Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Performance Objectives

Experience has shown that one of the keys to any successful operation is the ability to be flexible in the face of ever-changing dynamics. All of the pre-event planning in the world would not have anticipated a twenty-eight (28) foot wall of water striking New Orleans some ninety (90) miles from the coast. Simply stated, significant pre-mission planning will not always anticipate each and every possible scenario and, concomitantly, can therefore never be perfect.

           

AMERI-GREEN, therefore, has developed a strategy for addressing key deficiencies as they occur during a debris mission. As the mission develops, the goal is to remove the maximum volume of debris from the affected rights of way daily and doing so safely. However, simply adding to the number of trucks hauling debris will not always result in an increase in debris being deposited in a disposal facility. For example, if fifty (50) trucks haul 3000 cubic yards per day, it does not necessarily follow that one hundred (100) trucks will haul 6000. The reason is that a simple increase in trucks does not consider traffic issues, ingress and egress at the disposal facility, the number of trucks that can unload at the facility at one time and so forth. AMERI-GREEN, therefore, conducts daily analyses to determine the maximum number of trucks to affect the greatest volume of debris being deposited at the disposal facility. The result is a more productive, efficient, and safe operation.

           

Part of any debris mission is effective communications. Cliff Sizemore, the CEO for AMERI-GREEN, is personally involved in all debris operations regardless of size. Daily meetings with the client and authorized representatives ensure that daily milestones are met or exceeded and that problem areas are immediately identified addressed and resolved. AMERI-GREEN procedures have been so successful that they have never been cited by the USACE, U.S. Coast Guard, USACE, OSHA or any other State or Federal agency for failure to meet established goals or timelines. AMERI-GREEN’s extensive resources, whether personally owned, subcontracted or leased through its partnership agreements, provide infinite flexibility to enable clients to make informed choices. From simple solutions, such as adding additional inspection towers, additional ingress and egress routes or creating additional unloading stations within the TDSRS to establishing transfer stations and night operations, AMERI-GREEN has the capability to address every obstacle to recovery as they occur.

 

Quality Control

The Quality Control and Quality Assurance Program outlined herein has been developed and mirrors the Quality Control Organization and the established guidelines of the United States Corps of Engineers and the “Construction Management for Contractors” which they developed and teach. On staff management personnel have attended and are certified by the USACE in Quality Control and Quality Assurance.

 

Quality Control Organization (QCO)

The organization will generally consist of at least one Quality Control Manager (QCM) and a Quality Control Supervisor (QCS) sometimes referred to as a site supervisor. Standard operating procedures require that both the QCM and QCSS are familiar with and knowledgeable of the contract they are administering. This would include, for example, in construction contracts, familiarity with the plans and specifications. In disaster operations, it would obviously include right of way debris removal, private property debris removal, site management, and debris reduction and disposal operations and so forth where applicable. The QCM and QCSS must also be knowledgeable of FEMA 325, the Stafford Act and the various rules and regulations involved in all types of debris operations as well as safety regulations published by Federal, State and Local Jurisdictions as well as OSHA and USACE EM 385-1-1. The QCSS will report directly to the QCM and will have a supplemental duty assignment as the assistant safety officer/manager for the entire project. The QCSS will be tasked with implementing the provisions of the contract documents, reports and submissions and any and all modifications to the mission or mission parameters. All AMERI-GREEN personnel whether direct employee, independent contractor or subcontractor, will be directly responsible to the QCM..

 

  • Authority and Areas of Responsibility for the QCM:

    • Prior to any work commencing, the QCM is responsible for ensuring that all required documentation has been prepared and properly submitted.

    • Once the work commences, the QCM must conduct preparatory meetings with the Contracting Officer Representative (COR) or client and the QCSS before each definable phase of work

    • The QCM is also responsible for briefing the QCSS on all daily obligations and duties as well as any modifications that could affect the operation or its parameters.

    • The QCM is required to conduct periodic site visits to ensure that the QCSS is fully compliant with his duties and responsibilities including the Safety Program and all Federal, State and Local regulations and guidelines.

    • Maintain a daily diary of weather, safety issues, production, inspection results and any other issue affecting work progress, safety or QCSS issues.

    • Immediately notify the client of any defective equipment, methods or any other issue not in full compliance with contract requirements.

    • Attend all site visits conducted by client COR personnel.

    • Attend daily briefings with COR personnel and the monitoring agency.

    • The assignment of sufficient personnel to investigate Quality Control issues and complaints and to oversee and assure that all damage claims are immediately addressed documented and cured.

  • QCSS Responsibilities:

    • Maintain a daily diary documenting the conduct of daily safety meetings and safety issues, accidents, claims and contract compliance issues.

    • Daily inspection of new equipment and crews and the conduct of initial safety briefings.

    • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) compliance

    • Attend all site visits conducted and/or attended by the client and/or the monitoring agency representatives.

    • Oversight of all subcontractor Quality Control and Safety Programs.

    • Where the QCSS observes significant safety violations, immediately stop the work/crew, correct the deficiency/violation and notify the QCM. Where the deficiency/violation affects or could affect the entire project or is recurrent in nature, the QCSS will shut down the project until the deficiencies/violations are corrected.

  • Quality Control Inspections and Schedule:

 Pursuant to the USACE template, quality control inspections are to be conducted prior to each and every definable phase of the work. Since the contract has normally been enacted prior to crew arrival, the QCM should already be aware of the contract terms and scope of the work. It is important to recognize that during initial clearance operations where health and safety issues are paramount, including rescue operations and cadaver recovery, the Quality Control procedures may become secondary for a brief period. Further, the template is not intended to indicate that definable phases of work have specific start and stop dates. In fact, definable phases of work normally overlap or coincide. The fundamental tenet, then, of the Quality Control Inspection Program is to ensure full contract compliance regardless of phase sequence or scope of work. For illustrative purposes, a general template has been developed which addresses common issues, milestones and general information. The definable features of work for the example will be as follows:

 

  1. Initial Assessment Phase

  2. Road Clearance (Push) Operations

  3. ROW Debris Removal Operations

  4. Debris Processing/Reduction and/or Disposal

  5. Close Out Procedures

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Use of a phased approach, when properly documented, assures contract compliance and increased safety. Inspections are required prior to each definable feature of work, the objectives and goals established during the Assessment Phase are executed during the Push (first 70 hours).  Similarly, as the Push is being executed, ROW crews are checked in, safety briefings conducted, routes and zones are established and prioritized and so forth in preparation for and execution of the ROW debris removal phase. The results of all tests and inspections are documented and cataloged to ensure a complete record exists for after action reports and to serve as a baseline for pre-event planning and debris management plan modification.