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Last edited 09 Sep 2016

Construction site personnel


[edit] Main contractor's staff

The organisational structure of construction companies is designed to meet the needs of construction projects. As each project has a different context and content, so the roles and responsibilities of individuals will differ significantly from project to project. There are nonetheless generic definitions of typical job titles:

[edit] Site manager

The site manager is the senior construction company representative on site. The site manager will generally be responsible to an office-based ‘contracts manager’.

The site manager’s role is the supervision and management of all site-based staff employed by the company to ensure that the project is delivered within their contractual obligations. The major responsibilities of the role are to:

  • Advise and assist in overall planning.
  • Plan and coordinate resources.
  • Monitor and control progress and quality.
  • Communicate with the consultant team.
  • Provide feedback and reports to the client.
  • Ensure that all aspects of the project are carried out in accordance with statutory requirements.
  • Ensure that all aspects of the project are carried out in accordance with company policy.

[edit] Other site staff

The contractor's site-based staff will consist of some or all of the following personnel:

  • General foreman.
  • Trade foreman.
  • Ganger.
  • Operatives.
  • Site engineer.
  • Planner.
  • Other support staff:
  1. Bonus surveyor.
  1. Contractor's cost controller.
  2. Buyer.
  3. Clerical staff.

[edit] Sub-contractor site staff

Generally, a sub-contractor's staff will be distributed across a number of different sites. A ‘contracts supervisor’ based at the sub-contractors offices will travel to each site to ensure that contract works are executed efficiently and effectively. The contracts supervisor’s main duties are to:

On each site, the contracts supervisor will be assisted by a 'chargehand'. The chargehand will be based on site permanently and will have responsibility for the supervision of all sub-contractor employees. Depending on the number of sub-contractor employees this post may be a full-time supervisory post, or it may be part-time, in which case the chargehand will also work in the physical execution of the sub-contract works.

[edit] Client’s site inspector

The client's site inspector is directly appointed by the client; however, it is usual that this person is supplied by the consultant team. In the UK the nominal term for the client’s site inspector is the clerk of works.

The main duties of the client's site inspector are:

On smaller projects, the client’s site inspector may be an employee of the architect, and may only be based on site part time. On larger projects, this role may be a full-time site-based role. On exceptionally large projects there may be several client's site inspectors, each focussing on a different aspect of the works. Specialist inspections may also be necessary for specific aspects of the project such as; the client’s environmental policy, site waste management plan, accessibility and so on.

See Site inspector for more information.

[edit] Other inspectors

It is the contractor’s obligation to ensure that the works comply with relevant legislation. This will involve liaising with the local authority building control inspector (or approved inspector) and all other government officials that have statutory rights of inspection. In the UK, certain inspectors (such as HM Factory Inspectorate Officials) have unrestricted rights of access at any time; others (such as the building control inspector) have right of access by arrangement.

There may also be other inspectors appointed by the client or third parties.

The range of site inspections might include:

See Site inspection for more information.

The text in this article is based on an extract from HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN CONSTRUCTION, by David Eaton, Salford 2008. It was developed as part of the Construction Managers’ Library – created within the Leonardo da Vinci (LdV) project No: PL/06/B/F/PP/174014, entitled: “Common Learning Outcomes for European Managers in Construction”. It is reproduced here in a slightly modified form with the kind permission of the Chartered Institute of Building.


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