and indicated, among other things, that a future post would report a small
sampling of emails received from workers on the Muskrat Falls project.
better served when the “news” they receive is the “raw” material – neither analysed nor edited. It is tough to improve on a worker’s personal experience especially when they
are assessing the work space, the management, Q&A or some other issue from
the perspective of their experience at Muskrat Falls and on other projects.
follows are the verbatim emails of two people: one from a professional engineer and another from a surveyor; each offering insights into a poorly run project.
As the Commission of Inquiry gets ready to assess the project the Commissioner, Judge LeBlanc, might benefit not just from a forensic audit or from an examination of witnesses. He and his two Co-Counsel could be schooled first-hand by those who came face-to-face with a range of issues including management, Q&A, safety, cost controls, nepotism and corruption. While workers operated under the threat of dismissal if they divulged the problems and conditions to which they were witness, the public inquiry hopefully will offer them an opportunity to tell their stories and not be threatened.
The many engineers and others who advised or wrote on this Blog were instrumental in bringing to an otherwise uninformed public some of poor management and construction practices that were fast drivers of cost overruns, adding to a falsified system of project estimates and budgets.
While many chose the Uncle Gnarley Blog to describe their concerns – truly aghast at the enormous waste of tax-payers’ money – others suffered silently or just shared those confidences with friends – all knowing that some day the bill would arrive and Newfoundlanders would be paying for a very long time. They need to tell their stories. Judge LeBlanc, and the Inquiry, needs to hear some of them. Undoubtedly they would influence the examination of witnesses at the Inquiry. They also deserve to be part of the public record.
– Des Sullivan
so I have plenty of experience on cables.
when delivered to look for damaged reels, broken wood slats, protruding nails
and damaged cables, because once it is off the truck then you have a devil of a
job getting back on and sent back.
manufacture that you can have damaged cables but also if they are not stored
correctly especially in cold damp climates then you get ingress of moisture
which also cause damage.
in the factory, before stringing that cable it should have been tested, even a
basic test should have shown up any damage, and any basic electrical
tech/engineer on site is capable of carrying out the test.
before stringing the cable means there is negligence on someones part, and
negligence on Nalcor for signing off on the lift.
“Considering the pay on this project was well above global rates I would have
expected the best management money could buy but there seems to be no basic
management procedures in place, again it is not just the EPC management but
Nalcor for not enforcing standards…. the final responsibility rests with the
client which is the government to ensure that those sanctioned to carry out the
project not only had sufficient and extensive procedure, but that those
procedure were being followed. The client CAN NOT pass on the the client
responsibility to others.
“There seems to be no basic project management checks and balances or over sight
on this project and the EPC and their contractors have made the most of it. The
EPC is not the clients friend, I have been EPC and client rep and our roles
boil down to the EPC getting as many changes or additions as possible and the
clients to give away as few as possible.
Procurement, and Construction” (EPC) is a particular form of contracting arrangement used in
some industries where the EPC Contractor is made responsible for all the
activities from design, procurement, construction, to commissioning and
handover of the project to the End-User or Owner. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineering,_procurement,_and_construction
“The more the project gets screwed up the more the EPC makes clearing up the
mess as it is the clients fault, even if it is the EPC mistake.
“I learned the black art long ago on how to progress the job but without giving
instructions, too complex to write down here, but a good client on gives
objections or does not object, it is the contractor as the EXPERT (who is responsible) to tell you
how they will achieve the project goals…once you start telling them…to use
specific equipment or processes then if anything goes wrong the EPC is in the
clear because they were acting on instructions of the client. I loved my job if
nothing else it kept your mind sharp.
“We do need an investigation, and we certainly need an audit done now on the EPC
and contractors project management control procedure, otherwise the project is
just going to hemorrhage money before it finishes.”
have not seen as many things done backward and often wonder if it is by design
or is it a total lack of professionalism within the ranks of Nalcor.
“In addition to the backward sequencing of the
critical path workface there is a blatant disregard for safe work practises.
“On at least two occasions I have been expected
to work under the live load of a tower crane without any warning.
“The first time I reported it directly to Nalcor
yet nothing was done
“On the second occasion I reported it to my
direct manager and was told to keep working.
“I proceeded to video the practise.
“On another front I was perplexed to discover
that there was no controls on the expenses for consumables.
“This resulted in a $10 master lock being billed
out for $60.
“The same story for survey equipment /
consumables – $350 actual – $1000 claimed cost.
“In Alberta it is pretty much a standard to be
remunerated at cost plus 10%. Often you have to provide three quotes.
“When I think of the overall consequence and
effect on the project bottom line it is startling.
“Enjoy your blog, thanks for keeping people