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Owner Checklist

A Checklist of Critical Factors to Incorporate Into a Responsible Contractor Policy

Experience - Building projects are expected to last 50-75 years. The owner should review the past experience of all construction professionals to ensure that they have pertinent experience on similar projects. In so doing, the owner can evaluate whether local contractors should be considered for the project and only if they have the required experience should they be considered.

References - Construction users should investigate the references of their construction professionals from past clients doing similar work. Construction professionals must supply pertinent references from their past clients, including information regarding performance and jobsite cooperation.

Financial Condition - A good financial rating means stability on the job and all through the project. Construction professionals must show they are financially prepared to perform the work they are bidding on. School boards must obtain information concerning a bidder’s financial capability, any outstanding claims against them and bank references. A poor financial condition can affect the quality of materials, equipment and workers used on the project. It also can result in substantial project delays and unsafe buildings.

Safety & Accidents - Construction professionals with a good safety and EMR record will be more productive. An employer has an obligation according to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA) to provide a place of employment free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Every employee has the right to a safe and healthy workplace. An employer must provide training in the recognition and avoidance of hazards and specific training called for in the MIOSHA standards.

Resume Of Supervisory Personnel - Beyond a construction professional’s experience with similar projects, it is important to evaluate the resumes of the supervisory personnel of all construction professionals on their project. All supervisory personnel should have pertinent experience and adequate education and training to complete your project.

Insurance & Surety Bonding - Construction professionals must show proof of adequate and relevant insurance coverage for a particular project and must prove their compliance with workers’ compensation statutes. Minimum standards for insurance coverage must be set. Construction professionals that cannot provide proper coverage may be unable to fulfill project obligations. A measure of a construction professional’s stability is shown in the ability to secure the required bonding.

Use of a Trained Local Workforce - Employing local construction professionals and skilled craft workers on a project can be an attractive goal for the owner or company and establishes good community/public relations. However, it is necessary to determine if the construction professional has ready access to a qualified, experienced workforce to build your project.

Prevailing Wage - Use of prevailing wage requirements ensures that the best qualified construction professionals perform work on construction projects. Construction professionals should compete for projects on the basis of their management practices, not by paying sub-standard wages. Utilization of prevailing wage will allow the construction professional to pay locally determined wages and benefits to attract qualified skilled craft workers.

Employee Health Insurance & Pension Benefits - By employing construction professionals, the owner promotes the community health care and craft employees by requiring the construction professional to use prevailing wage, which includes health insurance and pension benefits. Construction professionals who provide such benefits to their craft personnel demonstrate a commitment to developing a stable workforce, which is a key component to a quality project and to the health of the community.

Workforce Source & Proper Employee Classification - Owners can ensure that their project will be built by qualified construction professionals by ensuring contractor access to a skilled workforce. Construction users should examine carefully the source of building trades craft employees. Ask prospective construction professionals to identify the source of the workforce they intend to use on the project. Construction professionals who staff the project with personnel hired from help-wanted ads or employment agencies might not have sufficient competence and ability to complete a quality project on schedule.

Registered United State Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship & Training Programs - Know the value of high quality training and education. Responsible contractors know that better training equals better buildings. Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT) approved training programs create more productive craft workers. A construction professional’s ability to staff a construction project with qualified trades’ workers is the key to success. Contractors, who bid on construction projects should maintain, participate in and contribute to bona fide apprentice training programs recognized by the U.S. D.O.L./B.A.T. Trained craft workers promote cost effectiveness, timeliness, safety and quality on school construction work. Companies who employ skilled and trained workers, educated in their trade, deliver exceptional work. Moreover, every registered US D.O.L./B.A.T., program must meet twenty-two standards of apprenticeship regulated and audited by the US D.O.L./B.A.T., as outlined in 29 CFR 29.5.

Licensing - Owners get a better building when highly competent construction professionals and tradespersons build it to code. State law establishes licensing requirements for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, boiler and elevator contractors, and electrical, elevator and plumbing craft workers. Proper licensing and certification, when applicable, show owners that construction professionals bidding the job have been tested and are competent to perform the work. All responsible construction professionals must provide documented proof of licensing and certification. This will allow the owner to contact licensing and certification agencies to verify the bidder’s history and determine if any complaints or judgments have been filed against them.

Compliance With Regulatory Agencies - Owners get a higher quality building when local, state and federal regulations are followed. Compliance with the EPA, MIOSHA, OSHA and other agencies helps constructions users evaluate the construction professional’s willingness to follow rules. It also ensures that the bidding contractors are aware of the policies that affect them. Contractor adherence to wage and hour standards, record keeping guidelines, child labor regulations and other components of the Fair Labor Standards Act are good indicators of a stable workforce. Construction craft workers who are treated fairly and receive proper pay and benefits are more likely to produce high quality work which helps ensure a safe learning environment for Michigan children.

Civil Suits/Arbitration/History - The owner will have their building projects completed without costly legal entanglements if they select a responsible contractor with a ‘clean’ legal history. Construction users should contract with construction professionals that build according to contract – not in spite of the contract. Owners should carefully examine a contractor’s litigation history and the final disposition of any arbitration claims brought against him/her. A contractor with an unusually high level of adverse claims might indicate that the school board should disqualify the contractor.



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Detroit, Michigan 48235
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