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There was no room
for the materials to be delivered to site, and the manufacturer could
not hold them. Joe's only option, it seemed, was to find somewhere
to store them offsite, with the view to deliver them when the site
was ready. He found a secure store and got them delivered, where he
hired a forklift truck to offload them and lock them away. Next day
an invoice from the manufacturer arrived requesting payment within
30 days. Joe was not too concerned as he would be submitting a claim
for payment (or application) at the end of the month.
The application for the materials was duly submitted on May 31 by first-class
post. A month went by and Joe had not heard anything and the material, offloading
and storage costs, needed settling. It took a while to get hold of the surveyor
who was off sick, and then had taken a holiday. When he eventually tracked him
down, he discovery the application was unprocessed, as he has not been received
on the 28 of the month as required in the contract.
To his dismay the surveyor told him that, quite apologetically, irrespective
of the circumstances the client would not pay for the materials off site.
When the materials did arrive a clause in the contract prevented the main contractor
from payment until proof of ownership of the materials had been provided. Furthermore,
the application had to be received by the due date to be processed. Once authorised
payment would be 40 days from valuation date and not the 30 that Joe had expected.
By this time Joe was sick with worry, as he did not have the sort of funds that
were required to meet the costs of the materials, and now the supplier was threatening
legal action. There was only one chance left: the bank. Luckily he was able to
secure a three-month loan - at a high rate of interest of course. At last Joe
could sleep at night. They were now 2 weeks away from the start date and the
additional special scaffold and massive crane have been ordered and ready to
Then a phone call from the main Health and Safety Officer gave him further cause
for concern. He was not happy about the meagre Method Statement and Risk Assessment
that Joe's supervisor had provided. He was asking questions about Regulation
and requesting information about things that Joe had never even heard of. No
one in the company had received any specific Health and Safety training, so Joe
called in a local specialist advisor who answered the questions and completed
the documentation - at a cost.
Meanwhile, Joe's young and inexperienced draughtsman had been working away producing
multi-coloured CAD drawings. Which were usually copied from the architect with
a little embellishment and some minimal detail and then send to the main contractor
for approval. Approval was never forthcoming, but neither were any negative comments,
so all seemed well.
September and the long-awaited day for starting had arrived. The scaffold was
in position, having been completed over the weekend, and the crane was on site.
This was the first time anyone had had the opportunity to get the roof-level.
When the sheets were lowered onto the roof, Fred the roofer noticed considerable
misalignment of the structure. At this stage with the huge crane on site he did
not want to create a fuss, so the carried on and loaded the sheets were specified.
When he next saw the supervisor and the site manager he did mentioned, in passing,
that he was unimpressed with the steel frame, but nothing more was said, and
roofing commenced. He seemed to be going fairly when - with good weather that
could finish on time.
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