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Character Based Crisis Management A Contractor’s Perspective

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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 Manager R.H. White Construction Co., Inc.

2 Corporate Safety Manager
Rick Denham Corporate Safety Manager Experience: • 38 Years of Safety Knowledge • Construction • General Industry • Firefighting • Environmental

3 R.H. White Construction Company, Inc.
Founded 1923 Five locations throughout New England 550 Employees Major Markets Energy Distribution and Storage Water & Wastewater Treatment Industrial, Corporate, Institutional Buildings

4 R.H. White Construction Company, Inc.

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 Assessment Step 3: Select Crisis Management Team Step 4: Create THE Plan

8 Phases of Developing a Crisis Management Plan NFPA 1600

9 Things to Consider Staff experience. Does anyone on staff have experience? IT complexity. Do you need a trusted partner to assist? Management commitment. Will management support the time required 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 the basic concepts. Talk to others. Ask around. Maybe someone was in your shoes a year ago. Regulatory issues. What specific regulatory or contract issues must be considered? Resources. What resources are available and what will be required?

10 Development of the Plan – The Process
SECTION 1: GENERAL SECTION 2: PREPARING FOR A CRISIS SECTION 3: EVENT RESPONSE PLANS 3a - Bomb Threats 3b - Building Collapse / Failure 3c - Environmental Crisis 3d - Fatalities/Serious Injuries 3e - Fire 3f - Severe Weather/Natural Disasters 3g - Terrorist Threats 3h - Workplace Violence SECTION 4: MEDIA MANAGEMENT SECTION 5: EMERGENCY PHONE LISTS SECTION 6: SUBCONTRACTOR COMMUNICATION SECTION 7: CALL TREE SECTION 8: CMT MASTER CHECKLIST Sign-Off SECTION 9: MEMBERS CHECKLIST Team Leader Safety Senior On-site Person Public Information Officer/Media Spokesperson Human Resources Legal Counsel Foreman Receptionist SECTION 10: RECEPTIONIST LOG SECTION 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 build Character – 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 build Character – 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.

16 Basic Elements: Core Issues

17 Contractor Techniques for Survival
Gather Key Personnel (Crisis Management Team) Identify the Command Post and alternate Identify Family, Crew and Job Teams Assign Tasks/Execute Plan Return, Evaluate Identify New Tasks Repeat Until Done

18 Gather Key Person ( The CMT):
Include Senior Management Include Office Personnel Include controller or CFO Include receptionist Include 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 CMT Need ability to place charts on wall and develop the big picture. Track issues as they develop Have a scribe (note taker) Track team assignments Post results

21 Job Team Secure the site as well as possible Shut down all work
Plan for no work for next 24 hrs or longer Preserve site – crucial for investigation Site Leader refers all questions to spokesperson Be 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.

23 Team Leaders Care

24 Team Leader: Don’t forget Yourself
Call home, let your spouse know what happened. For those who can’t, call for them. No alcohol Plan 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 Issues Identify Immediate Needs: Transportation, Money, Childcare, Eldercare, Lodging and transport for in-bound relatives Identify Support Capabilities: Get Family phone numbers Alert Grief Counselors Accelerate Paycheck Processing Establish Trust Fund Stay 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 basis Ask outlying jobs to inform employees of accident by way of job site meeting to reduce rumors and inbound calls Pull resources to help- foremen, Superintendents, others as local supervisors may be affected by loss of crew member

28 … Human Resources... “The Company Mom”

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 Resources No 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 family Air 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 workforce Highest ranking company official should go DO NOT DELEGATE THIS TO LOWER MANAGEMENT Take supervisor Take friend Take HR or other trained personnel

33 Family First- What to expect
Shock Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance

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 people Acknowledge a construction spouses struggle with the construction way of life. Exchange phone number Overview 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.

38 Don’t forget the “Crews”

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.

43 Back at the Command Post…

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 status Press Owner Reps Insurance Legal OSHA Family Crew Mom Vendors/suppliers Outlying jobs- update Other Contractors Overnight news Overnight medical Overnight security Rumor Control

47 Team Leader Team Leaders Need:
Team Leaders issues are often seen 24 hrs post event: Irritability Delayed response to normal questions Detachment and Uncertainty Aggressive “Fix it Now” approach to everything Team Leaders Need: Sleep Frequent contact with family Good food Frequent breaks. Hugs

48 Getting back to normal

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 option NO 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 too Making mistakes is a normal part of crisis management Crisis 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.

56 Remember it can happen! Questions

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