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At some point, you’re bound to encounter contractors who aren’t the right fit for your project — and sometimes you won’t know it until after you put them on the books. But on large-scale, long-term, environmentally-sensitive projects like pipeline construction, it’s critical to maintain an all-star team.

Keep an eye out for these contractor warning signs so you can avoid issues like falling behind schedule, busting your budget, dealing with safety incidents, and more.

They’re a common denominator in workplace incidents

Although overall workplace illness and injury rates have decreased in recent years, accidents still happen. And when you’re working with cranes, backhoes, and bulldozers and handling massive materials, the risk of severe accidents increases. In fact, one in five worker deaths in 2017 was in the private construction sector.

As long as your recordkeeping policies are sound, you’ll be able to use incident reports to help determine any common denominators in workplace accidents. If you notice a particular contractor name coming up repeatedly, you’ve discovered a major warning sign.

Consult the safety leadership team to help you formulate a plan to align the problematic contractor with your safety standards or to find another consultant who prioritizes safe work practices.

Resource: Free Incident Report Template [Smartsheet]

They move slowly

Project delays create ripple effects that can negatively impact your bottom line. One small setback can cause things like:

  • Interrupted cash flow
  • Unplanned price increases for materials
  • Financial penalties for falling behind

Some delays are unavoidable, or even inevitable. For example, a severe flooding event can halt construction for days or even weeks. But if you find your schedule lagging because a contractor is consistently taking more time than necessary to finish tasks, you might want to consider someone else.

They don’t leave your team with more knowledge

The best contractors will leave you with new knowledge or insight. You might gain a fresh outlook on improving your safety culture, learn about new technologies that increase your efficiency, or explore different communication and work styles.

If a contractor you’re working with doesn’t add to or supplement your team’s expertise, find one who does — you might be surprised how your business can flourish by working with a dependable expert!