s family.
17 Contractor Techniques for Survival Gather Key Personnel (Crisis Management Team)Identify the Command Post and alternateIdentify Family, Crew and Job TeamsAssign Tasks/Execute PlanReturn, Evaluate Identify New TasksRepeat Until Done
18 Gather Key Person ( The CMT): Include Senior ManagementInclude Office PersonnelInclude controller or CFOInclude receptionistInclude designated spokesperson – key to successful information flow
19 “The Must Deal with”:Acknowledge the accident/employee death; give brief description.The next few days will not be normal.There will be a lot of strange faces on the project.There will be a lot of phone calls.We can anticipate rumors.We can anticipate emotion.The media will come.The family may come.Other contractors will call wanting details.Do short term things that will buy us time.Put out the fires and take care of people.Find out what happened.Resume work in a timely manner
20 Command Center Establish within (2-3 hrs); Plan for 3-4 day disruption in daily routine;Organize food and lodging needs for CMTNeed ability to place charts on wall and develop the big picture.Track issues as they developHave a scribe (note taker)Track team assignmentsPost results
21 Job Team Secure the site as well as possible Shut down all work Plan for no work for next 24 hrs or longerPreserve site – crucial for investigationSite Leader refers all questions to spokespersonBe ready to brief the CMT● Do things to “Buy Time”.● Be careful when using the Company Website, do not post any statements.“You want to control the flow of information”.
22 Building the Action Plan: Site Supervisor Communicate to other projects that a serious accident has occurred. Encourage employees on all jobs to call home.Make the affected job site a source of facts; it will reduce inbound phone calls and rumors.
24 Team Leader: Don’t forget Yourself Call home, let your spouse know what happened.For those who can’t, call for them.No alcoholPlan for long days & little sleep; will need clothes, food and lodging.
25 Family CMT – Human Resources Identify Immediate Family Dynamics: Married, Divorced, Children?Local/Out of State/Language IssuesIdentify Immediate Needs:Transportation, Money, Childcare, Eldercare, Lodging and transport for in-bound relativesIdentify Support Capabilities:Get Family phone numbersAlert Grief CounselorsAccelerate Paycheck ProcessingEstablish Trust FundStay Connected; if necessary stay there
26 Crew CMT –On Site Employees Keep Together-Provide Privacy Have Employees Call Home *Important*Begin Witness Statements and Interview Process- Get factual information not “hear say”Mobilize Counselors *Important*Other Issues as necessary
27 Job CMT - Safety Assign an “On site” Team Leader. Notify Carrier and Legal Team.Begin Investigation.Notify outlying jobs of the situation:Ask other jobs not to call;Provide updates when accurate information is known; continue on regular basisAsk outlying jobs to inform employees of accident by way of job site meeting to reduce rumors and inbound callsPull resources to help- foremen, Superintendents, others as local supervisors may be affected by loss of crew member
29 Human Resources “The Company Mom” Every company has one; consider:Admin Assistants, Payroll clerk, Office Manager, other employee’s spouse, or..…your wife.No Project Manager or Company Owner has a better right-hand-man during a time of crisis then the Human ResourcesNo better emotional connection can be made during a time of crisis then than one Mom to another;HR takes care of a lot of details.HR keeps everyone informed.
30 Human Resources …Arrange and Assist... Arrange ground transportation if needed.Lodging needs for inbound familyAir fare or ticketing assistance for distant relatives.Processing of victim’s paycheck .HR/CFO set up trust fund at Company bank.
31 Human Resources ...Arrange and Assist... Keep family advised as to what is going on out at the job.Advises job of funeral arrangements.Consults with PM/Owner on how family is coping.Updates the crew on how family is coping.Assist with death benefits paperwork.HR/PM offer to facilitate family visit to the site…*Important*…most families want to go.
