Work suspensions can occur in any construction project. These suspensions are typically initiated through a Site Work Instruction (SWI) or an official letter that halts a portion or all site work activities. In this article, we will discuss the complete process of responding to this critical situation.
Steps to Deal with Work Suspensions
Send an Official Confirmation Letter
Immediate action is crucial. Send off an official confirmation letter in response to the client’s request for work suspension. Ensure that this letter references client/consultant instructions, which can include emails, SWIs, verbal instruction, and other forms of communication. In this letter, clarify the date of suspension, the reasons behind it, and any immediate actions required from the client/consultant’s end.
Identify Idle Manpower
Inform the client/consultant about the existing personnel and clearly state that these workers are now idle and subject to cost claims.
Additionally, consider seeking guidance from the client/consultant regarding the demobilization and remobilization of manpower, along with the expected timeframes for these actions.
This is not only about cost but also about resource optimization.
Provide Schedule Updates
If the suspension period is estimated to be short (1-4 weeks), it is advisable to send weekly updates that show details of the suspension’s duration and its impact on the project schedule. These updates should include how the suspension affects critical path activities, milestones, and delivery dates. For longer suspensions, a monthly update is enough, but ensure that all stakeholders remain informed.
Report Suspension Impact upon Resuming Work
Upon the carrying on of work, immediately send a revised schedule reflecting the effects of the suspension period. Moreover, recommend a new project completion date and detail any costs associated with the suspension. This step is crucial for managing client expectations and project budgeting.
Submit an Extension of Time (EOT) Claim with Comprehensive Details
While letters are a main communication tool, it may not fully protect your contractual rights. To provide strong protection, submit a comprehensive Extension of Time (EOT) claim accompanied by a detailed description and narrative report. In this report, outline the specific reasons for the suspension, the actions taken during the suspension, and any documented costs acquired during the idle period. Include relevant project documentation, such as correspondence and site records, to support your claim.
Pursue EOT Approval
Continue monitoring and pursuing approval for your EOT claim. Engage in negotiations with the client/consultant to ensure the claim is approved and accurately reflects the project’s revised timeline. Maintain professionalism and open lines of communication throughout this process, aiming for a collaborative resolution.
In the world of construction, work suspensions are a predictable challenge. To address them effectively, a structured approach is essential. Begin with clear communication, maintain regular updates, and document everything. By doing so, you not only preserve your contractual rights but also maintain positive client relationships, ensuring smoother project outcomes.