I have never read ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu, a book of military tactics which dates back to the 5th
century BC, but the most common quote from it appears to be “in the midst of chaos, there is opportunity”. It would be an understatement to say that the process of getting the stadium started has not been chaotic, but what opportunities does this present?
The stadium debate has come and gone, and the council has voted to proceed with the project based on a 77% public show of support and a fixed price contract from the main contractor. However, as one pundit pointed out, a fixed price contract in the construction industry does not necessarily guarantee a fixed cost to the council.
I read with interest the varying points of view from councillors, the rugby union, the Chamber of Commerce, quotes from old movies, and members of the public. I don’t want to debate the decision again, but the two sides of the argument could be summed up as “too much money for something that will only be utilised sporadically” versus “build it and they will come”.
The Safety Charter arose out of the Christchurch Earthquakes and the need for improvements in both health and safety practice and outcomes during the demolition and rebuild. The work of the Charter and its members created health and safety reform prior to Pike River and the HSAW Act of 2015. In this regard Canterbury business were ahead of the curve and well positioned for the new legislation.
The rebuild has essentially come and gone, while health and safety continues to evolve. Now there is less emphasis on reactive measures, and more on proactive steps like pre-accident investigations, learning teams, and health and safety by design. This is changing the role of the health and safety professional from policeman and compliance officer to facilitator and supporter. The current trends all involve greater worker engagement, collaboration, and focussing on the gap between work as planned and work as done.
There is one tool in the marketplace that facilitates all these trends and enables greater understanding and communication of risk. This tool is Building Information Modelling (BIM). The next revolution in health and safety will be a digital one.
The Stadium Project represents the best opportunity for Canterbury to lead the nation and take health and safety to the next level. Digital health and safety, BIMSafe. On one project we will have one of the largest construction teams ever assembled in Christchurch, and what a great opportunity to have every tradie include an ipad on their toolbelt. The benefits to the workforce and the region will then flow onto other sites, and the knowledge and expertise will expand exponentially. The future is here, now.
Paul Duggan, General Manager