32 Family First - Delivering Bad News Bad news never gets better with age;Meeting the family is expected by our culture and our workforceHighest ranking company official should goDO NOT DELEGATE THIS TO LOWER MANAGEMENTTake supervisorTake friendTake HR or other trained personnel
33 Family First- What to expect ShockDenialAngerBargainingDepressionAcceptance
34 Family First: Some things that seem to work Acknowledge death in your own way; Emotions are OK;Make the effort to meet family; Sometimes the family will find you first- that’s OK;Family reactions are unpredictable, but meeting the family is still the right thing to do;Failure to meet the family will result in a crisis far larger then the death and will be repeated by the media for months;Meeting the family is an immediate display of the character of the company;Even employees on remote jobs will know if the company met with the family and measure their employer by how the family is treated
35 Family First: Talking to Mom and Dad ● ….We’re parents.Acknowledge difficulties and joys of raising a child.Talk parent to parent.● Let them know….that they raised a good boy or girl● Parents now see you have a measure of their loss.● Parents now see your character reflected in the measure of their loss
36 Family First: Talking to a Spouse Talk about issues of Character:Our work is unique; it takes a special person to make it in our industry. He/She was that type of person.It also takes a special person to be married to construction peopleAcknowledge a construction spouses struggle with the construction way of life.Exchange phone numberOverview of next few days events: OSHA investigation, taking care of crew, owners meeting, job restart
37 Family First : Visiting the Site Make the visit private…no other people.No construction activity.Family may want clergy.They will have questions…be honest.They may want to talk to the crew.They may want to lay a wreath or flowers; Company Mom can help.Let them stay as long as they want.
39 Good Crews Need Good Directions Once the dust settles…gather the crew(s).Get witness statements; Police may want to interview…they need to stay together. (Should happen early while info is fresh)Provide privacy…keep others away for now.Let them call home…mobile phones (ok).They need direction… they want to know what to do and what is going to happen. They should meet with PM or company owner as soon a feasible.
40 Good Crews Need Good Direction This affects all of us.The next few days are going to be hard.OSHA will investigate.Company will investigate.There will be lots of strange faces.The press will try to contact you.
41 Good Crews Need Good Direction You are under no obligation to talk to the press…refer inquiries to the spokesperson.If interviewed by OSHA, tell the truth. *Important*OSHA can speak with you privately; company can provide counsel.We want to find out what happened and make sure it never happens again.My door is open to anyone/anytime.HR/CEO is available to the family
42 Good Crews Need Good Direction The job will shut down for the next _days.Grief Counseling (HR can arrange).Require attendance rather then offer.We need clear heads…although it is tempting,... leave the booze alone.The family may visit the site..they might find comfort in a friend’s presence….We will keep you advised of the funeral arrangements.We could use some help taking up a collection for the family.Return victim’s personal effects.
44 Back At the Command Post: Command and Control Command Center becomes very busy;Family, Crew and Job teams meet 3-5 times daily;Teams list progress on charts and plan next moves;All Teams participate in end-of-day analysis; Plan for tomorrow;Repeat until job resumes;Teams sometimes meet a week after work resumes to follow up on lingering items
45 Back At the Command Post: Command Center Needs Conference room works well.Fax, phones, food.Markers, flip charts, tape etc.Lots of tables.Ability to spread out; relax.Tensions will get high, stay focused on the task at hand and use your checklist.
46 Back at the Command Post: Issues of the Day Office statusPressOwner RepsInsuranceLegalOSHAFamilyCrewMomVendors/suppliersOutlying jobs- updateOther ContractorsOvernight newsOvernight medicalOvernight securityRumor Control
47 Team Leader Team Leaders Need: Team Leaders issues are often seen 24 hrs post event:IrritabilityDelayed response to normal questionsDetachment and UncertaintyAggressive “Fix it Now” approach to everythingTeam Leaders Need:SleepFrequent contact with familyGood foodFrequent breaks.Hugs
49 Getting back to normal: Supervisors Meeting Bring supervisors back (including subs). Be aware some supervisors may not be ready.Review events to date.HR/ “Company Mom” briefing on status of the Family.OSHA Investigation Status.Outline management Schedule for return to work (All hands meeting).Use this meeting as practice for “All Hands” meeting.
50 Getting back to normal: All Hands Meeting All employees to attend.Family attendance optionNO NOISE/ PHONES /PAGERS/ ETC.Take your Time/be visible to everyone.Repeat format used for Supervisors meeting
51 Getting back to normal: The one we lost Share memories of the one we lost;Offer a moment of silence;Reflecting on the character of the one we lost will reflect on the character of the company….. and those who lead.
52 Getting back to normal: Getting Back to Work Make procedures absolutely clear.Make company policy absolutely clear.Our focus is to get through today without injury.“WE ARE NOT CONCERNED ABOUT SCHEDULE”.Dismiss to crew safety meeting.
53 Letting Go: It’s over when it’s over It will be over for you sooner than it is over for the family;Team Leaders need counseling tooMaking mistakes is a normal part of crisis managementCrisis Management typically lasts one year
54 Subcontractors: Often are at a loss as to how to cope. Prime contractors or others experienced in job fatality management should offer support and guidance to subcontractors.Prime Contractors can do a lot to provide rumor control, press relations and support a smooth return to work.
55 Summary: Family-First Crew -Second Job-Third Let your character be your guide.