All projects carry some level of risk.
Risk Management should be a critical component of any project plan or management system.
Risk can be apportioned across the major parties within each project and can be incorporated in the terms and conditions of the any contracts used.
Risk – The Positives & Negatives
It is however important to keep in mind that the term ‘risk’ relates to both positive and negative impacts and a ‘risk’ could also be seen as an opportunity for a gain or improvement, thereby increasing efficiency, producing better outcomes and reducing project costs.
Risk and Access Reviews
An Access Consultant should be engaged at the commencement of any project, which will help ensure the success of the project and reduce the chance of project failure (including the project being deemed non-viable).
The Access Consultant can assist by:
- Conducting desktop reviews of the design documentation at each stage of the project; or
- Conducting an Access Peer Review of any work undertaken by other access consultants.
It is an all too common situation where almost 3 years since the implementation of the new access provisions we are still seeing projects that have planning approvals, but the designs do not comply with the Building Code of Australia or the Access to Premises Standards and can’t be built. This means quite literally, that the designer has to go back to the drawing board, there are project delays, and budget blow-outs, resulting in a stressed project team.
It is commonly known that strategies to reduce the overall risk profile of a project can include:
- Eliminating a risk by adopting a different approach
- Reducing the chances of developing a risk by having strategies to mitigate risk as construction issues are identified
- Reducing the consequences of a risk by developing suitable contingency plans
An ‘Access Peer Review’ and desktop reviews of the design documentation at each stage of the project can form part of all three strategies outlined above.
By Lee Wilson, Disability Access Consultant / DDA Consultant, Melbourne, Victoria. Lee is an Accredited Member of the Association of Consultants in Access, Australia Inc.