What is a Suspension of Work Action and How Can Contractors Avoid One?
One of the most difficult situations encountered by contractors in their work is dealing with a Suspension of Work action. This is the suspension of a project ordered by either a site owner or the government to resolve an issue involving an aspect of the construction process. In the private sector, a number of contracts have clauses in place that allow owners to suspend work on a project under specific circumstances. The ability to suspend work is in most government contracts.
Why Do Construction Projects Get Suspended?
Suspension of work happens for a number of reasons. This includes:
- Engineering issues
- Changes in scope of work
- Discovery of hazardous materials
- Protection from unsafe conditions
- Not having worker’s compensation insurance for employees
When a suspension of work has been issued, all activity on a construction site must be stopped. Provisions must be made for material orders that have already been made and a plan must be established for handling subcontractors. Typically, an evaluation of the construction site determines if work can resume, if the suspension should be extended, or if project termination needs to be considered. It’s important to note that a suspension of work can be issued for portions of projects, allowing other parts of the project to continue without interruption.
How Can Contractors Protect Themselves From a Suspension of Work?
Anything that stops work costs money and can be a tremendous set back to a contractor’s business. Being prepared from a business standpoint is key. If you ever find yourself in this situation, it’s advisable to contact an Orlando construction lawyer immediately. Here are a few more tips for protecting your company against a suspension of work:
- Review your contract: Before the work starts, review the contract to see what your rights are in terms of work stoppages. This will help determine the best way to defend yourself.
- Keep good documentation: It’s critical to document everything that happens on a work site. Daily reports and other items are the best line of defense in this situation.
- Examine the “what ifs” ahead of time: Understanding what may happen during the course of a project will not only prepare you if a suspension of work is issued but, potentially, help to avoid one.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.