How to Improve Your Chances of Winning Bids
In these tough economic times winning new contract work is vital. A company is no longer awarded a bid solely based on reputation or price. Bids are being awarded to companies based on an “aggregate” or “composite” evaluation that includes numerous details about safety programs, illness and injury rates, employee safety training, and supplying proof that claimed efforts have been done. Often the rationale for choosing one vendor over another can hinge on the safety program and documented safety efforts a company takes. The rationale for this approach is driven by insurance requirements and liability exposure that the General Contractor (“G/C”) and property owner have. For example if a subcontractor’s worker is injured or killed on the job, the G/C can face fines, penalties, and criminal charges. In some instances insurance coverage may not apply and the G/C is forced to defend itself or pay a substantial claim with its own resources.
To avoid such situations, many G/Cs now require subcontractors to verify their safety program efforts and submit historical information that includes details about a company’s safety program and specifics about prior years. In addition G/Cs check to make sure that subcontractors are implementing and maintaining compliance programs. Recently, ACS was contacted by an electrical subcontractor who was told his eight man crew would be prohibited from working if they did not produce the OSHA required Site Specific Safety Plan within three days. ACS was able to get his information and send him the required plan enabling his crew to continue working. This is not an isolated example nor should it be looked at as an “over the top” situation or request. Situations such as this happen because the G/C managing the project has a number of responsibilities and needs to continually check to verify that all subcontractors and their workers are complying with site safety rules and regulations.
A list of frequently required information for contractor evaluation includes the following taken from a major general contractor questionnaire (Note! This information is required prior to bidding in order to qualify a company to bid):
- Workers’ Compensation Interstate/Intrastate Experience Modification Rate for the most recent three years. (Attach a copy of your insurance carrier or state fund (on their letterhead) verifying EMR data.
- Copies of most recent three years OSHA 300/200 Logs
- Employee hours worked past three years
- OSHA Reportable Incidence Rate past three years
- OSHA Lost Workday Incidence Rate past three years
- How many OSHA violations has your company received during the past three years?
- Any willful violations? If so please describe.
- Any employee deaths? If so describe.
- Does this person do daily inspections on all of your projects? If not daily what is the frequency of safety inspections?
- Do you have and provide copies of written
- Company Safety Policy
- Company Safety Program
- Site Specific Safety Program
- Safety Plans for Hazard Communication, PPE, Respiratory Protection, etc.
- Does your company have and if so please provide a substance abuse policy?
- Does your company have a return to work program?
- Do you require and maintain records of safety meetings for your employees? Please provide.
- Please provide the names of employees working (or potentially working) on this project, the safety training courses they have completed, and proof of training.
- Do you have home office representatives (not directly involved with the project) who will visit and audit the project for safety?
- Does your company have annual safety goals?
- Does your company have a program for recognizing and rewarding employees for safety excellence?
- Do you have a disciplinary program in place for safety violations?
- Does your company have an accident/incident investigation program
- List all employees who have completed OSHA Construction 10 hour training. Include proof of training
- List all supervisors who have completed OSHA Construction 30 hour training. Include proof of training.
- List all employees that meet the OSHA Competent person requirement including criteria/experience/training they have.
While the requirements listed above may seem like an insurmountable task, there are ways to simplify and organize the information. For example, ACS provides outsourced services to review your safety efforts and then develops the required portions that you lack. This includes written plans, training of employees, OSHA 300Logs, OSHA Construction 10 & 30 hour programs etc. Best of all ACS can put all of this information in an electronic file drawer that you can access or send information to others from. ACS provides online as well as on site solutions that are crafted to fit your needs. ACS does the work of developing and maintaining your program and records so you can save administrative costs and compliance headaches. This frees you up to more effectively manage and grow your business.
To learn more or discuss a concern you have call Tel: 610.755.0728 or 800.55.HELPS or email ACS.