3 essential duties that must be undertaken when managing a construction site

Health and safety

A construction site is a busy place and a site manager’s role is never easy. As well as looking after a team of staff, they must monitor and manage a host of sub-contractors and visitors.

It is a highly demanding job that requires a serious level of skill and experience. Whilst a site manager will, of course, have a team of people helping, he or she is ultimately responsible for the day to day running of the site. Here are 3 essential duties that a site management team must regularly undertake.

Health and safety

Conforming with health and safety guidelines is one of the most important aspects of the job. The construction industry has one of the highest levels of fatalities compared to any other industry and so compliance is critical. Site management must ensure that lockable perimeter fencing is erected where necessary. This will ensure that only authorised personnel can access restricted areas. A traffic management plan is required to ensure that machinery and construction traffic can freely access and exit the site without encroaching on areas that are regularly used by the public.

All staff and sub-contractors must be formally inducted before commencing any work on site. This allows them to be fully briefed on all aspects of the project including safety, access routes and build programmes. A visitors’ book is kept on the site and must be completed by anyone entering or leaving. This is used in the event of an emergency to ensure that all parties are accounted for.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn at all times. Reflective jackets and vests promote visibility and hard hats and shoes will protect vulnerable areas of the body.

Machinery and fuel storage

A wide range of machinery is required at differing times during any construction work. It is the site managers responsibility to ensure that the procurement of machinery is programmed correctly and as per the build programme.

Many machines like diggers or forklifts run on red diesel. To ensure that there is an accessible supply, fuel tanks are kept on site. The storing of fuel on any site must be dealt with carefully and a pollution prevention plan put in place. This ensures that fuels are kept in a designated area and access is limited only to authorised personnel. Fuel usage must also be properly monitored. Microbial fuel contamination can occur when diesel has been stored and left for long periods. If this goes unnoticed it can affect machinery and render the fuel useless.

Material procurement and control

Whether constructing a housing development or building a public swimming pool, hundreds of different components are required. It is essential that the correct materials are being ordered at the right time. This takes meticulous planning. If materials are not ordered on time the build programme could be severely affected. This, in turn, can affect financial budgetary requirements and as with many things in business, time is money.